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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

New Balad MK Praises Iran's Nuke Quest

7 of the First Month 5769

My friend and fellow blogger Shmu'el Sokol obtained an exclusive interview with freshman Israeli MK Hanin Zoabi (Balad).


New Balad MK Praises Iran's Nuke Quest
Queried regarding Iran's quest to manufacture nuclear weapons, Zuabi stated that having Israel as the region's sole nuclear power was disadvantageous. "It would [sic] be more supporting me to have a counter-power to Israel," she said. "I need something to balance [Israel's] power."

Written for the Philadelphia Bulletin, this story has made the Jerusalem Post, Arutz 7, and the Huffington Post. Daniel Pipes sums up the story here.

Arab Knesseth Member shenanigans are certainly nothing new. Former MK Bishara is on the run, due to charges of treason. MK Ahmed Tibi is in Qatar, speaking with Syrian, Lybian and Yemenite officials about who knows what. And...

The Knesset Central Elections Committee disqualified the Balad party from running in the recent elections due to its members' refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish state and reported calls for violence against it. The ban was overturned by the Supreme Court.


Fortunately, MK Micaha'el Ben-Ari (National Union) is pressing for an investigation into MK Tibi's activities. Perhaps he will do the same regarding MK Zoabi.


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Send this Jerusalem Post Edition Francaise link to your French-speaking friends.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Warning: Fake Facebook Profile Put Up For Itamar Ben-G'vir

6 of the First Month 5769

This morning I was informed that the Facebook profile of Itamar Ben-G'vir, activist and advisor to freshman MK Micha'el Ben-Ari, is a fake.

At 10:00 PM tonight, I confirmed this with a mutual friend who spoke with Itamar personally. Itamar had absolutely no clue what he talking about. This mutual friend of ours also confirmed that the e-mail address listed on this fake profile, itamarbg123@gmail.com, also does not belong to Itamar.

Be warned that this kind of "social engineering" can happen to anyone.

How much information has this person already harvested?

As of now, the status on this profile reads...

חושב על גימיק חדש

"Thinking of a new gimmick."

Our theory is that it was set up by a disgruntled activist, as opposed to the "powers that be," but you never know.

It is believed that the Shabba"k (General Security Service) and IDF monitor Facebook to some degree.

Did Anyone Catch This?

5 of the First Month 5769

Did anyone catch this?
YNET: Netanyahu, Barak Strike Coalition Deal
Attila Somfalvi
March 24, 2009

Ahead of Labor's Central Committee meeting on joining Likud-led government, parties' leaders meet to try and bridge differences. Prime minister-designate says will be committed to all peace deals signed by Israeli governments, vows Labor chairman will be involved in all significant diplomatic and economic processes...

Years ago, when former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon betrayed Am Yisrael, by forming the Kadima Party with Shimon Peres, for the purpose of expelling Jews from Azza, as well as keeping his sons out of jail, a bumper sticker began to appear.


הצבעתם לשרון וקיבלתם את פרס
You voted for Sharon, and got Peres.


I believe it's time for a new bumper sticker.

הצבעתם לנתניהו וקיבלתם את ברק
You voted for Netanyahu, and got Baraq.



Yeah, I know what those of you who voted for Likud are going to say: "It's all in how Netanyahu interprets the peace agreements. And since the Arabs have never kept their end of the bargains, then we will never have to capitulate."

Yeah, right. C'mon. Netayahu will eventually cave.

When will we ever learn?

Haveil Havalim #210 Is Up!

5 of the First Month 5769

Haveil Havalim #210
is up at Random Thoughts - Do You They Any Meaning? (Jack's Place).

It's the Locke, Hurley and Starbuck edition.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

FBI To Return Seized Material To Jewish Hatikvah Identity Center

4 of the First Month 5769

PRESS RELEASE:

The FBI is expected to return over 70 crates of seized material to Jewish Hatikvah Identity Center

When? TODAY SUNDAY March 29, 2009 at 10 AM (EDT)

Where? Self storage facility 41 Flatbush Ave Brooklyn NY 11217

Background: On January 4, 2001 (more than 8 years ago) the FBI seized property with an 18-wheeler truck from the Hatikvah Jewish Identity Center at 1090 Coney Island Ave Brooklyn NY. The reason for the original seizure was a terrorism related investigation into Kach and Kahane Chai.

