March 26, 2012

It Really is our Fault: By Moshe Feiglin

There is nothing new under the sun. The murder of the Jews this week in France surprises no one. It exposes a dismal reality that is taking shape in Europe and throughout the world.

The murderous anti-Semitism that culminated in the Holocaust of European Jewry declined with the establishment of the State of Israel and bottomed out after Israel's victory in the Six Day War. "For the first time, I dared walk outside with a Jewish star around my neck," related a Chicago Jew.

"This Nation that I have created for Me will tell my praises," says Isaiah in the portion of Prophets that we will read this Shabbat. The entire world anticipates this Jewish message. When the Jews conquer their Land and hold it dear, they testify to G-d's presence in the world. For as Rashi explains, G-d created the Land of Israel, He took it from those who were living here and gave it to His children. It was specifically when we took the Sinai, Judea, Samaria, the Golan and above all – Jerusalem – by storm, despite the Arab refugees, that anti-Semitism practically disappeared.

The world waited for the Jewish Nation to imbue the Holy Land with sanctity. It expected holiness and a universal message to emanate from Jerusalem.

In the words of British intellectuals describing their disappointment with Israel to Sapir College Dean Professor Ze'ev Tzachor, "We dreamt of a place in which the new Book of Books would be written as the preface to the redemption of the world. You are, after all, a treasured and unique nation. The world had expectations, and look what you have done." (Makor Rishon, Adar, 5768)

The British intellectuals were not concerned with how we got here, but rather, with what we will be doing in the future. In their eyes, our right to this Land is not a function of the past, but rather, of the future. It is destiny that makes energies flow and vitalizes existence. When destiny is erased, existence loses its legitimacy and falters.

The Bible-based cultured nations have great expectations from the People of the Book. They want to see a new, inspiring vision emanating from Zion. When this vision is sparkling on the horizon, it inspires and pulls the upper tiers of Western culture to stand by our side. But when no vision emanates from Zion, the basest dregs of the West connect to the wild beasts of the desert. Anti-Semitism is the result of our denial of our destiny here in the Land of Israel.

Mohamed Merah – Man of the West

By CAROLINE GLICK, The Jerusalem Post, March 23, 2012

In addition to denying, justifying and inciting jihadist violence,
Western elites and authorities also engage in facilitating it.

The massacre of Jewish children at the Ozar Hatorah Jewish day school
in Toulouse presents us with an appalling encapsulation of the
depraved nature of our times – although at first glance, the opposite
seems to be the case.

On the surface, the situation was cut and dry. A murderer drove up to
a Jewish school and executed three children and a teacher.

Led by French President Nicolas Sarkozy, all of France decried the
massacre and announced its solidarity with the French Jewish
community. World leaders condemned the crime. The killer died in a
standoff with French security forces. Justice was served. Case closed.

But dig a little deeper and it becomes clear that justice has not been served.

Indeed, it hasn’t even begun to be addressed. The killer, Mohamed
Merah, was not a lone gunman. He wasn’t even one of the lone jihadists
we hear so much about.

He had plenty of accomplices. And not all of them were Muslims.

An analysis of the nature of his crime and the identity of his many
accomplices must necessarily begin with a question. Why did Merah
videotape his crime?

Why did take the trouble of strapping a video camera to his neck and
filming himself chasing eight-year-old Miriam Monsonego through the
school courtyard and shooting her three times in the head? Why did he
document his execution of Rabbi Jonathan Sandler and his two little
boys, three-year-old Gavriel and six-year-old Aryeh?

The first answer is because Merah took pride in killing Jewish
children. Beyond that, he was certain that millions of people would be
heartened by his crime. By watching him shoot the life out of Jewish
children, they would be inspired to repeat his actions elsewhere.

And he was surely correct.

Millions of people have watched the 2002 video of Daniel Pearl being
decapitated. Similar decapitation videos of Western hostages in Iraq
and elsewhere have also become runaway Internet sensations.

Led by Youssef Fofana, the Muslim gang in France that kidnapped and
tortured Ilan Halimi to death in 2006 also took pictures of their
handiwork. Their photographs were clearly imitations of the photos
that Pearl’s killers took of him before they chopped his head off.

The pride that jihadist murderers take in their crimes is not merely
manifested in their camera work. US Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, who
massacred 13 US servicemen at Fort Hood in 2009, showed obvious pride
in his dedication to jihad. Hassan gave a presentation to his
colleagues justifying jihad. He carried business cards in which he
identified himself as an “SOA,” a soldier of Allah.

Similarly, Naveed Haq, the American Muslim who carried out the attack
at the Seattle Jewish Federation building in 2006, murdering one woman
and wounding another five, bragged to his mother and friend about his
crime in monitored telephone calls from jail. Haq boasted that he was
“a jihadi” and that his victims deserved to die because they were
“Israeli collaborators.”

The exhibitionism common to all the men’s behavior makes it obvious
that that their attacks were not the random actions of isolated crazy
people or lone extremists. All of these killers were certain that they
were part of a global movement that seeks the annihilation of the
Jews, the subjugation of the Western world and the supremacy of
jihadist Islam. And they were convinced that their actions served the
interests of this movement and that they would be viewed as heroes by
millions of their fellow Muslims for their killing of innocents.

THIS SITUATION is bad enough on its own. But what make it truly
dangerous are the West’s responses to it. Those responses together
with the crimes themselves expose the depraved and perilous nature of
our times. And they show that Merah’s death can bring no closure to
this story.

There are five interrelated aspects to the West’s response to these
crimes and the jihadist reality they expose. The first aspect of the
West’s response is denial.

Time after time, Merah and his ilk throughout the Western world show
us who they are and what they want. And time after time, the Western
elites, and even much of the Jewish leadership, turn a blind eye and a
deaf ear to their cries of murder and calls for the destruction of
Western civilization.

In the case of Halimi’s murder, for instance, Paris police refused to
view his abduction as a hate crime. Despite the fact that Fofana and
his followers called Halimi’s family and recited Koranic verses while
Ilan screamed out in agony in the background, the Paris police treated
his disappearance as a garden variety kidnap-for-ransom case.

Even after Ilan was found naked at a rail heading with burns on more
than 80 percent of his body and died en route to the hospital, it took
French authorities over a week to admit that he had been the victim of
an anti-Semitic crime.

On a lesser note, everyone from the media to Jewish communal leaders
in the US abjectly refuse to recognize that mainstream Muslim groups
like the Muslim Students Association are sympathetically inclined
towards Hamas. Moreover, they refuse to recognize that sympathy for
Hamas necessarily entails sympathy for Hamas’s genocidal platform of
annihilating the Jewish people in the name of jihad.

As David Horowitz wrote in a recent article at FrontPage magazine,
Jewish student leaders at places such as the University of North
Carolina Chapel Hill prefer to attack messengers like himself, than
accept the inconvenient truth that Muslim student leaders on campus
with them support the annihilation of Israel.

Ignoring and denying the openly expressed aims of jihadists like Merah
is of course only part of the problem. The second aspect of the West’s
effective collusion with these killers is Western elites’
justification of their crimes.

After initially pinning the blame for the Toulouse massacre on Nazis,
when French authorities finally acknowledged Merah’s jihadist
identity, they also provided his justification for murder. Speaking to
reporters, French Interior Minister Claude Gueant gave us Merah’s name
and his excuse at the same time.

Gueant told us that Merah was associated with al-Qaida and he was
upset about what he referred to as Israel’s “murder” of Palestinian

It should be unnecessary to note the simple truth that Israel doesn’t
murder Palestinian children. Palestinians murder Israeli children.

