Sunday, April 30, 2006


T'filat Chana, Hannah's Prayer

It was in Shiloh, my home, where Chana prayed to G-d for a son. Shiloh was the first capital of the Jewish Nation, a period which lasted 369 years, from Joshua to King David.

Ehud Olmert, who apparently will be Israel's next Prime Minister, wants to make Shiloh, the cradle of our nation, where some of the most fateful events in our Ancient History took place, Juden Rein, which means "empty of Jews."

Modern Jews returned to Shiloh almost thirty years ago. We have a vibrant community of over two hundred families, educational institutions and businesses. Ehud Olmert wants to "resettle" us in indefensible ghettos, as if we're chattel, his pawns in a losing game. My neighbors are from all over the world, a wonderful community to live in.

Pilgrims of all religions come to Shiloh to pray, just as the Biblical Chana did.
Read this story:

You might be wondering how I came across this Tefilos Chana card, printed in the very place where Chana davened for her son Shmuel, in Tel Shiloh. (And why I decided to offer it to A Time to be included in their pregnancy loss packet...)

When my first child was stillborn late in pregnancy, I searched for comfort wherever I could find it. The pain was unimaginable. In my haze of exhaustion (physical and emotional), I looked for answers. Why did this happen to me? Where was Hashem (G-d)? Why was my child taken from me? Why was I being punished? But the more I searched, the more I questioned, and the dread grew deeper and deeper. I was suffocating. Nobody understood the depth of my pain. People were hurtful and insensitive. The result: I alienated myself from family and friends.

But one day, I found understanding, in the place I'd least expect it. I found it in Chana. I happened upon a website, called Chana's prayer, where I read briefly about Chana’s struggle with infertility. I related to her. Peninah picked on her. She was so distraught, she had no appetite. Her grief was so real and so human. And in all her sorrow, she could find no solace, so she turned to the only place she could - Hashem. She cried bitter tears, laying the foundation for prayer for future generations. It made me realize how the affect of infertility and pregnancy loss has never changed. Perhaps psychologists have found new ways to classify our grief, or new methods for us to deal with our pain. But if we go back thousands of years, we find Chana, struggling with the same emotions.

The world has changed drastically, yet the reality of this particular loss (be it the loss of the dream of motherhood, or the physical loss of a child in pregnancy) has carried through generations. The next day I went straight to the bookstore and purchased the Book of Shmuel.

I read Chana's prayer, pouring my heart out as Chana had, asking Hashem for comfort. And I found it. Not because the pain was lessened or the loss was any different, but because I realized, there are no answers, but there is always prayer. There is prayer wherever there is Chana.

Chana stands for the 3 Mitzvos of a women. "Chet" for "Challah (baking the holiday bread)", "Nun" for "Niddah (the Jewish Laws of Family Purity)", and "Hey" for "Hadlakot Haneirot (lighting the Sabbath candles)".

Right there, in Chana's name, she shows us the 3 auspicious times for a women to pray. When she takes Challah, when she goes to the Mikvah, and when she lights the Shabbos candles.

The loss of a child, be it early on or late in pregnancy, is something so beyond our understanding. The pain is so real, yet there is little to ease it. When all the hurt, anger, bitterness and despair, fill me - that is precisely when I feel there is no where to turn but Hashem. The loss is beyond the comfort of friends or anything physical. And that's what made me realize, I need to turn to something greater than myself, greater than this world, because that is the only place I can find comfort. No-one, not even our parents, or our spouses, know the pain in our hearts. But Hashem, our creator, knows it all.

And so, with this awakening, I got in touch with a wonderful women, whose family lives in Shiloh, the place where the Mishkan was built and where Chana prayed for Shmuel. She sent me this lovely card, with the words of Chana, and I keep it close to me. When I make Challah, when I go to the Mikvah, and when I light Shabbos candles, I turn to Chana's Prayer, and say it from the depths of my heart.

When I feel like I'm drowning and I have no where to turn, I turned to Chana's Tefillah and I ask Hashem for comfort. And that is why I want to give it to you. Find comfort in Chana's understanding. Find comfort in prayer. Find comfort in Hashem.

For me, Chana's Tefillah bridged the gap of generations, and I imagine myself standing in prayer, just as she did, hoping that Hashem bestow upon me the blessing of children, as He did for her. You may wonder why I felt so connected to Chana. It's the understanding in my mind, the comfort in my soul, but it's more than that. My name, is Chana.

(Please feel free to put my letter in the packet with the Tefillas Chana Card).

Tuesday, April 25, 2006


Important Meeting--Mark Your Calendars!

From Judith Nussbaum:

The first Organ Donation Seminar in English will be held on Monday, June 12th at 8PM at the Israel Center on Keren Hayasod Street. I'm asking all my friends to try to attend and to bring friends and family.

The program is the following:

Prof. Etyan Mor, director of the Organ Transplantation Unit at Beilinson Hospital, Petach Tikva, will address the group on "Organ Donation and Transplantation in Israel"
Robert Berman of HODS will speak on the "Halachic Aspects of Organ Donations"
A representative of ADI, not yet confirmed, will speak about the Organ Donation Cards
And I will briefly tell my story, and read a brief message from Martin Filla, my donor.

Then we will answer questions and distribute the ADI organ donation cards to anyone who is interested.The program is planned to last two hours.

Please mark the date on your calendars. I will send out additional notices closer to the date.

Monday, April 24, 2006


re: the recent Israeli Elections

Here's an excellent article from Arutz 7, by Yedidya Atlas:

Postmortem: Israel's 2006 Elections

Apr 23, '06 / 25 Nisan 5766
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This postmortem analysis is an after-the-campaign report to all those who were involved in implementing a national campaign to prevent a leftist victory in the Israeli 2006 elections, with all its ramifications.

Approximately two months prior to the elections, it became clear to concerned people on the ideological right that the new party of then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon posed an existential threat to the State of Israel should they garner the number of expected Knesset seats (44-45) then being predicted by the various polls promoted by Israel's leading media vehicles. It was further obvious that the various parties on the right of the Israeli political spectrum - including, and perhaps especially, the Likud - seemed (and later proved) incapable of launching a successful campaign to alter the media-advocated results before the fact. The last important point was that Kadima, a party comprised of opportunistic and corrupt politicians with no binding ideology (in fact, no ideology at all beyond a secular left-wing agenda), was a party without infrastructure, few if any field workers, and relied solely on gifted PR manipulators and massive media promotion; i.e., without the across-the-board overt advocacy of the Israeli media, Kadima would have sunk significantly in the polls.

After intensive and professional research to determine who made up the Kadima voter base - from which parties they came – and what issues did or didn't move them, etc., a campaign finally revved up barely six weeks prior to the elections. The campaign was on two fronts: a challenge to the nearly total active support of the media for Kadima; and face-to-face meetings throughout the key target areas to convince potential voters to not vote Left and to vote for the Right.

It is not the purpose of this analysis to elaborate the operational details of what was done. Rather, I will concentrate on the following:
1. what major difficulties activists were faced with;
2. what was accomplished;
3 what said activists failed to achieve; and
4. what is to be done now.

The major difficulties were:
a. lack of time;
b. insufficient resources in real time;
c. an absence of a positive campaign; i.e., for a particular candidate that would galvanize active support and votes; and
d. a shell-shocked or lackadaisical voting public.

In order to appreciate what was accomplished in practice, it must first be clear that this campaign more or less rose from Israel's grassroots almost in place of the various party-based campaigns, which even later on never seemed to really take off. Moreover, this campaign began without a budget, gathering basic minimum resources along the way. The campaign was, by its very nature, a negative campaign aimed at reducing support for Kadima and then hopefully shifting said support back to the right-oriented parties, primarily the Likud. This latter aspect was particularly difficult because of Binyamin Netanyahu's own lackluster and confused campaign waged by the Likud, which was hampered from day one by Netanyahu's mixed messages and his deliberate inability to declare a nationalist policy with clarity.

Following the Gush Katif and northern Samaria expulsion, executed by a Likud-led government and in utter betrayal of its voters and even its party members, many people simply "turned off" and refused to be involved in the elections on any level, including voting. They were shell-shocked by the electoral betrayal, the blatant corruption and the apparent ease and ruthlessness with which the expulsion was implemented. Only after the "Amona incident" was part of the nationalist camp's foot soldiers reawakened.

Meanwhile, arrayed against the grassroots was virtually the entire Israeli media, whose pro-Kadima campaign went into overdrive after Ariel Sharon's stroke and Ehud Olmert's ascension to party leadership.