Now, nine years later the FBI is returning the material. No charges of any kind were brought as a result of this investigation.

The Hatikvah Jewish Identity Center was forced to close in part due to this large seizure of all of its material which included Books, tapes, computers, magazines and office equipment.


For more information contact:

Michael Guzofsky
Former Director of Hatikvah Jewish Identity Center
011-972-544-876-709
guzofskyyekutiel@gmail.com

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Machon Shilo: Pesah Links

Mossa'ei Shabbath Qodesh Parshath Wayiqra 5769

Machon Shilo

P'saq Din:
Permissibility of All Jews in Eretz Yisra'el to Eat Qitniyoth During Pesah
(Hebrew)

For English, click the title to read the response to the following question from a recent oleh (immigrant to Israel). The answer covers more than the issue of qitniyoth, and may very well surprise you:
Are we bound to Ashkenazi custom concerning Kitniyot?

Question: My family made Aliyah from the States in August 2006. We are Ashkenazim. The following Pesach I asked the Rav of our Yishuv if we could eat Kitniyot as taking on the custom of Eretz Yisrael etc. and he said no. Are we bound by this answer and is there a way to change our minhag? I feel strongly about this issue.

Shi'urim
(Click the title to download the mp3 file)

"Qitniyoth to Qorban Pesah" (English)
Hear what some commentators say about the minhag of Askenazi Jews refraining from qitniyoth (kitniyot) on Pesah. Learn that the Tur calls this minhag "unnecessary" and why Rabbeinu Yoruham calls it "foolish, idiotic". Learn the real halakhic basis for a minhag and when it is binding. (Click here to download source sheet - Hebrew)

"Is Qorban Pesah Feasible?" (English)
Learn why the Ramba"m holds that it is a mitsvah today to bring a Pesah sacrifice on Har Habayit. Hear how the Hatam Sofer debunks the most common myths and obstacles. (Click here to download source sheet - Hebrew)


"Do Not Sell Your Hametz at Pesah!" (English)
Hear why a fictitious sale - in which you don't really mean to sell your hametz - doesn't work. Learn why you shouldn't buy hametz that has been "sold" during Pesah or why you should not sell your hametz.

Click Here For More Pesah Related Links!

Rabbi David Bar-Hayim, Rosh Machon Shilo, can contacted at harav@machonshilo.org.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Umm al-Fahm March Update

28 of the Twelfth Month 5769
Violence Begins Before Jewish March Steps Off in Umm el-Fahm
Hana Levi Julian
, Adar 28, 5769 / March 24, '09, 8:21 AM

(IsraelNN.com) One person has been arrested so far in Umm el-Fahm as 250 rioters hurled rocks at police officers deployed to protect Jewish nationalist activists as they prepared to march in the Arab city. (Read more...)

Although the verdict is still out, it look likes we can eliminate number 1 from the list of four possible case scenarios I suggested might come to pass today.
[MK Micha'el] Ben-Ari said that the only weapon brought to the march by the group of Jewish nationalists is the flag of Israel.

The marchers were told to hand their weapons over to police when they arrived in the Wadi Ara region before they were transferred to bullet-proof vehicles to bring them to Umm el-Fahm.

Yesterday, before learning of "police procedure," there was debate as to whether participants in the march should bring their weapons or not. Should they leave them at home, get injured, and thus prove to the world how the police leave Torah observant Jews to the lions? Or should they ignore politics and potentially negative, news media coverage, and bring their weapons, due to the need for protection.

I voted for the latter.
Itamar Ben-Gvir called the event an historic one, saying it was a test both for the state and for the media covering the march.

As I mentioned in my previous Umm el-Fahm post, Itamar suggested that this would be a test.

I certainly agree. And it seems that so far the Israeli mews media is failing. Not even Arutz 7 (Israel National News) has bothered to mention any contrast in the treatment of Torah observant nationalist versus leftist Jews and Arabs given almost free reign in Hevron, Nil'in and other areas of the country.