But then, if Merah got his news from the Western media there is a
reasonable chance that he wouldn’t know that.

EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton was rightly condemned by
Israeli political leaders this week for her equation of the actual
massacre of Jewish children in Toulouse with the imaginary massacre of
Palestinian children in Gaza. But she is not alone in this behavior.
US President Barack Obama engaged in similarly outrageous libels when
during his speech to the Muslim world in June 2009 he compared the
Holocaust with Israeli treatment of the Palestinians.

And the line separating these libels from actual incitement is often
hard to find.

French television, which Merah no doubt often watched, is notorious
for crossing it. It was France 2 that gave us this century’s first
anti-Semitic blood libel with its October 2000 tale of Muhammad
al-Dura’s alleged death at the hands of IDF soldiers.

The France 2 story was exposed as a fraud by an appellate court in
Paris in 2008. The appellate court overturned a lower court’s libel
ruling against Internet activist Philippe Karsenty who wrote on his
personal website that the al-Dura story was a hoax.

The appellate court viewed France 2’s unedited footage from the scene.
That footage showed al-Dura moving after the France 2 cameraman had
declared him dead. The footage led the court to overturn the decision
of the lower court that had found Karsenty guilty of libel.

Apparently the same French establishment that now declares solidarity
with France’s Jews is unwilling to part with the al-Dura hoax that
incited the spilling of so much Jewish blood in the past decade. Last
month, France’s Supreme Court overturned the appellate court’s ruling
and ordered it to retry the case.

As far as the Supreme Court of France is concerned, the appellate
court had no right to ask France 2 to provide evidence that its story
was true. According to the court, the unedited footage which proved
the story was a blood libel should never have been admitted as
evidence. The truth should never have been permitted to come to light.

IN ADDITION to denying, justifying and inciting jihadist violence,
Western elites and authorities also engage in facilitating it and,
after the fact, excusing it. In the case of Merah, although details
are still unclear, it has been reported that he underwent jihadist
training by al-Qaida in Afghanistan and was apprehended by Afghan

Despite his ties to al-Qaida, either US or French military authorities
decided he should be sent back to France even though he clearly
constituted a danger to French society.

Moreover, according to media reports, French authorities knew that he
was dangerous and still failed to apprehend him. They had been
informed that at least on one occasion, Merah sought to radicalize a
15-year-old Muslim boy. And yet, he was allowed to remain at large.

As the mother of the teenager said, “All these people had to die
before they finally arrest Mohamed Merah. What an enormous waste. The
police knew this individual was dangerous and radicalized. I
complained to the police twice about Mohamed Merah and tried to follow
up several times.”

In the US, Hasan’s colleagues and commanders knew of his sympathy for
jihad and his connections to jihadist leader Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen.
And yet they promoted him to major and sent him to Fort Hood.

The West’s complicity with these jihadist crimes doesn’t end with
their perpetration.

After failing to acknowledge that Halimi was abducted by jihadists who
murdered him because he was a Jew, French authorities conducted his
murderers’ trials behind closed doors. Hidden from public scrutiny, in
their first trial, Halimi’s killers were given pitifully lights
sentences. Fofana was rendered eligible for parole within 22 years. It
was only the outcry of activists within the French Jewish community
that caused French authorities to hold a retrial.

In Seattle, Haq’s first trial for his attack on Seattle’s Jewish
Federation was declared a mistrial. Seattle’s mayor and media went out
of their way to present Haq as mentally ill. The prosecution failed to
seek the death penalty and didn’t bother to present the records of
Haq’s phone conversations bragging about his crimes until his second

Together, the behavior of proud jihadist warriors of the West like
Merah, Hasan, Haq and Fofana, and the depraved silence, indifference
and complicity of Western elites with their jihadist aims, form the
physical and moral landscape of our time. And it is because of this
evil mix of perpetrators and enablers that Merah’s death is not a
victory of justice.

March 25, 2012

The Arab Demographic Revolution by Yoram Ettinger

The steep decline in the Arab fertility rate west of the Jordan River
­ in Judea, Samaria, Gaza and pre-1967 Israel ­ reflects the
demographic revolution throughout the Muslim world, especially in the
Arab countries of the Middle East.

According to the 2011 CIA Factbook, the fertility in Iran, the most
religious Shiite country, is 1.87 births per woman, in Saudi Arabia,
the most religious Sunni country ­ 2.5, in the small Gulf States ­
2.5, in North Africa ­ 2.5, in Syria ­ 3, in Egypt ­ 2.94, in Jordan ­
3.4, in Iraq ­ 3.76, in Yemen ­ 4.81 and in Sudan ­ 4.93 births per

In 1969, the Israeli Arab fertility rate (which is similar to the
Judea and Samaria Arab fertility rate) was 6 births higher than the
Jewish fertility rate.  In 2012, the Arab-Jewish fertility gap plunged
to 0.5 births. Moreover, the fertility rates of younger Arab and
Jewish women have converged at 3 births per woman, while the average
Israeli-born Jewish mothers already exceed 3 births per woman. Jewish
fertility trends upward (particularly within the secular sector!), and
Arab fertility trends downward, as a result of successful integration
of Arabs ­ and especially Arab women - into the infrastructures of

The Jewish fertility rate in Israel is higher than any Arab countries,
other than Sudan, Yemen, Iraq and Jordan, which are trending downward.

The triggers of the demographic revolution among Arabs west of the
Jordan River are very similar to those which caused the overall
Muslim/Arab demographic implosion: urbanization, expanded primary,
secondary and tertiary education primarily among women, more assertive
women at home and in the workforce, family planning, all-time high
wedding and reproductive age, all-time low teen pregnancy, all-time
high divorce rates and youthful emigration.  In 2012, an increasing
number of Arab women remain unmarried during their 20s.

Dr. Nicholas Eberstadt, a leading demographer at the American
Enterprise Institute, wrote in Foreign Policy Magazine, March 9, 2012:
"Declines in the total fertility rate [in Muslim countries] have been
jaw-dropping…. Throughout the global Muslim community, the average
number of children per woman is falling dramatically. According to the
UN Population Division, all Muslim-majority countries and territories
witnessed fertility declines over the past three decades…. Algeria and
Morocco have total fertility rates in the same ball park as Texas;
Indonesia is almost identical to Arkansas; Tunisia looks like
Illinois; Lebanon's fertility level is lower than New York's; Iran's
is comparable to that of New England, the region in America with the
lowest fertility…. A century of research has detailed the associations
between fertility decline and socioeconomic modernization, as
represented by income levels, educational attainment, urbanization,
public health, treatment of women, and the like…. Current fertility
levels seem to be the product of intangible factors (culture, values,
personal hopes and expectations) and not just material and economic
forces…. Where Muslim women want fewer children, they are increasingly
finding ways to manage it ­ with the pill or without it…. The
fertility decline over the past generation has been more rapid in the
Arab states than virtually anywhere else on earth…. A new world is
being born before our eye ­ and we would all do well to pay much
closer attention to its significance.”

 Demographic studies document that dramatic declines in fertility
never bounce back to previous high levels.