The following is an excerpt of an article published on April 14, 2006 in Haaretz and written by left-wing columnist Ari Shavit, which documents the above in stark terms:
"You know full well, Mr. Prime Minister [Olmert], that your selection was to a
great extent unfair. Had the Israeli media done its job faithfully, you would
not have been elected. Your arrogance, your colorful lifestyle, your
appointments, the affairs connected with you and your failure as mayor of
Jerusalem would have prevented your election. But you are after all the most
networked politician in Israel. You have at your disposal a safety net of
several of the newspaper owners, and you have at your disposal a safety net of
several of the newspaper editors, and you have at your disposal a safety net of
many of the senior journalists. These nets did their part. They caused part of
the Israeli media outlets to operate in the election campaign not as your
critics, but as your security guards. If Sharon was a precious citron in cotton
wool, you were a diamond in a safe. From every quarter, your well-being and
comfort were looked after. You were led to the prime minister's bureau in an
investigation-proof limousine."

Campaign accomplishments
Despite the above, a broad campaign was created and pursued. It faced with the following possibilities:
a. a left-wing victory - a serious and dangerous possibility;
b. a right-wing/religious victory - a possibility only if people voted; or
c. a situation where no one wins a clear victory - a probability.

While activists tried hard to achieve the second possibility, for the reasons listed above, they were unable to do so. However, in six weeks they did succeed in denying the Left their clear-cut victory.

The grassroots campaign, in addition to and in cooperation with the campaigns waged by the parties right of center, brought Kadima down from a high of 45 seats down to 29. While not a stellar success per se, the inability of Olmert and Kadima to form a government of the Left was a tactical victory of sorts. The only semi-stable government he can form is a quasi-paralyzed coalition government, with his party platform severely watered down, and his government's ability to carry out his stated goal of mass expulsion of Jews from the communities in Judea and Samaria crippled. To what degree, time will tell.

Meanwhile, valuable time has been bought during which many things can happen - from expanded war with our Palestinian Arab terrorist non-partners (inevitable), to development of global issues with Iran, et al (apparently also inevitable), to simply a freeze of the status quo despite much verbal posturing. This, together with an economic crash as the recently restored fragile national treasury gets looted between the Kadima crooks and the Labor Bolsheviks. The latter is certainly probable owing to the contrasting policies between potential and probable coalition partners, whether on economic issues or in relation to national defense and ideological direction.

What we failed to achieve
For the reasons stated above, the aforementioned campaign did not succeed in denying Kadima first crack at forming the coalition government, and obviously failed to achieve a victory by the Right/religious coalition of parties.

Had the elections taken place a month later, it is probable that we would be witness to a right/religious victory, but, of course, said time did not exist. A key failure was the inability, despite massive efforts, to convince the potential voters that represent as many as 10 potential right-wing Knesset seats not to stay home on Election Day.

While there was success in shifting most of the Likud-originating voters from voting Kadima (originally estimated at 37% of Kadima's voting base), it is a matter of record that the campaign failed to convince more than a third of these voters to vote, period. The low turnout particularly hurt the Likud. As stated previously, this was due to the Sharon betrayal, and to Netanyahu and other top Likud ministers who simply wimped out and buckled under Sharon's pressure; and then, in the post-Sharon Likud, Netanyahu made almost every mistake possible in his campaign, especially refusing to be perceived as a clear nationalist alternative candidate to Olmert's left-wing-oriented Kadima platform.

What is to be done now?
From the campaign's limited success, it is clear that it is imperative to continue to wage the war with the principal Israeli media outlets, by offering and expanding the Jewish-Zionist alternative media tailored to all the various population sectors in Israel.

It means developing alternative newspapers, radio and television programming. The advent and rapid expansion of the Internet as a source of public information is part of the answer. This is especially so in the imminent (3-5 years) dominance of digital TV broadcasting. However, in the short term, weekly newspapers and alternative electronic broadcast methods are a must for the next several years.

A significant grassroots campaign (i.e., "face-to-face" meetings, public stands, free bus tours to Judea and Samaria, etc.) can only be successful if backed and promoted by sympathetic media.

Activists must begin the campaign for the next elections now. Not in two years, not two to three months before the election, but immediately. Such a focused campaign will whittle away at the influence of the Left-dominated Israeli media. It will strengthen the right-wing opposition and those right-leaning and religious parties that join the next coalition government (assuming Olmert succeeds in putting it together).

Moreover, as one of the major difficulties faced was a lack of credible and charismatic leadership on the Right - in all of the various parties - it will help significantly in building support for better candidates (even among the existing MKs) to achieve the necessary leadership positions in their respective parties.

If activists do not build now on what was accomplished, they can only blame themselves in the future if they fail to revitalize a weary nation and effect the sorely needed positive change.

Sunday, April 23, 2006


Is this the true reason for Disengagement?

For those who keep asking why "G-d allowed" the Jewish communities of Gush Katif and Northern Shomron to be destroyed... It seems like it was needed to show what the Arabs are really like, because now there are Israeli leftists who are starting to comprehend how foolish and dangerous Disengagement was. And now they're saying that Olmert's Resettlement (Convergence) Plan, to deport and exile innocent, law-abiding Jews from their homes in Judea and Samaria, may be a very serious mistake.

Left-Wing Writers Against Olmert's Unilateral Withdrawal Plans

13:52 Apr 23, '06 / 25 Nisan 5766
by Hillel Fendel

Journalists Yoel Marcus, a prominent dove and left-wing apologist, and Sever Plocker, pro-Disengagement commentator for Yediot Acharonot, are no longer sure they support Olmert's plan to quit Yesha.

Marcus wrote in Haaretz last week, "In light of the fact that the evacuation of Gush Katif put Hamas in office, increased the Kassams, and Israel is still in Gaza with artillery - and maybe soon with tanks - I suddenly doubt if the Ehud Olmert government will be able to evacuate 60 thousand settlers."

Dr. Aaron Lerner of IMRA noted that the article, which appeared only in the Hebrew edition of Haaretz, was written by a man who devoted the past years encouraging Ariel Sharon to retreat from the Gaza Strip.

A more detailed exposition against Olmert's unilateral convergence plan was penned by Sever Plocker, the Chief Economics Editor and Member of the Editorial Board of the daily Yediot Aharonot. Commenting in the past in favor of Ariel Sharon's disengagement plan, Plocker wrote that it was "a first step – and not a last step – ahead of a return to [Israel's] proper borders." Now, however, he feels that the lessons of the Disengagement indicate otherwise.

Plocker's article on Ynet last week was entitled, "Disengagement Lessons: Flawed Pullout Predictions Should Make Olmert Rethink His Plan." The article states: "...Almost nothing has materialized in the way supporters of the Disengagement promised us would happen. The Gaza Strip did not calm down and the Palestinian Authority did not take matters there into its own hands in order to establish the Middle Eastern Hong Kong... Armed gangs rule the narrow, derelict refugee camp streets. The only manufacturing activity is the industry of flying iron tubes that are launched to short distances... The handing over of the border crossing with Egypt to Palestinian control also failed to lead to the expected results. The border is rather porous, checks are inadequate, and smuggling is rampant. There too, the Palestinians failed to implement their sovereignty... The Palestinian Authority did not use the months between Israel's withdrawal and the general elections in order to reinforce its hold among Gaza residents. It was busy with internal power struggles. The elections were decided in favor of Hamas... [E]ven the official Hamas has given up in the face of Gaza's collapse and left it to face its destiny.

"And Israel, even though it removed its army and settlements, and even though it closed down the crossings to the movement of goods, is still stuck with Gaza as if it was a huge bone in its throat. We didn't disengage: What is happening, and particularly what is not happening, in Gaza, continues to haunt us. The responsibly over it, in the eyes of the world and in some ways in our own view, has not been lifted from Israel...

"Did Israel gain from the disengagement? Less than what its planners hoped. The United States didn't grant us even one cent in economic aid, even though in various phases of preparation for the withdrawal and upon the pullout, much was said about a special $2 billion grant. As of today, there's no grant. "For a short while, Israel enjoyed international sympathy, with the pullout perceived as the start of a large-scale unilateral withdrawal. Yet the sympathy is slowly evaporating, particularly following Ariel Sharon's illness. Ehud Olmert may discover that the attitude to a Sharon-made disengagement is very different than the world's approach to an Olmert-made one. The first one fascinated the world because it appeared to be a personal sea change by a hawkish leader tired of war. The second one, Olmert's pullout, would look like - and already looks like - as an act by a centrist politician whose party received about a quarter of the vote in the recent elections.

"...Would Israel really be able to unilaterally set its border vis-vis the Palestinians, a border they or the world would not accept? Would Israel be able to 'converge' into 'settlement blocs' in the West Bank and annex them? Who would finance such a move, which would cost tens of billions of shekels and not be perceived as a solution to anything? Who would prevent a tragic rift among the people? And what would be left behind in Palestine following a pretend-Israeli-withdrawal coupled with pretend-annexation? ..."


Anita Tucker, post-Passover letter

Dear friends,
I need to pour my heart out to you, so I hope you have the patience to hear me .