Umm al-Fahm March: Typical Leftist Double Standards

28 of the Twelfth Month 5769

MK Micha'el Ben-AriMy sources involved with Tuesday's anticipated march into the Arab city of Umm al-Fahm, have absolutely no clue as to what will, or will not, end up happening. The march is expected to be led by MK Micha'el Ben-Ari (National Union).

Activist and assistant to Micha'el Ben-Ari, Itamar Ben-Gvir has long suggested that the march, originally planned to take place months ago, was to demonstrate the double standards amongst government officials. At the time, he was anticipating that they marchers would not being allowed into the city.

A limit of one hundred was set as the maximum number of marchers which will be allowed to participate. Spaces on the list should already have been reserved.

For my part, I would like to suggest that one or more of the following four case scenarios will occur:
1. An excuse will be found by police to postpone the march,...yet again.

2. Security will not be sufficient, so that any number of "accidents" will occur causing harm to the Jewish participants.

3. Arab residents will be set up to be wounded in one way or another, so that Jews can be blamed, and be further demonized by the news media.

4. Petty financial claims will be made by police and/or the City of Umm al-Fahm against the organizers of the march and/or the participants.

YNET reports on the increasing tension of the situation.
Umm al-Fahm: 'Marzel, tomorrow we'll dig your grave'
Sharon Roffe-Ofir,
27 Adar 5769/March 23, 2009

Residents of Arab city plan series of protests against rightist rally set for Tuesday; Balad MK Zahalka warns against use of weapons, says it could lead to 'major disaster.' Police on high alert, deploy 2,500 officers to maintain public order

My response is this:
The left and Arabs can march through Hevron, come en masse, threatening to smash through the gates of Beth-El and Givath Asaf.

"Israeli" Arabs travel freely into Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, and have won the "right" to bypass qibbutz acceptance committees and live in Qibbutz Qatzir.

But Jews can't enter Um Al Fahm. ....Typical leftist double standards

Stay tuned. I hope to provide you with links to first-hand reports later on Tuesday.


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Click here for "Umm al-Fahm March Update."

What's This?

28 of the Twelfth Month 5769

In the spirit of Cosmic X's "mystery object" posts, especially as he is on a blogging break until after Pesah...



What do you suppose this is?

Place your best guesses in the comments section.

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Photo credit: "Sophomore 74 Studios"

Monday, March 23, 2009

K'far Tapu'ah's Last Concert Of The Season

27 of the Twelfth Month 5769

I wasn't in Tapu'ah this Shabbath. In fact, I haven't been in Tapu'ah five Shabbathoth in a row. But, that's another story for another time....

Coming back this Motz"Sh (Saturday night) I got to Tapu'ah Junction at around 10:00 pm, and waited for a tremp up the hill.

I was worried about getting a ride due to the girls waiting before me. But, I actually didn't have to wait very long before my buddy Yitzhaq and I got chauffeured up to town by fellow "settlers" from the city of Qedumim. Following us were a haredi kid from Jerusalem and another boy with the standard, big, floppy kippah and paiyos.

As you might have guessed, our ride was full of people headed for the Melaveh Malkah, at the Beth Kenesseth Merkazi, featuring Bini Landau in concert and Tapu'ah's famous, spicey chollent.

Over the last year, the Melaveh Malkah in K'far Tapu'ah has become a regular Motz"Sh destination for locals, as well as Jerusalemites, B'nei Braqians, and Hilltop youth from all over.

The religious and heimish (homey) atmosphere provides a great environment for teens and adults of all ages to "hang out" on a Saturday night. That it's a better environment for kids than Jerusalem's Kikkar Tzion (Zion Square) is an understatement.

Often 10 to 30 guests come for the full Tapu'ah Shabbath experience, in addition to the Melaveh Malkah. This includes a Biblical tour and look at what Jews are doing to work the land and Qabbalath Shabbath on our local ma'ahaz (stronghold).