While Arab demography is imploding, Israel's Jewish demography
benefits from a tailwind ­ a 56% surge in the number of annual Jewish
births between 1995 and 2011, compared to a 10% rise in the number of
Arab births. In 1995, the Jewish births constituted 69% of total
births, compared with 76% in 2011. In 1995, there were 2.34 Jewish
births per one Arab birth, compared with 3.2 Jewish births per one
Arab birth in 2011.  Contrary to most of the world, Israel's Jewish
population is growing younger (while Israel's Arab population is
growing older) and educated, which bodes well for Israel's economic

Jewish demography is further bolstered by Aliya (Jewish immigration),
an unprecedented flow of returning expatriates, a relatively low
number of emigrants and a substantial annual net-emigration of (mostly
young) Arabs from Judea and Samaria -17,000 in each of the last three

A pro-active Aliya policy would leverage the global economic and
political circumstances in the former USSR, France, England, Argentina
and the USA.  It could produce a wave of 500,000 Olim (Jewish
immigrants) during the next ten years, catapulting the current 66%
Jewish majority ­ in the combined area of Judea, Samaria and pre-1967
Israel ­ to an 80% Jewish majority by 2035.

March 23, 2012

Historic Visit to Kever Yoseph By Yocheved Miriam Zemel

It was Wednesday, the 27th of Adar, The 28th (March 22, 2012,, the second day of spring) by the time we got there.  The day started as a bleak one.  The murderer of three innocent Jews in France was holed up in his hideaway in a gun battle with police.  The funeral of the victims, three young children and a dedicated rabbi and teacher, was reported, well attended and commemorated.  The picture of the bedsteads, on which lay their remains covered by talitot, was circulated in the news media.  The televised event was watched by many.
On that day Rabbi Chaim Pinchas Scheinberg, who passed away the previous day at the age of 101, a Gadol Hador, the rabbi of Yeshiva Torah Ohr of Mattersdorf and New York, was likewise featured on the news media throughout the day.
On that day, March 22, 2012, I also visited the family of, Asher Wein, a leader and founder of the Yemin Moshe Synagogue (Beit Yisrael) community, who were in Israel for his funeral and interment the previous day.
My husband, usually a long distance walker, was struck by an orthopedic disability, and was unable to accompany me either at the Shiva visit or at the visit to the Kever that evening.
When I arrived at 9:25 PM, I was surprised to see the large group and two buses parked at the side of the Inball Hotel awaiting the many people looking to visit Kever Yoseph, as organized by Nadia Matar and Yehudit Katsover of Women in Green. We left shortly after the 9:30 appointed time.
There was a tension there.  People were still numbed by the tragedy that had occurred in France, the passing of a Gadol Hador, and concerned about the safety of their mission. The concern was warranted, since previous groups had been stoned, since eleven years ago a Jewish visitor praying at the Kever was murdered, and since the site had been vandalized numerous times by Palestinians.
Our names were checked against a roster, we were given envelopes with information about Women in Green and some of their recent accomplishments and goals, as we alighted on the bus.  I was seated near a woman from Efrat who was in Jerusalem for a wedding, and left early to take this historic trip.
We road to Tzomet Tapuach, making a few additional stops on the way to pick up additional passengers. At Tzomet Tapuach we saw numerous mini-buses convening and their passengers joining us on bullet-proof buses to take us to our destination.  There were tea, pastries and barekas for the passengers. We were told that at Kever Yoseph there would be bathroom facilities.
We rode the bullet-proof buses to our destination. There I sat near a woman from the Old City.  I also met people who had come from Kiryat Arba and other locations.  Someone asked the driver to tell us when we reach Nablus-Shechem.  
Before leaving, while waiting for security clearance, Nadia Matar spoke about the desire of all of us to visit the gravesite during the day, and not "like thieves in the night." She also spoke of the mission, goals  and accomplishments of Women in Green in reclaiming Jewish Land, and the obstacles preventing this goal—from the Palestinian encroachers to the European Union, which is heavily financing them. We also received prayers for the release of Jonathan Pollard, followed by a group recitation of the prayers led by Rabbi Pollock, a visitor with us. Esther Pollard, who provided us with the prayers, emphasized the power of numbers, and how our joint prayers are multiplied many time over through the strength of the community of Jews. Rabbi Twersky of Efrat also spoke and encouraged us in our mission.
                  It was dark and but for the police guarding our route, the streets were vacant of inhabitants. It was about about 1 AM when we reached our destination, driving through the town in the middle of the night.
                When we arrived at the Kever, we saw a compound surrounded by lights and people, many of them soldiers.  We alighted from our bus, and saw people streaming from other buses. They were a mixture of Jews from all persuasions, from Chasidic, to secular, including Breslovers, Rabbis in black hats and people in kipot srugot, and women in jeans and some in long skirts.  We were told to remember our bus number so that we would get back there.  We were allowed about 20 minutes for prayers.
                The Kever consisted of a domed center with stone buildings on either side. It was surrounded by a chain link fence.  Some of the flooring was cement, and there was an area of stones and soil on the side.  Women were told to go to the left, where there was a room with access to the prayer hall of the men.  While they were separated by a high mechitza, the top third consisted of a curtain, allowing the women to hear the prayers clearly and the shofar that was being blown.  Most women had their own prayer books, lists, and Tehilim and prayed silently.  The room was very full, but emptied out from time to time.  Some women chose to pray alongside the building where it was quieter.  All was done with decorum and reverence.  I heard subsequently that many journalists, many from France who had come the previous day for the funeral of the massacred in Toulouse, were with us to celebrate our opportunity to pray at this holy site.
                After our prayer, we were all more relaxed, seeing that we had arrived safely, and that all was well.  We exited to the front of the building, where there were signs announcing the place.  People were selling CD's with Shechem music, and large pictures of the Kever.  Others were taking pictures and videos.  We all felt the joy of the moment.
                At the end of a hard day for our people, and for me, personally, I was able to celebrate this great event in the life of our people.  I heard afterwards that MK Yisrael Katz affixed a mezuzah on the Kever that night, celebrating our return to this historic place, a major landmark in the life of our people.
                I thank Nadia Matar, Yehudit Katsover, for making our trip possible,  the soldiers of the IDF for protecting us , and the Samaria Regional Council, the Shechem Echad organization, the IDF, and the Civil Authority for restoring the tomb, which was destroyed and desecrated 11 years ago, and all those who made this historic evening possible. 
                To me and to many of us who participated, it fortified us in knowing that although we Jews can be attacked, we will not be defeated. That we will stand firm to recover our place in history, to preserve our sacred heritage and to maintain those sites that are significant to us as a people.
                I later heard that MK Yuli Edelstein, along with other dignitaries, was celebrating this momentous occasion with us. He along with our dedicated co-visitors expressed our mission and belief that we will no longer allow our sacred historic places to be defamed with impunity.
The sadness of the prior day melted as our hope for the future encompassed it. It was replaced by our conviction that in unity we stand and that we will continue to stand firm as a people and as a nation.  Am Yisrael Chai!
Yocheved Miriam (Judy) Zemel

March 21, 2012

"Palestinians" Attempt to Erase Jewish Roots in Hebron’s Old City (Jewish Press)