The optimism that comes with the upcoming Pesach holiday atmosphere has passed .
we are now in semi mourning because of the Sefirah period -in addition we have Yom Hashoa,Holocaust Day and Yom Hazikaron,Memorial Day coming up.
Then there is yom Ha'Atzmaut that will be a bit of a confusing holiday ,especially for our Gush Katif youth. They are confused as to their relationship to the IDF and to the official State of Israel.
How can the present government represent the spring signs of our national redemption when it has acted and plans to act so immorally and so far from Torah?

No wonder everyone of my friends I meet here in our Netzer Hazani's temporary exile in Ein Tzurim -today seem a bit struck down with post -Pesach syndrome.

Yes ,in spite of the threatening letter we had received from the Sela commision and the Prime ministers office that not one of the "disengaged "would be left in a hotel or guesthouse after Shabbat Hagadol - the caravillas, the temporary cardboard houses were not ready in time --and having no real choice -we were told we would be staying here longer. No letter this time .Now they are working on them at a snails pace.

One of the advantages of being in Galut-Exile Ein Tzurim is that all that my husband Stuart and I had to clean for Pesach was our little 3x3.5 meter room.

I was busy talking to groups and taking around guests from Jerusalem and from USA that wanted to visit with the people of Gush Katif and personally give their caring and support before the Pesach holiday.

Yes , there are many caring people out there who acted on their caring.
A group of people made sure that every family received a carton of grape juice and chocolates for the holiday .

Someone else who realized that we in Netzer Hazani would not yet have access to our containers and therefore would not have Haggadot -distributed them to us.
Others made sure we had shmurah matzot for the chag.
Yet others made sure that every family received a cash gift that would enable them buy what is needed for the holiday and perhaps even splurge a bit -like in the good old days.
Others graciously volunteered to subsidize the pre -pesach tiyul-trip for those youth for those whose cash flow was a problem.

So many people care--- and yet so many don't ...

Nothing to clean left me much more time for thinking.

Last year the week before Erev Pesach ,and many years before, I worked really hard .No ,not cleaning my big home .
The week before Pesach was the height of the celery marketing season to fill the needs for ''Karpas ''for the Jewish market in Israel ,USA and europe.
I loved that green color of the celery- the color of renewel of spring and I saw it touched and smelled it all day every day the weeks before Pesach .
The harder I worked the more renewed and refreshed I felt. We picked sorted wrapped, planted non stop.

This year this feeling of spring was not there for me in the same intensity. There was not a feeling of renewal ,of refreshness .
It will yet be again!

My husband, as every year ,bought the Ashkenazi white root for maror which I grated in my daughters home in Talmon where we were for the seder.
As the bitterness caused my eyes to tear I knew that I definitely did not need this sign to remind me of bitter times in Egypt.
I had shed those tears and felt first hand my share of bitter times this year.

The Matzah didn't have it's usual meaning this year as leaving in a hurry didn't speak to me .
For a few from GK it perhaps did .
There were a few who when they realized that the Sharon gov't was really going to destroy our homes and businessess, did all possible to rush to take out what they could before the area was closed off and left in a big hurry. They didn't have the energy nor the time for their bread to leaven either.

I , felt that I needed to linger as long as possible. I felt that my job was to provide God with a little exra time time -to show my faith ,so that if God wanted to save this piece of Eretz Yisrael -at least I did all I could to enable this.

We had seen our share of miracles .

There wasn't much need for our grandchildren to ask why this night was different than any other night . Because it was obvious to them that this Leil Haseder was different than previous ones.

On most other Leil Haseders all our children and grandchildren were our guests for the seder.
This time only half of us were together , the others in various other places , and this time we were guests and not hosts. The hosts were great ,of course .

There was one only part of the seder that this year was still very special for me .
All my varied wild experiences of this year have not given me this completely.
Yes we did leave en masse and went up to Jerusalem to pray near the remnants of the destroyed Beit Hamikdash.
Enoying the Pesach and chagiga sacrifices and the feeling of all Am Yisrael in unity we have not yet experienced at all .
I thought ,please dear God help us reach that point soon because what happened to us in Gush Katif must never happen to any one else ever again.

Just as we recall "we were enslaved in Egypt and now we are the sons of the free"--we all know that as hard as we try we can't possibly feel that enslavement the Jews in Egypt felt.
I see the temporary caravillas nearby and I know that we will in the future build new homes and a new community in the new area we are planning --but sometimes ... I suddenly recall my lifetime home in GK and recall the bulldozers destroying it ,my greenhouses and the lush vegetables growing in them- yes I feel sad --I feel like singing sadly " we were free and now we are enslaved "--
as much as so many care ,no one who has not experienced it can really feel that feeling of the 25 communities being destroyed -
At that very most very "down" moment I B"H feel that I get my strength and optimism back!
Yes ! We are enslaved now !, We are enslaved in our inability to care enough, in not having enough courage , in not finding ways to unite with all those who believe in God and the Torah.

We must and will become free enough to have the self confidence and courage to stand up straight and all say loudly and clearly -What was and is being done to the people of Gush Katif and to our dear land of Israel is IMMORAL !
It must never be done to anyone else in Eretz Yisrael. Not in Talmon,not in Tekoah ,not in Tel Aviv!

Certainly then, we will have proven that we are ready to be part of our true renewal as a nation ,with unity and with faith in He who lead us to these better times .
Then, hopefully, we will understand the good in all that we are experiencing now .

There is no doubt that our being here in Eretz Yisrael is what makes all the difference to me in the experiences of this last year --our exile from our homes is within Eretz Yisrael .
Our bitter -maror experience is within Eretz Yisrael.

It feels as if Hakadosh Baruch Hu is helping us to yearn more for every tiny spot in Eretz Yisrarel -like a refining process.

Perhaps this awful yearning I now feel for each and every small piece of Netzer Hazani, Katif ,Ganei tal ,Neve Dekalim ,etc etc. is the real "Tzipiah Lageula" , the yearning for the Redemption.

Anyone who visited Chomesh and Sanur surely now yearns for them .
From those two locations we saw all of our history and future as on the palm of the hand.

The frightening and cruel threats of tearing Tekoah, Shiloh ,Talmonim and so many towns from us - must immediatey make us yearn enough for these places.

Perhaps if we all really yearn enough for them now they won't be taken from us?

Hopefully Netzer Hazani will settle in a new town we will build near Yesodot, in Nahal Soreq , but certainly sometime in the future our grandchildren will realize our yearning and will rebuild new towns in Nahal Gerar, atop the ruins of of the past .
We all yearn so much for the Geulah !

Best wishes for a good summer,

Sunday, April 16, 2006


West Bank Withdrawal 'Disastrous' for Terror War by Aaron Klein

West Bank Withdrawal 'Disastrous' for Terror War

By Aaron Klein

WorldNetDaily.comApril 14, 2006

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's plan to withdraw from
most of the West Bank is AGAINST the INTERESTS of America's WAR
on terrorism, will prompt a ROCKET WAR AGAINST major Israeli CITIES,
and will result in Christians and Jews being BARRED from key West Bank holy sites
, warned popular radio host Rusty Humphries.

Humphries just returned from a week-long trip to Israel where he met with terror leaders from Hamas and the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, interviewed former Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres, and toured several West Bank Jewish communities slated for evacuation.

"I thought the civilized world learned its lesson about appeasement from Hitler, but clearly we haven't," said Humphries, speaking to WND from his home in Florida outside Disney World.

"The terrorists attacked. Israel retreated and gave them the Gaza Strip. Now Hamas has been propelled to power promising to get the Palestinians the West Bank. Rockets are being launched almost daily from Gaza, which has become a terror sanctuary for even America's enemies, including al-Qaida, according to many reports. Attacks are being stepped up in the West Bank, and in response Israel is planning to retreat next from there."

Continued Humphries: "The MESSAGE being sent loud and clear is that TERRORISM WORKS. I've talked with the terrorists. They tell me they won't stop until they get Jerusalem and Tel Aviv and all of Israel. And
you know what? I believe them. Why should they stop when Israel responds by giving them more territory?"

Olmert's Kadima Party won last month's parliamentary elections here. The new prime minister has announced he aims to complete his West Bank withdrawal plan before President Bush leaves office in 2009.

The West Bank borders most major Israeli cities and is within rocket firing range of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Israel's international airport.