One of the results of the Tapu'ah experience has been the weekly coming together of modern orthodox, haredi, hilltop and secular to celebrate Shabbath.

Every week there are also several guests in attendanc who had never set foot across the so-called "green line," let alone out in the middle of the Shomron, where we are a lot closer to Jordan than to any green lines or other pseudo borders others have in mind for us.

Needless to say, preconceived notions guests bring with them about life in the Shomron are quickly disspelled through the course of the weekend.

This Motz"Sh was the last concert of the season. But, Tapu'ah is expected to continue its Melaveh Malkah concert tradition after Shavu'oth.

Past performers have included Aharon Razel, Aharith HaYamim, Sinai Tor, Rocky Ziegler and his Optimystical band, and the ever popular Dov Shurin.

For more information about next season's concert series, and how you can help support this fantastic event series, contact its coordinator.

Yekutiel Ben-Ya'akov
Phone: 054-4876709 (from outside of Israel: 972-54-4876709)
E-mail: guzofskyyekutiel@gmail.com


Bini Landau, Motza"Sh Wayaqheil-Pequdei 5769



More of Bini Landau's music can be heard at MP3music.co.il (Hebrew). More Melaveh Malkah concert videos can be found on the Voice Of Judea's YouTube page.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Poll: Should I Go To The Depeche Mode Concert?

27 of the Twelfth Month 5769

Depeche ModeI have been a Depeche Mode fan for over 25 years. I have not seen them in concert since 1988, and my last opportunity would have been Motza'ei Tisha b'Av 5766, when it would have been assur (prohibited) to go to a concert. As it happens the concert was canceled, apparently due to complications caused by the Second Lebanon War.

Depeche Mode is expected to come back to Israel on May 10.

So, the question is, should I go to the concert?

Please participate in the poll in the upper, right-hand corner of this page.

You may list your "other" and "none of the above" answers, wise cracks, and queries below in the comments section of this post.

Here are a few videos to help you decide. Let me know if any of you begin to feel any nostalgia.

"Shake The Disease" (1985)




"Never Let Me Down Again" (1987)




"Enjoy The Silence" (1992)



Haveil Havalim #209 Is Up!

26 of the Twelfth Month 5769

Haveil Havalim #209
is up at What War Zone???

It's the Ahhhhh......Spring! edition.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

How Frum Are You?

23 of the Twelfth Month 5769

How frum are you?

Are you as frum as the guy who starts yelling "Ahrei yoshvei veitecha..." at the top of his lungs, and feigning annoyance at all those not davening minhah with him before a wedding, when he almost never davens minhah?

Are you as frum as the guy who wears only the sharpest black hat, kippah, and suit to s'mahoth (happy, religious occasions) to show how frum he is, yet usually wears a crocheted kippah, if any at all? (Often forgetting to remove their wedding bands)

Are you as frum as the women who dawqa wears a sheitel (wig) instead of a cloth head covering to show how frum she is, even though she barely has any sleeves, and does have a noticeable slit up her dress?

What about the woman with the sheitel past her shoulders, miniskirt, and VERY tight blouse? Are you as frum as her?

What about the woman whose favorite phrase is "We are VERY orthodox," yet wouldn't even think twice about covering her hair? ...She doesn't.

Are you as frum as the guy living in Judea and Samaria, with a crocheted kippah, who does not come from a Yiddish-speaking background, area, or yeshiva, yet insists on throwing around as much Yiddish as possible (often incorrectly) to show how frum he is? (I do not know of any Sefardim who throw around Ladino to the same ends. Do you?)

And finally, what about the man who davens the most loudly and rapidly, and shuckling as forcefully as possible. Yet while he is always first to finish, he is also always the first to start talking even though every one else is still praying? Are you as frum as he is?

How frum ARE you?

Better yet, who cares how frum you are?

(...probably just some of the people above who really aren't as frum as they think they are)

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Important Note: This post is referring ONLY to those coming from religious homes, and NOT to new, ba'alei teshuvah (those new to Torah observance).

An Open Letter to Manhigut Yehudit and the National Union

23 of the Twelfth Month 5769

Originally submitted 29 Shevat 5769/February 17, 2009, Arutz 7 has put it up only now, with a change in title and a few minor changes to the text. The original title is above, and the original text is below.