Trash strewn on the archaeological site in the Old City of Hebron
Trash strewn on the archaeological site in the Old City of Hebron
Photo Credit: Tazpit News Agency
On Tuesday, March 13, an archaeological site inspector in Hebron’s Old City discovered that the archaeological site there had been severely damaged – the diggings in progress were ruined and covered up.
A group of Arab workers, apparently contracted by the Palestinian Authority, breached an ancient terrace bordering the antique path that connects Avraham’s Well and the tombs of Ruth and Yishai. They further removed a fence near an IDF outpost. Next, they brought trash and dumped it in the archaeological diggings, which contain findings from the Canaanite period. They then set fire to the trash.
Remnants of an ancient mosaic at the archaeological site in the Old City of Hebron
This destructive process was stopped only after the inspector called the police, the army, and the Civil Administration. Surprisingly, the vandals were not arrested and were allowed to continue with their work, receiving only a warning about further damage to the archaeological artifacts around them.
It is significant to note that this is not the first time Arabs have been engaged in the destruction of archaeological artifacts in Hebron. They have previously perpetrated similar acts of vandalism, but have recently begun to work in an organized fashion, leading to suspicions that the acts are purposeful and orchestrated by an entity bent on the erasure of archaeological artifacts that testify to the ancient Jewish roots in Hebron.
Chaim Bleicher, a resident of Hebron, told Tazpit that they have been doing their best to combat these trends. The army and Civil Administration have made no real attempts to halt these actions, and it has been reported that the army even intends to close off part of the archeological site to eliminate friction, working only to maintain the peace, even if it means the irreplaceable loss of archaeological artifacts and the cover up of Hebron’s Jewish identity.
Theses incidents in Hebron are not unique to the area. Similar incidents have been recorded throughout Israel, especially in Jerusalem and on the Temple Mount. The Arabs are aware that the archaeological findings point to an ancient and prolonged Jewish presence in the Land of Israel, and therefore do all they can to destroy these artifacts, doing their best to cover up the simple fact that the Jews have deep roots in the Land of Israel.
Exclusive: Palestinians Attempt to Erase Jewish Roots in Hebron’s Old City

Ben-Ari’s ‘Magic Pen’ to Release Jewish Prisoners

MK Michael Ben-Ari hoped to present President Shimon Peres with a special gift on Thursday: a “magic” pen.
However, Ben-Ari did not see Peres at the annual memorial to slain minister Rehavam Zeevi, where he had planned to give his gift. Instead, he presented the pen to Justice Minister Yaakov Ne'eman, and explained its special properties.
“I see that in recent years, the pen that you all have has signed releases only for terrorist murderers,” Ben-Ari told the minister. “I obtained a special pen for you with which you will be able to sign on the release of Jewish prisoners, in light of the terrorist release deal.”
Ne'eman declined to respond to Ben-Ari’s sarcasm.
Ne'eman has been under increasing pressure to release 12 Jewish prisoners accused of terrorism against Arabs. Those pushing for the release say they do not approve of the prisoners’ actions, but feel their release would be just in light of the recent release of many hundreds of Arab terrorist murderers in exchange for Gilad Shalit.
Adar 17, 5772, 11/03/12    
Ben-Ari in Lone Protest in Nazareth  -  Maayana Miskin
Police cancelled a protest that was to take place Sunday in Nazareth due to the security situation in the south. MK Michael Ben-Ari (Ichud Leumi) decided not to let the setback stop him from showing his disapproval, and visited Nazareth without the backing of supporters – and with his trademark Israeli flag.
Ben-Ari was not entirely alone. Several police cars accompanied the Jewish MK to ensure that he did not come to harm while visiting the Arab city.
Police insisted on removing the freshman MK after just 20 minutes. In that time, a large Arab crowd had already formed to protest Ben-Ari’s presence.
Locals held protests elsewhere in the city as well, and shouted anti-Israel slogans, among them, “With our blood and our spirit we will free Palestine.”
One of those protesting Ben-Ari was MK Hanin Zoabi (Balad). Ben-Ari had originally planned to be in Nazareth Sunday to protest Zoabi for her presence aboard the ship Mavi Marmara, which attempted to violently force its way through Israel’s naval blockade of Hamas in Gaza.
Zoabi hailed the cancellation of Ben-Ari’s protest as a victory over “fascism.” Ben-Ari, for his part, accused the government of caving to terrorism.

The Savior - By Meir Kahane (1987)

“He who removes from himself the yoke of Torah is given in its place the yoke of kingdom: (Avot 3)

It is an axiom that no rational Jew dare even contemplate questioning: Without the United States, Israel could not survive. It is an axiom that is repeated so often by Jewish shepherds and sheep alike, that it has succeeded brilliantly in inviting the worst kind of American pressure on the Jewish state and turning us if not into the 51st state, certainly into a pliant protectorate.The concept of the American savior has begun its inevitable metamorphosis into American extortionist – and enforcer.

And could it be different?It is only natural that an American President, hearing from the Mouths of Jewish leaders that Israel is dependent on the Unites States, sees in it a tempting door to enter and to pressure and use the leverage that this shtetl mentality gives him. And so, littler wonder that a United States that sees in Israel more and more, a vassal that cannot say “no”, leans heavily and more arrogantly on it than ever.

This year alone, there were a number of outrageous, insulting infringements of Israeli sovereignty by Washington and its High Commissioner (a.k.a. Ambassador) Thomas Pickering. Any normal country with a modicum of self-respect (say, Togo or Zimbabwe) would have given Mr. Pickering his walking papers and warned the United States never again to dare use either the tone or the substance in dealing with the Jewish State. But the State of Israel, the supposed last of the ghetto and first of the new, proud Hebrews, in reality, is merely the largest of the shtels, comprised of an entire host of leaders who would put the shtetl beggar and shtadlan to shame. No ghetto Jew ever absorbed more humiliations and desecrations with greater smiling countenance, with greater ability to turn all his cheeks. No ghetto Jew ever could have performed better than the Odd Couple government in absorbing humiliation without missing a fawning beat. 

First there were the tourists. On the one hand Arab-Americans and on the other the Black Hebrews. Both shared little in common except for the fact that they were American citizens who hate Israel and the Jews. Both believe that the land does not belong to the Jews. Both worked assiduously to guarantee that it will be taken away from the Jews. Both are deadly enemies of the Jewish people and the state
Little wonder that Israel looks upon every such tourist arriving in the country with deep suspicion. Little wonder that each is questioned at length and with greater care than the ordinary tourist.And so, they screamed, did these Jew-haters, screamed in protest to the American government. And Thomas Pickering’s employers ordered him to issue a stiff and outrageously arrogant protest to the Israeli government. Protest? Say, rather, an ultimatum. An affront to any government with a modicum of self-respect. Ah, but we are speaking of the Odd Couple… In a matter of days, the New Hebrews had properly groveled and announced a new set of regulations guaranteeing that Jewish enemies would no longer be harassed, would be allowed to enter the country as all others.

But then there was the question of drilling for water near Bethlehem. Israel, whose existence depends on dwindling water resources, had planned to drill just outside Jerusalem in what the Americans, Alexander Schindler, the New Jewish Agenda, Yossi Sarid and Yasir Arafat called the “occupied territories. ”The Arabs set up a howl and could the Americans be far behind? Along came Pickering with yet another vigorous protest and down went Israel without even a parting shot at the High Commissioner. The drilling will not be. The cavity will continue to pain.
And with this glorious roll call of protestations, it was only a matter of time for the turn of the Lavi. A project of years into which Israel poured a billion of its own dollars (aside from U.S. ones); in which were involved some of the finest engineers and minds in Israel; which was well on its way to producing the finest plane in the world; which would, in turn, have freed Israel from its agonizing dependency on American largesse and threats (every time there is an Israeli action that particularly displeases the Americans they threaten to cut off spare parts for F-14s) - was cancelled.

Forget all the “reasons” given. Forget the nonsense and lies. Israel gave up the finest plane in the world; gave up on a billion dollars that went down the drain; gave up on hundreds of engineers who will now leave the country to find work in Italy, South Africa and the West; gave up on military independence – only because it gave in to American pressure. Only because it showed how far it has gone down the road to being a vassal-state, a protectorate, a country that cannot, in its little secular and unfaithful mind, ever say “no” to the United States on any vital issue.

And the United States, which saw in the Lavi a dangerous competitor for its own aircraft industry, understood more clearly than ever before how dependent and suppliant the state of confusion and this is how the State of Israel sees itself. It is a lesson that, one may be assured has been learned well in Washington, and the conclusions will be rapidly drawn.