"Originally, I didn't have a dog in the fight," explained Humphries. "I am not Jewish or Muslim. I just wanted to figure out the problems and see if there could be a peaceful solution. So I studied the history and read the news and listened to what the politicians on both sides had to say." The Israelis believe if they GIVE UP LAND they will get peace. But LISTEN to the tone of the Palestinian media, education system, they say the WITHDRAWAL FROM GAZA HASN'T MADE a BIT of a DIFFERENCE TO THEM EXCEPT that it WHET THEIR APPETITES for MORE. ALL they CARE ABOUT about is the DESTRUCTION of the Jewish state. They WONT be SATISFIED until that HAPPENS," said Humphries.Humphries PREDICTED Israel's WITHDRAWAL FROM the WEST BANK WILL LEAD to a MASSIVE ESCALATION in TERRORISM."

The West Bank borders and is above many major Israeli cities.
When Israel gets out, the rockets will start flying into Jerusalem,
and the VIOLENCE WILL GET OUT OF HAND because the terrorists
will believe their tactics got them Gaza and the West Bank so why
not Jerusalem and the rest of Israel."

The radio host said he is worried the withdrawal will DAMAGE

"I am afraid NOT JUST about ISRAEL but also about the rest of
Western world. Terrorists all over will take notice. They will see a
democratic country RETREATING in the FACE of TERRORISMand
it will TEACH them that TERRORISM WORKS. It will MOTIVATE
the terrorists to USE the SAME TACTICS in other places – that if
just the RIGHT AMOUNT of TERRORISM is APPLIED in Iraq and
Afghanistan and EVENTUALLY WORLDWIDE it will cause the WEST

"The Rusty Humphries Show," live from 9 p.m. to 12 a.m. Eastern, is featured on more than 230 radio stations nationwide, including WDBO in Orlando, WCBM in Baltimore, KSFO in San Francisco, KOKC in Oklahoma City, WNIS in Norfolk, KHBZ in Honolulu and KVI in Seattle.

Humphries last week interviewed Mohammad Abu Tir, the No. 2
Hamas leader in the newly formed Palestinian Authority government.
He also met in Bethlehem with gun-toting leaders of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, currently the most active Palestinian terror group.

He toured a series of West Bank Jewish communities and conducted an interview in Israel's Knesset with former Prime Minister PERES, an ARCHITECT of the 1993 Oslo Peace Accords and a leading Kadima strategist.

Peres told Humprhies the West Bank withdrawal was necessary "because Israel cannot continue to govern another people. The Palestinians need a state."

"I FEEL SORRY for the man," said Humphries, referring to Peres.

The ONLY EMOTION I have toward Peres is sadness, because once HE GIVES UP the West Bank it WILL LEAD to JERUSALEM and the RESTof Israel."About 200,000 Jews live in the West Bank. A separation barrier, still under construction in certain areas, cordons off nearly 95 percent of the territory from Israel's pre-1967 borders. More than half the West Bank's Jewish residents reside on the side of the fence closest to Israel. About 80,000 more Jews live on the other side of the barrier. Olmert officials have stated the past few weeks the acting prime minister plans to enforce a withdrawal from all 68 Jewish towns that fall outside the barrier.

Many villages in the West Bank, which Israelis commonly refer to as
the "BIBLICAL HEARTLAND," are mentioned throughout the Torah,
including areas now slated for evacuation under Olmert's plan.

The book of Genesis says Abraham entered Israel at Shechem (Nablus) and received God's promise of land for his offspring. He later was buried in the West Bank town of Hebron, home to the Tomb of the Patriarchs, considered the second holiest site to Judaism.

The nearby town of Beit El, anciently called Bethel meaning "house of God," is where Scripture says the patriarch Jacob slept on a stone pillow and dreamed of angels ascending and descending a stairway to heaven. In that dream, God spoke directly to Jacob and reaffirmed the promise of territory.

And in Exodus, the holy tabernacle rested in Shiloh, believed to be the first area the ancient Israelites settled after fleeing Egypt.

Commented Humphries: "Even for people who don't think Jews should have a homeland, EVERY religious CHRISTIAN out there needs to be CONCERNED that Israel is GIVING these COMMUNITIES– which contain HOLY SITES – to the Palestinians. The one thing I have seen is that WHEN JEWS ARE IN CONTROL of Christian sites, I as a Christian CAN GO and VISIT. But when Muslims have CONTROL I am EITHER NOT ALLOWED or am GREATLY RESTRICTED. Either Muslims have to give up their SELFISH attitude OR they CANNOT be given ANY AUTHORITY over OTHER RELIGIONS' HOLY SITES."

Humprhies pointed to RESTRICTIONS placed BY the CURRENT Muslim custodians of the Temple Mount, which BAR Jewish and Christian visitors to the holy site during most hours of the day and DURING ALL Christian, Muslim and Jewish holidays. Non-Muslims are also bared from praying aloud on the Mount and cannot bring holy objects to the site.Humphries also referenced what he called the "sad history" of Palestinians taking over West Bank holy areas.In October 2000, after Israeli troops EVACUATED the city of Nablus as a PEACEMAKING GESTURE, scores of Palestinians stormed into the Joseph's Tomb compound and DESTROYED the SITE believed to be the BURIAL place of the biblical patriarch Joseph – the son of Jacob who was sold by his brothers into slavery and later became the viceroy of Egypt.

Within HOURS of the Israeli WITHDRAWAL, SMOKE was seen billowing
FROM the TOMB as a Muslim crowd burned Jewish prayer books and
other HOLY OBJECTS. Palestinians used PICKAXES, HAMMERS and
later BULLDOZERS to TEAR APART the stone building. The dome of
the tomb was painted green, and a MOSQUE was SUBSEQUENTLY

The Palestinians and the Arab world ONLY UNDERSTAND STRENGTH
and POWER. WHEN Israel is STRONG IT IS RESPECTED. But when it is WEAK and it RETREATS its enemies will SMELL FEAR and they WILL POUNCE."

Aaron Klein is WorldNetDaily's Jerusalem bureau chief, whose past interview
subjects have included Yasser Arafat, Ehud Barak, Mahmoud al-Zahar and
leaders of the Taliban.


WWW.MEMRITV.ORG Kuwait/Reform Project

This rare and untypical letter should be read and forwarded to your friends.Shalom from Max
WWW.MEMRITV.ORG Kuwait/Reform Project
April 12, 2006

Kuwaiti Reformist: The Muslims - Not bin Laden - are Responsible for the Hatred towards Them in the West .

Dr. Ahmad Al-Baghdadi, a reformist Kuwaiti intellectual and political science lecturer at Kuwait University, argues that the Muslims themselves - not bin Laden - are responsible for the rising hatred against them around the world. He says that Muslims living in the West have failed to repay the kindness of the countries that accepted them, and instead have followed the lead of the Muslim clerics and threatened to attack these countries from within. He adds that Muslims in the West must declare that they accept Western values and sever their ties with Muslims in the East, and with the religious clerics.

The following are excerpts from Al-Baghdadi's article :( 1)

The Muslims are the Ones Who Failed to Present a Positive Image of Islam

"Osama bin Laden is a terrorist, criminal, murderer and villain, and every other inhuman description applies to him as well. However, he is definitely not responsible for the rising [level] of hatred towards Muslims in the West. This hatred is reflected in numerous new measures that have recently been adopted by Western governments in an effort to stop the stream of Muslims entering America and Europe. The governments also implement laws that limit freedoms and violate human rights as another precaution, to protect the safety of their citizens...

"Even though Muslims boast that Islam is the [fastest]-growing religion in America and in the West... it is [actually] the religion that is most incomprehensible to the Europeans and the Americans.

"What is truly saddening is that Islam is being associated with terrorism due to the terrorists' frequent use of Koranic verses and hadiths to justify their terrorist actions...

"Statements made by preachers in the mosques, in articles and on various media channels accusing non-Muslims of heresy, the [preachers'] curses, and their characterization of Jews as the descendents of apes and pigs - [all these] cause Westerners to perceive Islam as an intolerant religion that rejects religious pluralism.

"The Muslims, therefore, are responsible for the distorted image of Islam prevalent in the modern West, and they are the ones who failed to present a positive image of Islam. Thus, they are responsible for the problems experienced by the Muslims today...

"Among those who incite to jihad, have you seen a single one who set out [to wage jihad] himself, or sent one of his sons to wage jihad for the sake of Allah? On the contrary - while encouraging innocent people to wage jihad in Iraq and in Chechnya, they themselves take additional wives..."

"What Do You Expect the West to Do When it sees its Citizens Being Murdered in the Name of Religion?"

"Osama bin Laden didn't force anyone to go to Iraq, murder its people and destroy its institutions. He didn't force anyone to murder innocent people in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, America and Europe. Bin-Laden did not tell the Muslims in the West: 'Hate the country that gave you shelter when you fled [from your homelands], made you rich when you were poor, fed you when you were hungry, gave you freedom after the bondage you suffered in your Muslim countries, and educated you when you were ignorant.'