A7: An Open Letter to the Real Right
Yoel Meltzer
22 Adar 5769/March 18, 2009

Following the recent elections and the endless analysis of what happened, as well as the numerous predictions of what is yet to happen, one fact continues to remain quite clear. That is, the constant inability of any one party to garner the overwhelming support of the real majority in this country, a majority which clearly identifies, albeit in different ways and at different levels, with the 'three basics' of Judaism – the land of Israel, the Jewish people, and the Torah. (for more please see Who are the majority of Israelis?). For this reason, and in order to finally tap into this real majority, I would like to make a suggestion to Manhigut Yehudit (MY) and the National Union (NU). Quite simply, come together and join forces. Allow me to elaborate.

From the outset, I would like to state that my intention is NOT to form another marginal, right-wing, religious party, but rather a party whose clear goal is to tap into the real majority stated above in order to take over the reigns of leadership in the country. Anything less, is not worth the effort. True, this is basically what Moshe Feiglin and MY is trying to do from within the Likud. However, despite their good intentions, they are alienating many good people who simply cannot vote for Likud in the national elections. While many of us vote in the Likud primaries in order to advance the MY candidates, when it comes to the national elections this is a different story. The leadership of the Likud, both today and in the foreseeable future, simply prevents this from being a viable option. Thus, although voting in the Likud primaries certainly strengthens MY, many of us are just as convinced that voting for Likud in the national elections will only make it easier for the present leadership to hand over more Jewish land to our Arab enemies.

Moreover, even if hypothetically one day Moshe Feiglin rises to the top of the Likud, it is almost certain that the moment this happens the Likud 'powers that be' at that time (be it Bibi, or Silvan Shalom, etc) will simply take most of the party with them in order to form Likud-2 or Kadima-2, leaving Feiglin the head of a 5-10 seat party. True, these would be 5-10 very good people, but after many years of hard work and perseverance this would not be much of a consolation. Of course this brief analysis might be wrong, but is it worth the risk? Finally, before some will say that nothing would make Feiglin happier than all the Bibis and Shaloms and Livnats splitting from the Likud and leaving Feiglin the head of a small Likud party that he could rebuild in his own fashion, my answer is twofold. One, why go through all the process just to arrive at a small party, when small parties can be established now? Two, although it is true that Bibi managed to rebuild a small and shattered Likud after Ariel Sharon left to form Kadima, there is a big, big difference here. While Bibi is a well entrenched figure in the ruling establishment, with nearly all the power at his disposal, Feiglin is not. This is a massive difference that should not be lightly dismissed.

The point here is not to deride Moshe Feiglin or MY. Personally, I believe Feiglin has more clarity than nearly any other public figure in Israel. Equally important, he understands that the only way to take over the leadership in this country is by connecting to the broad majority mentioned above, and not by targeting a limited population group. This, however, is the problem of the NU. Although the people that comprise the NU are amongst the best, their recent campaign revealed that they, and many of their supporters, are stuck in the limited 'sectoral mentality'. Campaign adds focusing on the 'orange crowd' and 'values of the knit kippa community', as well as advertisements on Egged buses depicting a crying child being evacuated from his Gush Katif home, were all so very, very sectoral. Such a limited outlook is incapable of connecting to the larger majority stated above.

Thus, in order to change the political map of this country and to finally connect to the real majority, it is essential that MY and the NU join forces. On the one hand, Moshe Feiglin and MY need to fully understand that they are taking a big risk with their continued path in the Likud, while on the other hand, the NU needs to understand that their limited vision will get them nowhere. Only by joining forces, together with anyone else willing to come aboard (former 'Likud rebels', former Mafdal members, etc), with the clearly defined goal of connecting to the real majority, can authentic Jewish leadership finally be established in this country. The time to do this is now, in order to prepare for the next elections in another two to three years.

Yoel Meltzer lives in Israel and works in the finance department of a non-profit organization.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Thank You, Leftists!