The scrapping of the Lavi by the hapless government of Israel is a tragedy for Israel in every way. It deepens the terrible dependency on the gentile; it opens Israel up to many worse pressure, and above all, it shows more clearly than every before the gentilization of the Jewish state. For only a state that lost its faith in G-d and that ripped from its neck the yoke of Torah could ever have opened itself up to willingly accepting – like some dumb ox – the yoke of the gentile kingdom. A nation of faith, a government of deep belief in G-d, would have sent Pickering packing; would have turned to the Jewish people throughout the world for support and would have completed the finest plane in the world. And, of course, G-d would have helped. He always helps those who turn to Him and say: I believe, I believe. All of which leads us directly to the subject of:

If the citizens of the United States do not feel that their interests are being served by Israel, then their obligation is to stop this economic aid. If, on the other hand, they believe that Israel serves a vital interest of the US, they should then put an end to their whining and deal with Israel as one would an equal partner who gives as he gets.

Of course, the nonsense about helping Israel because it is“the only democracy in the Middle East,” has to be stopped. Nations do not help other states because they are “democracies” or “progressive” states, or “good”. Nations have self-interests that lead them to ally themselves with other states. Those self-interests and not“morality” of the state are what determine foreign policy decisions.

It is Israel alone that gives the United States a guaranteed and safe base whenever needed. 
It is the Haifa naval harbor that is open to the US Sixth fleet regularly. 
It is in the Negev that the US stores tons of military equipment for use when needed. 
It is Israel that provides the Voice of America an area in which to build new, powerful transmitters. 
It is Israel that works hand in hand with the US to actively crush terrorism. 
It is Israel that flies US F-16 planes in real combat, to tell the Americans what defects exist. 
It is Israel that puts out of commission Soviet missiles given to the Syrians and then explains to Washington how it was done. 
It is Israel that captures a Soviet T-72 tank and shows it to the CIA for the first time. 
It is Israel whose Jericho missile makes Moscow nervous enough to protest a weapon that can reach its territory. 
It is Israel that has the brains, the technology, the ability to create; things that no other nation in the region has. 
And it is Israel that has the innate common hostility to the Soviet and other anti-western totalitarian states, shared by America. 

If that is not worth the money –then stop it. 
Indeed the Administration has an obligation to stopwasting” American money.
But, if all that ads up to a priceless asset, then let the weepers and wailers shut up and pay for what they are getting and count themselves fortunate.

March 19, 2012

Wanted: A Jewish State - Meir Kahane (5732)

WHEN all is said and done and all the causes are separated from the effects, it becomes clear that the ultimate sin of the people who rule the State of Israel is that they have done everything to remove the significance, the magnificence and the sweetness of victory from the great miracle of Return and resurrection of the Jewish state.What they have done and do daily is to turn the miraculous into the ordinary, the hallowed into the profane and the truth of the matter is that, because of this all the miracles and wonders that have occurred to us in the nature of rebirth of the Land have come about, not so much because of the ruling circles, but despite them. 

The decision by the government of Israel not to allow Jews to purchase land in that part of the Land of Israel known as the ‘territories’(those lands liberated in 1967) is as grotesquely absurd as it is obscenely outrageous

Not since the Nuremberg laws and the years when their legislators held sway, has there been a land in which Jews, per se, have been singled out for a ban on land purchase.A Moslem, a Christian or a Buddhist may buy land in the Land of the Bible, but not a Jew. In the lands wherein strolled Abraham, Isaac and Jacob – the children of Ishmael may do what they will with land but not the children of the Patriarchs. 

The thing becomes an unfunny joke.A Jew from Tel Aviv asks to buy land and is turned down.He turns around, enters a Moslem religious court and declares his fealty to Allah, emerges as a Moslem and can now buy land in Eretz Yisroel.At least Nuremberg had the logic of anti-Semitism behind it – the hatred of the gentile for the Jew. 

The madness of the present situation is that the ban on Jewish purchase comes from Jews. All that is needed to complete the farce is for an appeal from the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith and the American Jewish Committee, to the United Nations Human Rights Commission, citing the State of Israel for discrimination against Jews . . . 

It is no answer to say that the political situation in the world demands that Israel act as she does. That very argument is the one that strips naked the secularism and the un-Jewishnesss of the Jewish government in Israel. 

For it is not true that the ghetto mentality of the Jew exists only in the Galut, the Exile. It is alive and sick in the Jewish State in the forms of a Jewish government which – on a dozen issues – reacts according to the yardstick: “What will the goyim say?”It is the measure of their galut minds and their utter failure to understand the nature and destiny of the Jewish people.
When the government of Israel refuses to allow Jews to purchase land in the Land of Israel; when the government of Israel extradites Jews to non-Jewish areas, even when they are citizens, Israeli soldiers and Jewish freedom fighters; when the government of Israel refuses to ban missionaries who daily prey on the poor and the economically weak; when the government of Israel is stricken daily by the disease of Ebanism (from the root‘Eban’ as in Foreign Minister)It is a symptom of Galut mentality and the desire to create in Israel a carbon copy of the Western, liberal, assimilated ideological state.Israel has become a state with Jewish people, not a Jewish State.  

Its reactions are assimilated ones for it has become like all the other states, learning from them, influenced by them, slavishly following their philosophical, ideologically a slave to the goy –

 but because of the ghetto mentality that makes it reject Jewish exclusiveness 

 – in the end, a political subject too
The roots of the ultimate sin of the leaders of the State of Israel lie in that they do not recognize and never did recognize that the incredible survival of the Jewish people through two millennial of incredible exile was a simple miracle. (Usually, it is the miracle that is the more simple explanation rather than the torturous explanations that go into denying it and finding some other answer). 

Because they do not really believe in G-d (and let us not be put off by their evasive attempts to deny their denials) they also do not believe that the Jewish people are a people of G-d, whose past survival in the midst of seventy hungry wolves of the world was accomplished only through His power and whose incredible return to the Land, after centuries that saw the passing of every nation that once existed together with the Jews in ancient times, was part of the Jewish destiny as dictated by the hand of the All Mighty.

Everything that was miraculous, holy and special about the Jews was discarded and turned into an ordinary and profane story.  Because they did not believe in G-d or in the Jewish destiny as being A Divine one that MUST be and that WILL be, regardless of “natural” or “logical” obstacles, these rulers fought against all the dreamers and the visionaries and id everything to impede the Return.
When the Nordaus demanded that Jews be thrust into the Land of Israel by the hundreds of thousands, those who then and who today, still, rule the Zionist Establishment – mocked him and exclaimed: “Impractical! Where shall we put them all? How will they live?”So they died.
When Jabotinksys demanded that Jews march out of the Exile and flee the ghettos and that the aim of Zionism be declared, openly, to be that of a Jewish State, the disbelievers, the men of “practicality”, “logic”and political secularism brought forth all their mockery, the statistics and their skepticism to defeat the dreamers.
When the freedom fighters of Irgun and Stern demanded that the Jew rise up and fight for the Land of Canaan, the ruling circles of disbelievers condemned them – and condemned the entire people.
In 1948, the ruling circles seriously considered putting off the declaration of a Jewish State and in 1956 they retreated from Sinai and in 1967 they listened for days to Eban and others not to go to war but rather trust the nations of the world.