"You caused all these catastrophes out of your own choice and your own free will... and failed to repay the kindness [shown to you]. So what do you expect the West [to do] when it sees its citizens being murdered in the name of religion, when it [experiences] hatred in the name of religion and suffers the damages of terrorism [perpetrated] in the name of religion? It is only natural that the West should hate you and tighten the rope around your necks, so you do not 'invade it from within' as you declare in your announcements and sermons...

"The truth that we must deal with today is that people in the West no longer trust Muslims in general. The Muslims in the West must therefore sever their ties with the Muslims in the east, and repair their relations with the Western societies by announcing that they accept the humane values on the basis of which they were received in the West. They must also sever their ties with the religious clerics and their fatwas...

"If they fail to do this, they must bear the consequences and the difficulties that will ensue. They must not blame bin Laden and Al-Zarqawi, but [only] themselves for being driven, in ignorance, by the views of the clerics..."

(1) , March 20, 2006.

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MEMRI holds copyrights on all translations. Materials may only be used with proper attribution.

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Iran’s Biological Warfare Program by By Israel Zwick

Iran’s Biological Warfare Program
By Israel Zwick

Authors Note: The following is the second installment in the adventures of Israeli intelligent agent, Mikhail Abramovitch. The first story was titled “Prisoner Exchange” and can be found at . While the story below is fictitious to maintain reader interest, the data presented is all real, documented, and very alarming. Don't forget the link to the source in defense-update. People want to see that so they know that I didn't make it all up, even though we don't have official corropboration from USA. However, John Bolton mentioned it an address to Congress.

Mikhail: Yuval, I got here as quickly as I could. What’s the emergency?
Yuval: Mikhail, we’re going to have to change your assignment. Your plane leaves in two hours.
Mikhail: But I was just beginning to get some great information. Why now?
Yuval: I know. Your information has been very valuable. But you know those Palestinian officials who have been buying your Armani suits and French perfumes?
One of them found out that you’re working for us and they have already assigned their best assassination team to get you. You probably know them. Some of them were released with the last prisoner exchange.
Mikhail: I thought Sharon said that he wasn’t going to release any prisoners with blood on their hands.
Yuval: I’m truly sorry that you can’t complain to Sharon, but we had no choice. Those guys are pros, they don’t leave their business cards at a job. We had no evidence to hold them. But we’re keeping an eye on them, if they get out of line, we’ll arrange a “work accident” for them.
Mikhail: But what about my family?
Yuval: Don’t worry. We thought about that already. We sent two agents to pick up your kids from school and bring them home. Your house is surrounded by a dozen Golani troops and there’s a helicopter gunship patrolling above. They’re safe.
Mikhail: So what’s the plan?
Yuval: You and your family will board an APC waiting in front of your house. You’ll join a 10-vehicle convoy, which will act as a decoy. The convoy will be escorted by two helicopter gun ships with orders to shoot at anything that acts suspicious. When the convoy breaks up, your APC will take you and your family to our private jet. The jet will take you to Budapest. From then on, you’ll be working for Mossad.
Mikhail: Why Budapest?
Yuval: Mossad runs a document center there. It’s operated by a woman who used to work for Wallenberg.
Mikhail: Wallenberg? That was 60 years ago. She must be 100 years old!
Yuval: Not quite, but you’re not that far off. She’s still sharp as a whistle. We wish we had more like her. She runs the operation out of an old second-hand bookstore. While you’re browsing through the books, she’ll prepare all the documents you need. Don’t worry about the janitor, that’s her bodyguard – one of Mossad’s best. When you have your documents, you’ll be briefed, then taken to a Russian plane going to Tehran. Your family will be safe and comfortable in Budapest.
Mikhail: Why Tehran? What kind of place is that for a nice Jewish boy?
Yuval: We have good evidence that the Iranians have an advanced Biological Weapons Program, which was started by the Russians, but the Russians are cooperating with us now. The Iranians are hiring hundreds of microbiology technicians so the Russians approached us, and we recommended you. This is right up your alley, you have a PhD in microbial genetics.
Mikhail: What kind of evidence do you have?
Yuval: On May 15, 2003, Mossad agents intercepted a meeting at the Willard Hotel in Washington, DC. ( The meeting was between Alireza Jafarzadeh and Soona Samsami of the National Council of the Resistance of Iran (NCRI). They outlined all the details of the Iranian Biological Weapons Program including locations and names of officers in charge. They said that Iran is producing anthrax, aflatoxin, smallpox virus, plague microbes, and chloromicrobes. According to Jafarzedah, “The Iranian regime is capable of delivering deadly blows and inflicting massive casualties, human casualties.”
Mikhail: Do you have any evidence to support those claims?
Yuval: On April 4, 2004, Mossad agents intercepted a Defense Update News Commentary ( which detailed the entire Iranian Biological Weapons Program. It included nine pages of names, locations, and details. We believe that their capability is even greater today.
Mikhail: Well if you have all of that information, then what do you need me for? I would rather visit my family in Brighton Beach than go to Tehran.
Yuval: Don’t be such a wise guy! You do a good job in Tehran and we’ll send you to a nicer beach in Hawaii. We need you to confirm the data. Most of the information was supplied by the National Council of Resistance of Iran in 2003. We don’t know how reliable that information is. The CIA couldn’t confirm it, but they verified other reports from NCRI. So we need you to get inside and tell us what’s going on. You’re ready?
Mikhail: Actually, I was planning to take my wife to see the new Spielberg movie tonight. I heard it’s very intriguing.
Yuval: I’d love to chat with you some more but we’re on a tight schedule. Your pilot is waiting to take off at 17:00 hours sharp and it costs a lot of money to keep those helicopters in the air. Hatzlacha Rabbah, L’shona Haba B’Hawaii.

Friday, April 14, 2006


just in case they take this off the web

from Ha'aretz:

Last update - 08:20 14/04/2006
Olmert: Convergence to be completed within 18 months
By Haaretz Service

In an interview published in the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday, Prime Minister-designate Ehud Olmert said he intends to complete his plan to withdraw from parts of the West Bank within 18 months. Olmert said he plans to complete coalition talks within two weeks and begin planning the withdrawal in detail the moment a government is formed. His first step will be to appoint a team of experts, including military, political and economic advisers, to outline the withdrawal. Olmert added that during his first visit to Washington next month he plans to ask for the international community's help in funding the pullout, which the newspaper estimated would cost over NIS 46 billion.

Olmert declared that his plan "will change the face of the region," and vowed not to miss this opportunity. He rejected any division of Jerusalem as a move that would "not bring peace, only more fighting," but did not rule out the possibility that some Arab neighborhoods in East Jerusalem would be under control of a future Palestinian state.

Monday, April 10, 2006




*Mossad Agents, Arab Undercover Operatives, Hamas Trials, Front-Line IDF Positions*

Following the overwhelming successes of our nine prior "Ultimate Missions To Israel," Shurat HaDin-Israel Law Center will host another high-impact tour of Israel in early June 2006. The Ultimate Mission is a first hand investigation of the challenges of the terrorist threat to Israel's survival. The Mission will be held on Monday, June 5 thru Monday, June 12, 2006.

Registration is still underway!
Shurat HaDin is inviting doctors, attorneys, accountants, programmers and other professionals from around the world to participate in an intensive and action-packed series of briefings and field tours with Israeli security, military and intelligence officials. The Mission will explore the strategic dangers to the Jewish state from Arab violence and Islamic extremism.

Mission participants will receive briefings from senior commanders of Israel's intelligence and security services, as well as the other strategic decision-makers who shape and lead Israel's multifaceted war on terrorism.

Moreover, attorneys will be able to receive Continuing Legal Education credits for the trip if they register by May 1, 2006.The Mission will also present a rich program of exciting recreational and cultural events. The eight day program will include the following highlights:
* Briefings by present and past officers in the IDF Intelligence and Operations branches, including the senior commanders of the Shin Bet security service and Mossad.
* An exhibition by Israel Defense Forces (IDF) undercover soldiers who carry out targeted killings of Palestinian terrorists and deep penetration raids in Arab territory.
* Observing the trial of Hamas terrorists in an IDF military court.
* Discussions with Israel's Arab agents who infiltrate the terrorist groups and provide real-time intelligence.
* A first hand investigation of the controversial "security fence" that has enraged the world.
* Intensive, hands-on tours of the front line military positions, the border check-points and intelligence bases.
* Small airplane tour of the Galil, water activities on Lake Kinneret, a cook-out barbecue and a Shabbat enjoying the rich religious and historic wonders of Jerusalem's Old City.