21 of the Twelfth Month 5769
(JPost.com) Tristan Anderson, 38, of Oakland, California, was hit in the head by a tear gas canister during a protest against the West Bank security barrier in Nil'in on Friday and underwent surgery at the hospital, near Tel Aviv.

Anderson is on a respirator but in stable condition, the spokeswoman said on condition of anonymity because of the issue's sensitivity.

The protest took place in the West Bank town of Nil'in, near Ramallah, where Palestinians and international backers frequently gather to demonstrate against the security barrier. (Read more...)

(Tip Credit to Debbie Schlussel)
No, I do not intend to shed any tears for this man's hutzpah and idiocy. However, I do hate that fence; it is evil. So, I have to thank the leftists for protesting and otherwise attacking it, albeit for the wrong reasons.

Not only that, but while these leftists are engaging in these protests, there are less of them available to come and harass us in Yehudah and Shomron (Judea and Samaria), uproot and burn our fields and vineyards, and incite the Arabs to doing even more violence than usual.

When such incidents occur on Fridays, it is particularly irritating as we are already occupied with preparing for Shabbath. So, thanks for being in Nil'in, far away from us, on Erev Shabbath.

Besides, fences don't really say "What's on THIS side is ours." Rather, they really say [to the Arabs, the EU, the US, and first and foremost to Israelis], "What's on the other side is NOT ours."

That's why the building of a fence around the town of Itamar, near Shchem (See Genesis 33:18), came to blows, and why towns such as Teq'oa (See 2 Samu'el 14:2) near Beth Lehem

This is not at all an insignificant message. Not only is it a powerful psychological one, but more importantly a religious and spiritual one.

When we build a fence in the middle of our Homeland, not so long after being able to retake it back from the Jordanian occupiers, a task we could only have accomplished with the help and permission of HaQadosh Baruch Hu (The Holy One, Blessed Be He), what message are we sending to Him?

Not the one of gratitude to which He is entitled.

Some would have you believe that the fence is good, because it "saves lives." However, that seems to be because some are using a galuthi (diaspora) logic, and not an halachic (Jewish legal) one.

Western Wall: Rabbi Tzvi Yehudah Kook and Rabbi Me'ir KahaneEven former Head of Merkaz HaRav Yeshivah, and champion of religious, state loyalism, Rabbeinu Tzvi Yehudah Kook ztz"l (photo with Rabbi Me'ir Kahane HY"D at the Western Wall), said that...
One must do everything to delay and to prevent the uprooting of Jewish strongholds.... One must practice self-sacrifice for their sake completely.
Yet, his students Rabbi Dov Lior (Hevron-Qiriyath Arba), Rabbi Zalman Melamed (Beth-El), and [I believe] Rabbi Moshe Tzuri'el (B'nei Braq) have continually had to remind us that "everything" means everything.

Building a fence, former Prime Minister Sharon's defacto border, he continually claimed was never to be a border, is the first step in throwing our God-given and re-given Homeland back in His face.

(May God forbid, and may He save us from ourselves)

And so, I would like to thank the Leftists for protesting that evil "security" fence, so that I can be "occupied" with other issues, not have a gas canister thrown at my head (at least not in Nil'in), and so that less of you are available to incite the Arabs to more violence than usual, and to destroy my neighbors' fields and vineyards.

How Long Will It Take?

21 of the Twelfth Month 5769

Arutz 7: 'We'll Kill Freed Terrorists,' Brothers Warn
Maayana Miskin
20 Adar 5769/March 16, 2009

(IsraelNN.com) Many Israelis who have lost loved ones to terrorist attacks have protested the government's plan to release terrorists who have murdered in exchange for kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit. On Monday, brothers Meir and Shvuel Schijveschuuder issued an ultimatum: If the terrorists are freed, bereaved families will take the law into their own hands and kill the terrorists in revenge.

The brothers announced their plan to the world in an interview with the Hebrew-language daily Yediot Acharonot. The interview was printed on Monday morning.

The Schijveschuuder family was decimated in the 2001 bombing of the Sbarro restaurant in downtown Jerusalem. Parents Mordechai and Tzira were killed, as were 14-year-old Ra'aya, four-year-old Avraham Yitzchak and two-year-old Hemda.