The truth is, that the State of Israel, the return from Exile, the breathtaking miracles of three victorious wars, and the return to the Wall, to Jerusalem, to Hebron and to the Land of Israel, have all been miracles that have come to us not because of the rulers of Israel but despite them. For Israel is not blessed with the deep desire to be Jewish but rather with the disease of Ebanism.
Ebanism is that disease that sees Israel as a model Western, liberal, progressive state but that has no connection with the exclusive Jewish Destiny that is based upon a Jewish G-d, a Jewish heritage, a Jewish reaction and a Jewish Destiny that transcends Washington and Moscow, both.
Because Ebanism looks at the world through secular eyes, it also sees Israel’s destiny in that world as a secular one. Because there is no place for G-d and the miracle of the Jewish destiny, every political question is based not on 

 “what should Jews do and how should a Jew react,” but on “what will the goyim say?”

Because the Ebans of the Israeli cabinet do not really believe that there is a G-d, let alone a Hand of G-d that has returned, His people and that will preserve their state under all circumstances, they refuse to allow Jews to buy their own land because of fear of Nixon. They return Jews to gentile prisons because of fear of Nixon. They refuse to limit the soul-snatchers of the Missions because of fear of all the Nixons, Catholic or Protestant.  

There is really no need to go to the trouble and expense of electing a new president of Israel.We already have one and he resides in Washington. . .No, there is no need for a new president of Israel – we need the old G-d.
We waited so long for the miracle of return and, finally, when it occurred we were cheated. We were robbed of the sweetness and the deliciousness of it's pleasure.The state for which we waited centuries became just as any other state, and the uniqueness of the Jew does not lie in a tank or jet – even if they are better than those of the gentiles.  

We waited for the return to the true lands of the Bible and now we have them – and no Jews can live there.

Ebanism has taken a miracle and profaned it, taking it an ordinary thing.It has taken Eretz Yisroel, the unique and special land of the Jews and made it into any state, acting and reacting on the basis of realpolitik and power politics, making decisions on the basis of western secularism rather than on Judaism.This is what happens when Ebanism rules, when the waters that sprinkle the fields of policy making are drawn from the wells of Oxford and Cambridge rather than Jerusalem and Hebron. 
The time is long overdue for the malady of Ebanism to be overcome with the healing herbs of Judaism.It is time for Israel to believe in G-d so that it can stop fearing man.On that day we will begin to allow Jews to purchase land in their own country; on that day we will allow Jewish freedom fighters to arrive in Israel without fear of extradition; on that day Israel will return to its true role – its only role – the servant of the Jewish people.

What is This Tzniyus, Anyway?

Tzniyus is generally translated as “modesty” and, for our purposes, that’s as good a translation as any. But that doesn’t give us any real idea as to what it means.
Literally, tzniyus means “hidden.” The meaning is that certain things are private. Not dirty or shameful, but private. Privacy is a good thing and an important thing.
In most families, the children do not know how much their parents make, but the parents each know what the other makes. That’s because it’s private between husband and wife. It’s irrelevant whether one’s father pulls down $15,000 a year or a cool million; his salary is private.
Another example: a school should not announce or post grades without permission.  Whether one has a perfect 1600 SAT or a somewhat less than perfect 650, their grades are private.
Similarly, the fact that certain body parts are private does not mean that they are bad. They are, in fact, altogether good. But they are not necessarily meant for public consumption. Sometimes they’re just for you. Sometimes they can be shared with other members of your gender. One can share them with a doctor if need be. And you may share them with that special someone after your wedding. Like your grades and your salary, there are some people who are privy to your private matters.
While “privacy” may be a better word than “modesty,” it still doesn’t give us the full scope of what we mean when we say “tzniyus.”
The Rambam addresses the concept of problems in translation. Sometimes, he says, you need many words in one language to properly convey the meaning of a single word from another language. Just try translating “muktza” or “shaatnez.” Respectively, they refer to items that may not be used (or even handled) on Shabbos and garments made of the forbidden mixture of wool and linen. These are concepts that are succinctly expressed in Hebrew, but require greater explanation in English. Even such a basic concept as “kashrus” may be simply translated as “dietary laws.” But anyone familiar with kashrus knows that that phrase is insufficient to adequately convey the depth of the concept.
Similarly, tzniyus means more than just the secular concepts of modesty and privacy. There are major aspects of modesty and privacy to be sure, but tzniyus also includes an aspect of humility and an aspect of dignity. Tzniyus refers not only to dress, but also to speech, actions and comportment.
Tzniyus is not just about measuring how much of a girl’s skin is showing. Sure, if too much skin is revealed, it’s immodest, but that’s only part of the picture.
Tzniyus is also not only about covering women’s bodies so that men don’t get “turned on” by the sight of them. Tzniyus isn’t even just in front of boys. There is tzniyus in front of girls and even tzniyus when you’re all alone. Sure, if a woman is immodestly dressed and a man does get excited by the sight, it’s a problem. But, again, that’s not the reason.
The reason for tzniyus, in my humble opinion, is that it empowers women.
Think about that for a second.
Tzniyus is not intended to repress girls or to make them subservient to men or to protect them from the imagined animal instincts of the supposedly-depraved male gender. It’s to give them the power and dignity they deserve.
Form a mental image of any recent First Lady of the United States or the Queen of England. What are they wearing? Probably something very refined and modest. Dignified women wear dignified clothes. Hold that thought; we’ll come back to it.
Consider these two actual (albeit dated) examples: (1) President and Mrs. Clinton were on vacation when a photographer snapped them on the beach in their bathing suits. (2) Princess Diana was photographed working out in a health club wearing a leotard. Both of these pictures were widely distributed (and in both instances, the media was criticized for publishing them).
What’s the news story? The President and First Lady go swimming? Princess Di worked out? These are not particularly shocking revelations. No Pulitzers will be given for these breaking reports. And while the Clintons made for a handsome couple, they were not especially fetching in their swimsuits.
So why do people want to see these photos or even just read about them?
The reason the public likes to see celebrities in less than their proper attire is because, psychologically, it takes the mighty down a peg. What does the cliché say you should do if you’re nervous while public speaking? Picture the audience in their underwear. Why should that make you feel better? Because you’ve lowered their esteem in your eyes. Nobody suggests picturing them as your hardest teacher, your meanest boss, or some equally intimidating authority figure; that would have the opposite effect. By mentally undressing them, you have de-powered them. That works in real life, too.
Sometimes women delude themselves into thinking that by wearing short skirts or skimpy bathing suits they are empowering themselves. “I’m independent,” they think. “I dress how I like.” Or even, “When I look sexy, I can get boys to do what I want.”
I hate to break it to you, but no man or boy ever looked at a scantily-clad female and thought, “Now there’s a powerful and independent woman! I’d like to vote for her!” (I don’t think I need to tell you what they are thinking!) But when a girl dresses in a dignified manner as befits a daughter of Avraham Avinu (our father Abraham), she commands the same attention one would give a First Lady or a Queen.
So far we’ve been discussing tzniyus as it pertains to girls, but one should not be misled into thinking that tzniyus is a “girls’ halacha.” Tzniyus is an important midah (character trait) for boys to develop, as well. The details are different, but the concepts are equally important.
It may be less problematic for a boy to appear in public in a tank top and shorts than it is for a girl, but that doesn’t mean there is no boys’ tzniyus. A swaggering manner, all machismo and testosterone, is an immodest way for a male to behave. Certain jokes and bawdy locker room talk is not tzniyusdik for a boy, either. They may be permitted to bare more skin than a girl, but that doesn’t mean that they have carte blanche to speak, act or dress however they wish.
The “tank top and shorts” look may be permitted for a boy, but that doesn’t mean it’s appropriate in every situation. Not in school. Certainly not in shul. In fact, the only place it really is appropriate is on the basketball court.
Just because boys can occasionally get away with dressing more casually than their sisters, it doesn’t mean that all males do. You’ll never go to see a great Rabbi and find him wearing jeans and a T-shirt. It would be as beneath his dignity as wearing a bikini in public would be beneath a girl’s.
All Jews have assigned uniforms. We cannot wear clothes that contain shaatnez, the aforementioned mixture of wool and linen in the same garment. A boy’s uniform includes a yarmulke and tzitzis. A girl’s uniform is clothing which we would refer to as “tzniyusdik.”  In common usage, when we speak of tzniyus we may often be referring to the standard of dress for a Jewish girl. This doesn’t mean that tzniyus is only about dress or that it’s only for girls. You will often, in fact usually, see the word treated as if that’s exclusively what it means, but you should be aware that it encompasses so much more.