"This is not your mother and father's Mission. Jam-packed with unusual and in-depth views of what is really going on in Israel's ongoing war -- it is a "find" for the novice and an eye opener for people who consider themselves knowledgeable about the Middle East. Excellent accommodations fabulous food, comfortable transportation and fellow travelers who are menschen. Shurat HaDin are inspired leaders and Shabbat in Jerusalem is a delight".
Beryl & Morris Dean Haverford, Pennsylvania

For More Information:
Tel.: (US) 212-591-0073 (ISRAEL) 03-736-1519
Full Itinerary & Registration: --------------------------------------------IMRA - Independent Media Review and AnalysisWebsite: free regular subscription:Subscribe at no charge:



photos by Ben Rappaport, Amatziya

Amatziya is (or was, since I'm not sure of the structural/administrative changes in recent years) a moshav shitufi, a very small community. It was founded as an agricultural community by members of Betar a few years before the 1967, Six Days War, on the border with Jordan. It suffered from Arab terrorism and its location was considered "the middle of no where."

My husband spent a few months there, when he came to Israel as a participant in the "Machon L'Madrichei Chutz L'Aretz," the Institute for Youth Leaders from Abroad, which includes (or included--I'm not sure if there are changes since) half the year on an "agricultural settlement, generally a kibbutz. He was there in Amatziya during the Six Days War, when everyone, even the young foreigners were part of the war effort.

American Betarim, Ben and Aliza Rappaport, were living there then, and today, they are there to welcome their new neighbors, Disengagement refugees from Gush Katif.


Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death

Patrick Henry was an early American patriot. Here's the full text of his famous speech:

"Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death" Speech
Patrick Henry 1775

No man thinks more highly than I do of the patriotism, as well as abilities, of the very worthy gentlemen who have just addressed the house. But different men often see the same subject in different lights; and, therefore, I hope it will not be thought disrespectful to those gentlemen if, entertaining as I do opinions of a character very opposite to theirs, I shall speak forth my sentiments freely and without reserve. This is no time for ceremony. The question before the house is one of awful moment to this country. For my own part, I consider it as nothing less than a question of freedom or slavery; and in proportion to the magnitude of the subject ought to be the freedom of the debate. It is only in this way that we can hope to arrive at the truth, and fulfill the great responsibility which we hold to God and our country. Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offense, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyalty toward the Majesty of Heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings.

Mr. President, it is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be of the numbers of those who, having eyes, see not, and, having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation? For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth, to know the worst, and to provide for it.
I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience. I know of no way of judging of the future but by the past. And judging by the past, I wish to know what there has been in the conduct of the British ministry for the last ten years to justify those hopes with which gentlemen have been pleased to solace themselves and the House. Is it that insidious smile with which our petition has been lately received?

Trust it not, sir; it will prove a snare to your feet. Suffer not yourselves to be betrayed with a kiss. Ask yourselves how this gracious reception of our petition comports with those warlike preparations which cover our waters and darken our land. Are fleets and armies necessary to a work of love and reconciliation? Have we shown ourselves so unwilling to be reconciled that force must be called in to win back our love? Let us not deceive ourselves, sir. These are the implements of war and subjugation; the last arguments to which kings resort. I ask gentlemen, sir, what means this martial array, if its purpose be not to force us to submission? Can gentlement assign any other possible motive for it? Has Great Britain any enemy, in this quarter of the world, to call for all this accumulation of navies and armies? No, sir, she has none. They are meant for us: they can be meant for no other. They are sent over to bind and rivet upon us those chains which the British ministry have been so long forging. And what have we to oppose to them? Shall we try argument? Sir, we have been trying that for the last ten years. Have we anything new to offer upon the subject? Nothing. We have held the subject up in every light of which it is capable; but it has been all in vain. Shall we resort to entreaty and humble supplication? What terms shall we find which have not been already exhausted? Let us not, I beseech you, sir, deceive ourselves. Sir, we have done everything that could be done to avert the storm which is now coming on. We have petitioned; we have remonstrated; we have supplicated; we have prostrated ourselves before the throne, and have implored its interposition to arrest the tyrannical hands of the ministry and Parliament. Our petitions have been slighted; our remonstrances have produced additional violence and insult; our supplications have been disregarded; and we have been spurned, with contempt, from the foot of the throne! In vain, after these things, may we indulge the fond hope of peace and reconciliation.

There is no longer any room for hope. If we wish to be free—if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending—if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon until the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained—we must fight! I repeat it, sir, we must fight! An appeal to arms and to the God of hosts is all that is left us! They tell us, sir, that we are weak; unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength but irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot? Sir, we are not weak if we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power. The millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us. Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations, and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us. The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, sir, we have no election. If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the contest. There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged! Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston! The war is inevitable—and let it come! I repeat it, sir, let it come.

It is in vain, sir, to extentuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace—but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!

Sunday, April 09, 2006


Who will pay for Olmert's plan?

Read this:

And here's the text, just in case it's no longer available online, which sometimes happens. I think that it's important enough to present here.

Israeli public will have to pay

As with Gaza pullout, taxpayers will shoulder burden for future West Bank move

by Sever Plocker

The eviction of some 1,500 families from the Gaza Strip last summer has so far cost the country NIS 8.5 billion (about USD 1.8 billion). NIS 2.5 billion (about USD 532 million) of that is intended to cover military costs, the rest for civilian costs.
Ehud Olmert's "convergence" plan could affect 20,000 families, or about 90,000 residents of Judea and Samaria. Some will be moved to within the 1967 border; others to "consensus" settlement blocs. What does this massive program mean in economic terms?
If we take the evacuation-compensation model, the State of Israel will be required to pay 20,000 evicted families direct compensation, at a cost of about NIS 66 billion (about USD 14 billion). And if we use Gaza as an example, temporary housing, moving costs and new infrastructure will cost an additional NIS 13 million (about USD 2.7 million).
The Ministry of Defense estimates that a unilateral disengagement from Judea and Samaria will cost the army about NIS 16 billion (about USD 3.4 billion).
And so initial estimates of a second disengagement program stand at about NIS 95 billion, or USD 20 billion. Put differently: 17 percent of the entire output of the State of Israel.
But that's not the whole story. Far from it.
Additional costs
Most Gaza residents were able to be moved to existing settlements within the green line. Only a few were placed in the new housing project at Nitzanim. Thus, the country saved on the environmental and infrastructure costs bound up with establishing new cities and neighborhoods.
But to accommodate 90,000 settlers, evicted and bitter, the investment of public money in building new towns, cities and villages will be very high.
And who will worry about employing thousands of evacuees from Judea and Samaria? Where will they find jobs? Many of them will simply become a burden on the public purse.
In conclusion: The economic cost of Ehud Olmert's proposed "convergence" plan is NIS 120 billion. That's USD 25 billion, folks.
Twenty-five billion dollars, without taking into account problems such as underestimations, bottlenecks in carrying out the program, the fact that there is no national consensus for such a move, and other problems.
To compare: The entire 2006 budget, without repaying debts, is NIS 230 billion (about USD 49 billion). The defense budget is NIS 46 billion (about USD 9.8 billion). The four-year budget for the war on poverty is NIS 9 billion (about USD 1.9 billion).
A unilateral pullout will cost NIS 120 billion. Who's gonna pay it? Who's gonna pay?
U.S. won't help
Not the Americans, that's for sure. For the Gaza pullout Israel asked the Bush administration for USD 2 billion in aid to build new IDF bases and to invest in developing the Negev and Galilee regions (in order to not have to ask for money to compensate settlers). We got nothing. Not one cent.
The fact that Israeli tax payers were forced to shoulder the entire NIS 8.5 billion (about USD 1.8 billion) price tag for the Gaza pullout bodes extremely poorly for the notion that any American administration will foot the bill for another unilateral move.
This plan, as it has been presented by the acting prime minister, includes the annexation of a fair amount of Palestinian land. It is impossible to see any U.S. government aiding a move that would include an un-agreed upon annexation of settlement blocs. They haven't even agreed to finance one single kilometer of the West Bank separation fence.
Credit for disengagement
Perhaps Israel could finance West Bank disengagement with foreign credit? No way.
Foreign investors will only fund those national projects that will yield a positive economic benefit.
This is how Israel, for example, was able to gather USD 9 billion to absorb new immigrants from the former Soviet Union. The Russian aliyah made the Israeli market flourish, spurred growth and exports and was a central factor in the growth of the hi-tech industry. It was a worthwhile investment.
The withdrawal from Judea and Samaria, and moving the settlers from place to place will not raise the potential for growth in Israel, and would not be considered an investment in research and development or creative assets.
There is no reason to expect favorable credit terms from international finance institutions such as the World Bank. Israel, as far as the World Bank is concerned, is a developed country with no rights to discount financing.
And the World Bank is even more limited than the U.S. government with regard to political games.