Sbarro Pizzeria Aftermath(Click on image to enlarge)

Meir and Shvuel made it clear that they would go after all released killers, and not only those who attacked their family. “The plan is to reach each and every one who has Jewish blood on his hands and to give them a field trial – the meaning should be clear,” Shvuel said.
How long will it take for the Eruv Rav government to have the Schijveschuuder Brothers arrested for incitement?
The brothers' announcement angered some bereaved families and delighted others. In the latter camp was Ze'ev Rap, whose 15-year-old daughter Helena was murdered by a terrorist in 1992. “I'm ready to help them and teach them how to do it,” he said.

“Whoever signs an order releasing my daughter's murderer is signing his fate... He will not leave Israel's borders alive,” Rap added.

Rap rejected accusations that those who threatened revenge were ignoring the rule of law. The politicians planning to release terrorists are ignoring the law, he alleged. “These murderers were sentenced in court. Who are the prime minister and the defense minister to violate a court order?... On the day the terrorists are released there will be no law and order in this country; it will be the 'Wild West.'”
How long will it take for the Eruv Rav government to have Ze'ev Rap arrested for incitement?
Meir and Shvuel also denied that they were breaking the law. “We will act within the framework of the law of the land,” they said. “In the Palestinian Authority they go by the rule of 'an eye for an eye,' so we won't be breaking any law.”
I think that the Schijveschuuder Brothers are being too kind in their assumptions of the Arabs' respect for any law. I can forgive them their error, though.

They have just been re-traumatized by the very real possibility that what they had thought was some kind of justice served will soon be thrown right back in their faces, not to mention the probable forced reliving of their experiences during and after surviving the Sbarro bombing.

I hate to be a pessimist, but I think it's time to start raising money for Meir, Shvuel, and Ze'ev's legal defense fund.

The government sits on its hands when it comes to threats from enemies of Israel who have vowed to destroy us, yet never waste any time when it comes to grieving Jews, who threaten their power base and authority with things like "common sense."

No, I don't think it's going to take very long. (May God forbid)

(Tip Credit to "Our Man In Beitar")

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Sovereignty In Israel

17 of the Twelfth Month 5769

Sovereignty In Israel
Yoel Meltzer

Shushan Purim 5796/March 12, 2009

Commenting on the role the sovereign nation state plays in the Western world vis-a-vis its role in the Islamic world, Samuel P. Huntington states: "The structure of political loyalty among Arabs and among Muslims generally has been the opposite of that in the modern West. For the latter the nation state has been the apex of political loyalty." He then adds, "In addition, the idea of sovereign nation states is incompatible with belief in the sovereignty of Allah and the primacy of the ummah." (Huntington, The Clash of Civilizations and The Remaking of World Order, pp. 174-175)

Thus, while in the West the concept of the sovereign nation state has enormous importance, yet the idea of loyalty or belonging to a larger Pan-Anglo western nation has no relevance, in the Islamic world the situation is exactly the opposite.

Following this brief analysis of the West and Islam, it is rather interesting to consider the Jewish perspective. For just as in the case of the Jewish calendar, which is a combination of the lunar (used in Islam) and the solar (used in Christianity), so too here. In other words, for the Jewish people, like in Islam, there is the concept of the broader nation, am Yisrael, while at the same time, like in the West, there is significance to the sovereign nation state, the Jewish state of Israel. Since much has already been written about the problems facing the Jewish nation - specifically the divisions within Israeli society as well as Israel's relations vis-a-vis Jews living outside of Israel - I would like to focus here on the concept of the sovereign nation state. Specifically: How much sovereignty does Israel really have on a political level, and how is sovereignty perceived amongst the Israeli populace?

On the national political level, Israel certainly has some degree of sovereignty. Unlike the situation 2,000 years ago, when Israel was physically living under Roman rule, today Israel has its own state institutions such as a parliament, court system, army, etc. Moreover, Israel maintains diplomatic, cultural and economic relations with countries throughout the world, participates in a variety of international forums, is a member of the United Nations, and more. However, despite the outer appearance of full sovereignty, the last 15-20 years have told another story.