Victims of Shooting at Jewish School in Toulouse, France Identified, Several Still Fighting for Their Lives

Outside Ozar HaTorah Dropoff in Toulouse
Photo Credit: screen shot, BBC
Visiting school teacher Rabbi Yonatan Sandler and his sons Aryeh and Gavriel – all of the Kiryat Yovel neighborhood in Jerusalem – were identified as 3 of the victims of Monday’s shooting attack on the Ozar HaTorah Jewish school in Toulouse on Monday.  Another victim, 8 year-old Miriam Monsonego, was the daughter of school principal Rabbi Yaacov Monsonego.
Police continue to search for a shooter who mowed down a group of teachers and students at a student dropoff point outside the Ozar HaTorah Jewish school in Toulouse on Monday.
Reports currently list the deceased at 4, shot at approximately 8:10am by an unidentified attacker. Three children, ages 6-8, are fighting for their lives.  The French television network BFM said the dead included a school teacher, his two children, and a 17-year-old male student. The daughter of the school’s principal, who had been critically injured, has also succumbed to her wounds.
A man opened fire on people waiting at a school drop-off point and then fled, according to observers at the scene. A local French journalist told CNN that the attacker got close enough to shoot his victims in the head.Video surveillance cameras in the southwestern French city show a man in a helmet traveling on a black scooter, appearing to know  the city well.  Some reports indicate the shooter may have had tattoos on his face.
The city of Toulouse is on “lockdown” according to France 24 news, with a team of 50-60 police officers and counter-terror specialists scouring the city for the shooter.  French President Nicholas Sarkozy, Interior Minister Claude Guéant, and Education Minister Luc Chatel are expected to arrive in Toulouse shortly to monitor the situation.  Jewish institutions throughout the country are being afforded additional security by law enforcement.
Chief Rabbi of France Gilles Bernheim, issued a statment, saying: ‘I am horrified by what happened outside a Jewish school in Toulouse today. It has bruised my body and my soul. I am deeply upset and am heading to Toulouse.’
This incident comes days after three soldiers were shot dead by a man on a scooter in the same region of France.
A 30-year-old paratrooper was shot dead in a residential area of Toulouse just over a week ago, while two soldiers were killed and a third wounded as they used a cashpoint in the town of Montauban, some 29 miles away, on Thursday.
All the soldiers appear to have been ethnic minorities.
A correspondent at the scene for BFM said that the Police see a connection between the three incidents, citing the same weapon – 9mm gun – and black scooter used in all three attacks.  President Sarkozy said it is too early to connect the three events.
People in the area are in “immense shock,” the correspondent said.
There are currently at least 20 Ozar HaTorah schools throughout France, educating children of primarily Sephardic, Middle Eastern and North African descent.
The Ozar HaTorah organization was established in 1945 in Jerusalem.  It opened 29 schools in the British Mandate of Palestine, educating children until the founding of the State of Israel in 1948.
It subsequently opened schools in the Middle East and North Africa, including Iran, Syria, Libya. and Morocco. Ozar HaTorah also opened schools in France, due to a large influx of immigrants from North Africa in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Tiny Steps Towards a Big Goal

American and Israeli flags are hung up in Jerusalem
Often, when I return home to Israel after a speaking tour in North America, I am asked by my Israeli friends: “Nu, did you get people to make Aliyah?”
I explain that I prefer not to talk much about Aliyah while I am abroad. I try to get Jews to reawaken their love for the homeland, connect with the life in Israel and I find that the issue of Aliyah often distances my audience. Though I am a firm believer in the in-gathering of the exiles, when I speak to Jews around the world, I am trying to bridge worlds, not drive them apart.
Indeed, the biggest schism  in the Jewish world today is the great Atlantic Divide. Six million Jews live in North America, and six million live across the ocean in Israel. The Jewish nation exists in worlds apart: One attends Liberal Arts colleges, the other fights in the army; one speaks English, the other Hebrew; they read different books and watch different TV shows. The Jewish people’s geographic and cultural divide can easily become an unbridgeable gap.
North American Jews are concerned and have taken real steps to bridge the Atlantic Divide through one-year Yeshiva programs in Israel, gap year studies in Israeli universties, internship programs, and, of course, Birthright-Israel, the amazing project that has changed the lives of tens of thousands young Jews.
But still, it’s not enough. 80% of North American Jews have never been to Israel, and most Israelis have no connection to American Jewish life. That is why Israelis, people like outspoken author A.B. Yehoshua, are worried about their North American Jewish brothers and sisters. Israelis are afraid to lose their American family to assimilation, and they are afraid of growing apart.
While A.B. Yehoshua may be right about the problem, his recent harsh words (in which he calls American Jews “partial Jews” for not living in Israel) do not help much. There are no partial Jews, we are a family, a tribe, a nation, and we simply cannot allow our people to become disconnected. We should never talk down to Jews, we should talk up, inspire, and heal. To bring the family together, you need to talk in the language of love.
And you also need vision. Our people need a star to guide us toward one goal that will eventually bring us back together.
What is this vision?
The vision of a rebuilt Jerusalem is one which our people have shared ever since we were dispossessed of our land 2,000 years ago. From Addis Ababa to LA, from Kabul to Vienna, our people have always proclaimed “Next Year in a Rebuilt Jerusalem!” No matter where we are on the globe, no matter our persecution or comfort, we have had only one homeland and one capital to which our heart has belonged.
To foster that vision, and to make it applicable in our lives, we need to get behind the idea of mass Aliyah.
“But wait?? Didn’t you just tell us not to  preach Aliyah because it’s divisive?”
Let me explain: There is the grand ideal of making Aliyah, that is, moving to Israel, and that issue may be divisive. But the word “Aliyah” in Hebrew also refers to the process of going up and there are many steps in the staircase before you get to the landing. And that is exactly what we have to do – take steps towards our united goal with each step being a mini-Aliyah. Those steps can be big or small, but they are steps nonetheless. Deciding to drink only Israeli wine on Shabbat is a type of Aliyah. Putting up a poster of Jerusalem in your house, or a flag, is a type of Aliyah. Sending your kids on Birthright, or to studies in Israel is an Aliyah. Buying real-estate in Israel is definitely an Aliyah.
Aliyah means that we, as a nation, take whatever steps we can towards Jewish unity by recognizing the centrality of Israel in our national life.
And here is another example of mini-Aliyah which is very pertinent in this season:
If you have the budget to vacation this Passover, you certainly have many wonderful alternatives to choose from around the world -
“Celebrate Passover at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, Naples. Rich in tradition and excellence.”
“The Best Passover Vacations Under the Sun are in Mexico, Arizona and Florida. Glatt Kosher.”
“5 Deluxe Passover Resorts – in Florida, New York, Arizona & Italy with Leisure Time Tours.”
“Magical Passover 2012 Vacation in Orlando, Florida at the Luxurious Doubletree by Hilton Orlando at SeaWorld.”
These are great places, no doubt, and I totally understand the need to take one’s few precious vacation days and get away from the stress. However, your Passover vacation is also an opportunity to make a mini-Aliyah with your family and to arrive at the international Passover hub – Jerusalem. The term Aliyah actually comes from the concept of going up to Jerusalem three times a year during the Festivals, so coming to Israel on Passover is definitely an Aliyah!
Nothing shows our values as a nation more then the way we celebrate the Holiday of Freedom. When we choose Jerusalem over Orlando we strengthen the bond of brotherhood within the Jewish Nation, our core values shine through, and our children imbibe it. The world, too, notices when we put Jerusalem ahead of other destinations and it strengthens our nation’s claim to the land.
So this year, let us start making Aliyah as a nation, lets bridge the great Atlantic Divide, and let us make good on what we said at last year’s Seder: “Next year in Jerusalem”.
About the Author: Yishai Fleisher is the Managing Editor at the Jewish Press Online, and Israel's only English language broadcast radio show host (Galey Yisrael 106.5FM). Yishai is an Israeli Paratrooper, a graduate of Cardozo Law School, and the founder of Kumah ("Arise" in Hebrew), an NGO dedicated to promoting Zionism and strengthening Israel's national character. Yishai is married to Malkah, they have two children, and they live on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem.
Printed from:

The Groggers: It Ain’t Your Uncle Moishy’s Rock N’ Roll

The Groggers
The Groggers
Photo Credit: The Groggers promotional image
Modern-Orthodox Jewish comic Heshy Fried aka FrumSatire (last time I saw him was at the Stanton Street shul on the Lower East Side, and he emailed me a while back that he moved to LA) has been a fan of the Groggers for at least two years now, so I’m assigning him the honor of “discovering” them (as in, “Look at all the Groggers over there!”).
Fried wrote in Heeb Magazine that the Groggers were “possibly the first Orthodox Jewish band that doesn’t sound Jewish. (Expletive), even Matisyahu can’t go a few lines without throwing in some biblical verse. And don’t even get me started on the so-called Chabad hip hop movement. I was listening to the new album from The Groggers the other day and for the first time in my life I forgot I was listening to Jewish music. I thought for a second that I was listening to MXPX or New Found Glory. The Groggers are a Modern Orthodox Jewish punk rock band from Queens that sings about young Jewish angst.”
I agree with Heshy completely, and I’m only sorry that he got to them before I did, but that’s the way it is when you’re young and free and living on the West Coast. Yes, I share Heshy Fried’s enthusiasm for precisely the same reasons. So now you have to either go listen to all the Groggers YouTube tunes and then come back and read my conversation with Doug Staiman, the band leader, or read first and go later. Tell you what, I’ll throw in the clips and some lyrics as we proceed, because my mission here is to get you involved with this new phenomenon.
Is it still cool to say “phenomenon”?
Is it still cool to ask if things are “cool”?
The Groggers are a Jewish pop-punk band with a comic twist, based out of NYC, formed in early 2010 by singer/songwriter L.E. Staiman, and musicians Ari Friedman and Chemy Soibelman.
I called Doug Staiman, band leader of The Groggers, in early March, on a day when Israel’s southern towns were under heavy rocket fire. He sounded concerned and asked how I was doing.
The 4 Groggers
The 4 Groggers
Yanover: I’m okay, considering there are rockets flying in the air and alarms sounding… Otherwise things are cool, how are you?
Staiman: Good… What better time for a Groggers interview than during a missile attack…
Yanover: How are you feeling over there about the minor war we’ve been having?
Staiman: I support Israel and everything it does, especially its right to defend itself.
Yanover: Are you anxious?
Staiman: I have a lot of family in Israel. I have a cousin in the army and I have friends in the army. I’m always nervous…
Yanover: I heard about you from the publicist of the plastic surgeon you did that video commercial for. I have to say, I’ve watched three or four of your videos, I just finished watching the “Get” video, you’re definitely with it. I’m saying this even though I’m 57, so as far as I’m concerned, music ended in 1972 when the Beatles broke up…
Staiman: I’ve heard that before…
Yanover: Boomers are not easy to take, I realize that.
Staiman: So I’ve heard…
Yanover: We’re very self centered, so I apologize in advance. But you have social involvement in your art, you have political awareness, you’re frum in a very straight forward, unabashed and at the same time not compulsory way, you’re just you, I really liked it.
Staiman: Thank you, I really appreciate that.
Yanover: How did the whole thing begin?
Staiman: The band started when I moved to New York about four years ago—I’m 24—and I knew another friend’s band that was into the modern Jewish music theme, and I started exploring Jewish music a little bit and I had to do it my own way. So I wrote a couple of these slightly controversial, very honest Jewish satirical songs, and I would send out demos to friends. People appreciated them, but I also caught a lot of flack for it and people said it would never go anywhere because it’s too much of a niche and people who don’t understand might be offended by it. So, as a joke I made a video of the song “Get.”
You gotta get get get get Give her a get You gotta get get get get Give her a get You gotta get get get get Give her a get Cause she don’t love you no mo’
I think Its time to cut your losses And maybe cut the cord Its time to let her go Cause she seems miserable and bored And your friends think you’re a hero But your kids think you’re a joke And your lawyer won’t return your calls Because he knows you’re broke
You gotta get get get get Give her a get…
About the Author: Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth,,, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. Now he's here.
Printed from:

We Cease, They Fire

Israeli army officer examine a wall of a kindergarten hit by Qassam rocket.
Israeli army officer examine a wall of a kindergarten hit by Qassam rocket.
Photo Credit: Tsafrir Abayov/Flash90
At least 4 rockets attacks have been launched at Eshkol, Ashkelon, and Sha’ar  Ha’Negev since the cease fire began last night. Still, the rate of shooting has subsided substantially since last night Egypt was successful in mediating a ceasefire between Palestinian terror factions and Israel, after four days of rocket attacks into Israel which were met by Israeli highly effective airborne response.
An Egyptian official told AP that the ceasefire went into effect at 1 a.m. Tuesday local time. The official spoke on condition of anonymity, citing the volatility of the situation. A formal announcement of a cease-fire is not expected immediately. As first reported in the Scoops section, there were quite a number of false starts until it mostly took hold.
After hours of talks, the various Palestinian Jihadist groups agreed to stop launching rockets at southern Israeli cities and Israel agreed to stop targeting terrorist leaders from the air.
Israeli officials cited Israel’s longstanding policy of “answering quiet with quiet,” but it is expected that enough new rocket attacks would bring back renewed air strikes.
Gaza’s Hamas Islamist leadership, whose official policy denies Israel’s right to exist and revokes the Oslo peace accords, has nevertheless kept out of the fighting and appeared unwilling to provoke and even greater conflict with Israel. Hamas confirmed that Egypt was mediating a deal to stop the fighting.
The ceasefire agreement followed calls for calm from the US, the UN, China, France, the EU and the Arab League.
Israel said Gaza Jihadists had fired between 150-200 rockets in four days at its southern towns since the fighting began on Friday. Back then Israel killed a senior Islamic Jihad terrorist who was on his way to attack Israel from Egyptian territory. The same terrorist had been the commander of the terrorist group that abducted of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit
Eight Israelis were injured by the rockets. An exceptionally high 85% of targeted rockets were intercepted by Israel’s “Iron Dome” system.
According to Palestinian sources, twenty of the Palestinians killed in the fighting were terrorists who were caught in the act of launching rockets against Israeli civilians. Five Palestinian civilians were reportedly killed in the fire exchanges. The terrorist were launching strikes from populated areas to use the civilians as human shields.