World Jewry
Okay, then, what about Diaspora Jews? Maybe the Jewish Agency will undertake an emergency fund raising drive for the "convergence" plan?
But even if we assume that world Jewry would dig deep into their pockets to finance the second disengagement, even in the absence of a clear national consensus in Israel. How much could they reasonably be expected to give? A billion dollars? Two billion?
There is only one chance for American and/or international aid for removing settlements and setting borders in Judea and Samaria. As we found out during the Camp David summit in July, 2000 between President Bill Clinton, Ehud Olmert and Yasser Arafat, Washington is prepared to dole out funds generously (at that time, discussions revolved around the number USD 20 billion) for an "end of the conflict" agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, on condition that other countries also chip in to help out both Israel and the Palestinians.
Such aid, however, is dependent on having a partner. And to create a partner, there must be dialogue. For dialogue, there must be some formal arrangement. Unilateralism won't cut it, even if the world views it positively.
The Americans' refusal to give financial aid for the Gaza move, a pullout President Bush and Congress praised, teaches us that we'd better not count on foreign funding for future unilateral pullouts.
We'll pay

We will have to pay. In order to finance the second disengagement out of our own pockets, each family in Israel will be forced to pony up NIS 70,000, or USD 15,000, over the course of three-to-four years. Olmert says his government will unilaterally set Israel's final borders.
How do you give NIS 70,000 to the Finance Ministry? Either by raising taxes or by issuing bonds. Neither option is particularly heartwarming.
Using bonds to raise money from the public is not a recommended from the point of view of economics. It's expensive for the government, nebulous for citizens and strikes a blow at the standing and grading of the economy and stock market.
Israeli governments have not used interest bonds since the failed "Peace for the Galilee Bonds."
But higher taxes are also no great solution: An additional NIS 40 billion (about USD 8.5 billion) in taxes per year for three years means a very sharp rise in personal interest tax rates (the PR slogan could be "reevaluating taxes to set our borders") and other, indirect taxes such as petrol taxes.
A comparison
In terns of total cost to the economy, financing the disengagement/convergence plan is of the same scale as West Germany's annexation of East Germany. There are two differences, however, neither one in our favor: Germany is a lot richer than Israel, and there was no debate amongst the German nation about the need to annex the eastern part of the country.
Nobody knows how much the Israeli public has invested to this point in building settlements. This is an economic secret that cannot be deciphered.
On the other hand, the cost of withdrawal is clear and open. In economic terms, this is called a "dead burden." Israeli citizens who will be required to pay higher taxes, lower their standards of living, tighten their belts and forget about social programs such as the war on poverty or education reform – the burden will be very much alive. Alive and painful.
(03.26.06, 11:38)

Friday, April 07, 2006


Passover for a Gush Katif Expellee by Sara Layah Shomron

Passover for a Gush Katif Expellee

By Sara Layah Shomron
Nisan 5756 (April 2006)

At the close of each Passover seder of my youth I passionately recited "Next year in Jerusalem" drawing the conclusion that my place was here in Israel. And in adulthood my actualized dream became a bad dream. This year it is as a Gush Katif expellee at the Nitzan caravilla displaced persons site that my family, along with 470 former Gush Katif families (atleast 2,000 people), will observe Passover.

We have no storage space, no closets in our 90 square meter pre-fab caravilla. One wall in 3 of our 4 bedrooms is lined with large cardboard storage boxes containing miscellaneous items. Once only our Passover dishes and cookware knew such hibernation.

In past years there was always such an air of excitement in readying the house for Passover. The house finally cleaned of chametz and kitchen items packed away in cardboard boxes made the environment safe and spiffy clean to bring down the cardboard storage boxes filled with Passover dishes from the attic. My husband would climb up a ladder while the children and I held it securely for him. He would then pass down the dusty boxes, one at a time, to the children's and my eagerly waiting hands. It was a cooperative group effort. There were a number of boxes to dust off; clean and organize the contents. There was eager anticipation for the Passover seder. Now these very same boxes which once held such loftiness have assumed an ordinary status and resentfulness as they take away living space in my daughter's bedroom.

The eventual removal of the many Passover boxes from her bedroom will not give any reprieve. Soon more cardboard boxes containing non-Passover kitchen supplies will be stored away not only in her bedroom but further crowd two other bedrooms as well.

My husband's reading and instruction of the Hagadda has always included discussion with insights into present current events. This year the "Disengagement Plan" has given me a new outlook on Passover. Certainly former Gush Katif residents were not enslaved nevertheless some similarities can be drawn.

Consider: While we were taken out of Egyptian bondage by G-d's strong and mighty hand, in this case the hand of the Israeli government literally carried many of us out from our homes. Unlike then, we left without riches and all of our belongings. Likewise the day of Gush Katifs' evacuation left no time for bread to rise in the oven. And once out of our territory the enemy gave chase. Like then, we cried out and prayed to G-d. But G-d didn't split the sea this time. Rather the enemy followed us with mortars and kassem rockets. From our homes in Gush Katif we went to hotels, caravillas, tents, guest houses, other temporary accommodations; a proverbial desert. Like then, we wanted to return to our Land and former lives. We, like then, questioned our leadership.

Likewise some of the Passover symbolism assumes new food for thought:

A flat humble, modest bread.
The caravillas, whether 60, 90, or 120 square meters are of a uniform plain mustard color.
They are pre-fab and modest.

Leavened foods are tasty and bring joy.
Gush Katif was comprised of dynamic, vibrant, growing communities. It was a major exporter of flowers and insect-free vegetables.

A piece of roasted meat symbolizing the Passover sacrifice.
Gush Katif and parts of the Shomron a sacrificial lamb.

Bitter herbs remind us of the bitter hardship of our Egyptian bondage.
The bitterness of Arabs targeting us with rocks, bullets, mortars, road side bombs, kassem rockets. Shrapnel in bodies, loss of limbs, deaths. The impotent government response. Bombing empty buildings and fields. The government expelling us from our homes, our Land.

More bitter herbs frequently symbolized by romaine lettuce.
While the leaves aren't bitter, the stem is hard and bitter.
While Ariel Sharon is the father of the settlement movement,the "Disengagement Plan," and its execution, the aftermath is hard and bitter.

Salt water:
Our many tears.

This Passover, no matter how many bitter herbs we eat, we still won't understand…There won't be the past eager anticipation as the household changes over to a Passover atmosphere but there will be a passionate "May Jerusalem be rebuilt soon!" We find hope in the encouraging words of our sages: In Nissan Israel was redeemed and in Nissan [we] will be redeemed again!

Sara Layah Shomron and her family made their home in Neve Dekalim, Gush Katif. They now reside at the temporary Nitzan caravill site.

Thursday, April 06, 2006


Mt. Zion, again

Thanks, Ellen, who isn't so blinded by her Chametz cleaning to find the Vatican's latest tricks.

It seems like, as expected, the Vatican hasn't given up on its dream to steal Mt. Zion from the Jews. The truth is that Mt. Zion is of prime and ancient importance and value to the Jewish Nation. We must fight this new attempt! » International » ArticleApr. 6, 2006 6:41 Updated Apr. 6, 2006 6:59

Peres to meet with Pope Benedict in Rome

Kadima MK-elect Shimon Peres was scheduled to leave for Rome on Thursday to deliver an official invitation to visit Israel from Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. Peres was also expected to discuss with Benedict development possibilities for the Negev and the Galilee, Peres's own bailiwick, Israel Radio reported.-------

Israeli leaders to visit Vatican Mar. 20 ( -

Two leading Israeli politicians will visit the Vatican in coming weeks, according to Italian media reports. Tsipi Livni, the Israeli minister of foreign affairs, will meet on March 22 with Archbishop Giovanni Lajolo, the Vatican's Secretary for Relations with States.
And on April 6, former prime minister Shimon Peres will be received in a private audience by Pope Benedict XVI ( bio - news ).

Both Israeli political figures are members of the Kadima party, founded by Ariel Sharon before the Israeli premier was suffered a massive stroke. Kadima remains favored to emerge victorious from parliamentary elections in Israel on March 28. Tsipi Livni, a former member of the rightist Likud party, rallied behind Sharon in the founding of the centrist Kadima movement. It was Livni who contacted the Vatican on March 4 to assure Church leaders that the rioting at the Annunciation basilica in Nazareth had been caused by an emotionally unstable couple, and did not have political overtones.
------Pave the Way Foundation Changes Their HompepageMt. Zion is still very much on their agenda:
homepage and site changes
Latest projects

Pope Clement VI purchased the site of the Last Supper, known throughout Christendom as the Cenacle Shrine of the Upper Room, November 21, 1342. The Shrine however was lost to the Ottoman Empire in 1551. With the establishment of the State of Israel the Shrine fell under the control of the Israeli government in 1948 where it remains unused to this day.
The Shrine has no religious significance to Jews but as the third most important shrine in Christianity, it's return for Christian use, will serve as an immeasurable gesture of Good will to Christians around the World. Pave the Way has been suggesting, to Israeli government officials, to simply allow the use of the Shrine, rather then any property turnover. This use will not disturb the Tomb of King David below or the Yeshiva on the ground level . This simple gesture will give a sorely needed boost to the tourism industry, by sending a signal to the Christian world, that they are welcome in Israel. This will be helping all the people in the region.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006



Read this interesting article:

The thread of anti-Semitism

By James Carroll April 3, 2006
IS CRITICISM of the state of Israel anti-Semitic? What is striking about this question is how it clings to discussion, like an impossible loose thread. Most observers, including defenders of Israel, answer in the negative, acknowledging that authentic concern for the plight of Palestinians under harsh occupation motivates much of the criticism. Objections to the land-grabbing character of the separation barrier, to intrusive settlement blocs, to unilateralism that eschews negotiations, to the embrace of a nuclear arsenal -- all of this reasonably informs arguments made against Israeli government positions (by Jews as well as non-Jews). But recent developments, including European critiques of Zionism as mere colonialism, American talk of a ''lobby" that carries echoes of ''cabal" (a word derived from kabbalah), and the return among Arabs of rhetoric calling for the outright elimination of Israel, suggest that contempt for Jews and the Jewish state can involve more than meets the eye.

Disputes enumerated above are just part of the story. Hostility to the very presence of Jews in the region between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean goes deep into the unconscious of Western civilization, and it is only recently that pins of that antagonism are being removed. One way to understand this is to review the history of a Christian theology that required the exile of Jews from the Holy Land precisely as a proof of religious claims. In his ''City of God," completed in about the year 427, St. Augustine argued that because Jews, as custodians of what Christians designated the ''Old Testament," are living witnesses to the ancient promises that are fulfilled in Jesus, they should be ''scattered" from what he called ''their own land," to give such witness throughout the Christian world. It seems no coincidence that in 429 the Roman emperor, a Christian, abolished the patriarchate of Israel, ending Jewish sovereignty in Palestine until 1948.
The Augustinian principle of witness-scattering evolved into an understanding of Jewish exile as a proper punishment for Jewish rejection of Christian claims. It was only when a Muslim army took control of Jerusalem in 638 that Jews were permitted to return to the city of their temple. When Crusaders made war against Islam, laying siege to Jerusalem in 1099, they attacked Jews and Muslims both. Jewish presence in the holy city was an affront. Meanwhile, ''wandering" Jews throughout the Diaspora constructed an imagined homeland, always looking toward ''next year in Jerusalem" and faithfully praying for rain in the Galilee, even if they lived in the Rhineland.

In the late 19th century, coinciding with the rise of Zionism, some Christian evangelicals began to think positively about a Jewish return to the Holy Land, but only as a prelude to an End Time conversion. The DNA of mainstream Christianity remained infected with hostility to any notion of Jewish homecoming. When Theodor Herzl, founder of the Zionist World Congress, asked Pope Pius X to support his program in 1904, the pope replied that he could never sanction it. ''If you come to Palestine and settle your people there, we will be ready with churches and priests to baptize all of you."

Vatican reserve toward the State of Israel was overcome only in 1994, with Pope John Paul II's formal diplomatic recognition. His journey to Jerusalem in 2000 was very different from Pope Paul VI's insultingly brief pilgrimage to the Via Dolorosa in 1964. John Paul II's visit, lasting several days, was expressly an honoring of Jews at home in Israel, a culminating repudiation of the Christian theology that depended on Jewish exile. The establishment of the Jewish state was a triumph for Christians, too.

Remarkable as was John Paul II's achievement, and welcome as it was in Israel, what astounds is how overdue it was. Antagonism toward Jewish presence in Palestine dominated the Western imagination for 1,500 years. It should be no surprise, therefore, that contemporary suspicion of that presence, even when attached to reasonable objections to Israeli policies, shows itself with a visceral edge. Now the dark energy of this tradition has been efficiently tapped by many Muslims, even though its underlying theology is irrelevant to Islam. Any appropriation, including by Palestinians, of what has proven across centuries to be perhaps the most lethal impulse to which humans have ever succumbed must be roundly condemned.

Anti-Semitism, with its racial overtones, is a modern phenomenon. Contempt for Jews and Judaism is ancient. Such impossible threads weave invisibly through attempts to reckon with Israel's dilemma, forming a rope that trips up the well-intentioned and the unaware, even as others use it, as so often before, to fashion a noose.

James Carroll's column appears regularly in the Globe.
© Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company

Tuesday, April 04, 2006


These Pictures Cannot be Erased!

1936 - 1945 Europe

60 years after the Second World War ended, this e-mail is sent as a memorial chain. It is launched during Passover, the Jewish Holiday of Freedom, until Holocaust memorial day, in memory of the six million Jews who were massacred during the Holocaust.


Nefesh B’Nefesh Expands to the UK

First Ever Chartered Flight of British Olim Expected in Summer 2006:

Nefesh B’Nefesh Expands to the UK
(4 APRIL 2006 / JERUSALEM) - Nefesh B’Nefesh (, the organization committed to the revitalization of North American immigration to Israel, working in close cooperation with the Jewish Agency for Israel, will be launching its Aliyah (immigration to Israel) related services in the UK this month.

Since its inception in 2002, Nefesh B’Nefesh (NBN) has been dedicated to providing Aliyah assistance services to Jews from the U.S. and Canada. This strategic expansion of services to the UK move has come as result of an overwhelming number of requests by British Jews of NBN for assistance in moving to Israel. NBN’s headquarters will remain in Jerusalem while providing on - site informational support throughout the UK.

At present, NBN is coordinating a specially chartered flight of British Olim during the summer of 2006. Prior to the flight, NBN will send specially trained Aliyah professionals to the UK to provide informational seminars, slated to address employment, housing, governmental and numerous other Aliyah oriented issues. The events will assist anyone seeking comprehensive information on Aliyah planning stages.

“England is the most natural expansion for Nefesh B’Nefesh’s services, especially as result of the high interest that has been expressed from the wonderful Jewish community there, said NBN Co-Founder and Executive Director, Rabbi Yehoshua Fass. “The Israeli government, Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks and additional key British figures have given us their blessings and together we hope to achieve great success there as well.”

Nefesh B’Nefesh has built its success on removing and/or minimizing the financial, professional, logistical and social obstacles for (North American) immigrants to Israel. Their Olim are offered informational seminars, pre and post Aliyah social events, employment placement services, help assistance centers, Aliyah advocacy and a helping hand with general adjustment issues. In addition, the organization heavily assists in removing nearly all the 'red tape' bureaucracy before and after Aliyah. To date, 99% of NBN’s 7,000 newcomers have remained in Israel and over 94% of those seeking employment are gainfully employed. Over 250 “Sabras” (native born Israelis) were born and 63 weddings have been celebrated within the Nefesh “family,” including three couples who met on NBN chartered flights.


Yael Katsman; +972-544-676963 <>

Sunday, April 02, 2006


Jackie Mason and the Muslims

Jackie Mason has been entertaining the world for decades with his unique grasp of thing. Read what he says about the Muslims.
Here it is:

Why you never hear Muslim jokes?

Jackie Mason

Muslim fundamentalists have decided that even if you never saw or heard of the cartoons, you deserve to be hit with rocks, have your car wrecked and your embassies destroyed.

Ironically, the cartoonists were not insulting Islam; they were satirizing fanaticism. Now the fanatics have decided that there are no laws, limits or boundaries that apply to their behavior. They not only have the right to take your life; they now have the right to rob you of your freedom of _expression.

Could you picture a Jew killing anybody for such meaningless reasons? If a Jew gets mad he might sneak into your house and steal your Lipitor or he would make a deal with your doctor to lie about your cholesterol number, or just when you have fasted a whole day on Yom Kippur he would sneak into your house and steal all the pastrami sandwiches.

I never saw a Jew going into meaningless fights. That is why you seldom see Jewish football players. A Jew is not going to take a chance on spraining his neck or tearing a ligament in his knee, just because he was fighting with somebody about catching a ball. He would rather go to a store and buy another ball and avoid the whole problem. That is why there are also no Jewish hockey players. Hockey players spend all their time hitting each other in the mouth with sticks. When Jews saw how Gentiles played hockey, that is how Jews found out that instead of becoming hockey players they would become dentists, and that way they decided to let other people play the game while they found a way to make a profit from it.

Jews are never known to get into unnecessary physical battles. That is why people are never afraid of being attacked by a Jew. Did you ever hear anybody say, "Don't go into that neighborhood, it is very dangerous, there are a lot of Jews there?" Jews have so long been accustomed to being threatened and persecuted all over the world that they could never dream of creating needless violence anywhere, because they would be grateful to find a place where they are allowed to live in peace.

Meanwhile, the world is reacting with an amazing cowardice. Instead of a collective fury, we are pleading forgiveness and promising not to offend them with any more cartoons. Could anything be more perverted?

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