In a progressively more blatant manner, the upper echelon of Israel's political leaders have more or less said, both in words and in actions, that Israel must do as America says, regardless of whether or not this action is good for the Jewish state. Be it in reaction to Palestinian acts of terror, the nature and length of wars in Lebanon and Gaza, the sale of military equipment to China, etc., the deciding factor is whether or not we have the 'green light' from America. Similarly, the near consensus to work towards the creation of a Palestinian state, the 'two-state solution', is sheepishly moved forward with hardly a dissenting voice, despite the obvious dangers to all, simply because this is what America wants.

Apparently for many reasons, chief among them most likely economic and political, Israel's leadership is hesitant, if not frightened, to go against the will of America. They simply fear the consequence of going against a superpower, even one which is relatively losing it dominance compared to other powers in the world. Nonetheless, and despite whatever rationalizations they might have, many of which might be justifiable for various reasons, their open display of unabashed adherence to the demands of American leadership questions the whole notion of our true political sovereignty.

Another example that brought this question to the forefront was witnessed in the recent elections. Rather than seriously addressing the Israeli public about real issues and problems, the leading candidates invested a lot of time trying to prove who would work better with President Barack Obama. Obviously, there is nothing wrong with having good relations with America and its president; however, when this becomes a central issue in Israeli national elections, then certainly our whole status as a sovereign nation state becomes rather suspect.

Regarding the Israeli public, since their consciousness and mindset is heavily influenced by the words and actions of the ruling political establishment, it should come as no surprise as to how they feel. Although many will initially express statements and offer suggestions that appear to be more beneficial to the Jewish state than those that are heard from the political leadership, nonetheless they'll frequently end such discussions by saying that "America will not allow us to do such and such". For, similar to the political leaders, they can't imagine that we could actually do something which is in our best national interest without receiving the 'green light' from America. Once again, none of this is a surprise, since the Israeli public does not live in a vacuum. They are heavily influenced by the country's leadership, as well as by the messages and ideas that are continuously transmitted to them by way of the heavily biased media.

Clearly then, according to most Israelis, the concept of having true political sovereignty is either considered unrealistic or is simply not thought about at all. Perhaps the time has come for Israel to start thinking about this concept in a more serious manner. The world is changing and America's status as the lone superpower is becoming reduced; a change that will surely affect America's relations with many countries in the world, including Israel. Moreover, as America is forced to pursue policies in this part of the world that are in its best interest in order to save its teetering economic and political empire, it is safe to assume that some of these policies will be detrimental to Israel. Obviously, America is not to blame since America must, and rightly so, worry first and foremost about the needs of America. That's the role of any truly sovereign state.

The point here is not that Israel should 'switch allegiance' to another world power, be it Russia or China, but rather it should start taking notice of changing events and start looking inward. Such dependency on, and faithful compliance with, another country, no matter what the policies of that country may be regarding Israel, will not help Israel to develop the internal strength that it so badly needs in order to deal with the host of complex issues and problems that it faces. Moreover, although it might be true that at this particular moment in time Israel cannot simply act as a 100% truly sovereign state and only do what is in its best interest, regardless of what the rest of the world might say, nonetheless Israel needs to start thinking in this direction. Changes in the physical realm are frequently preceded by, and are a direct result of, changes in the way one thinks, be it as an individual or as a nation. Finally, if Israel ever truly desires to fulfill its unique role in the world, then it will have no choice but to start thinking about itself differently, and to realize why true sovereignty is in fact needed in order to fulfill this role.

Happy Purim, Harry Potter!

Jerusalem Purim 5769

Canned MushroomsWednesday I was accosted in Jerusalem by a crazy man, dressed in funny-looking clothes, and waving a stick in my face. He made a few deliberate motions with his stick, appeared to chant some lines of some sort in a language I did not understand, and then explained to me that if I did not deliver this package for him to Harry and Ginny Potter by sunset, I would receive such a curse that I would live to regret it.

Happy Purim, Harry Potter
(Click on the image to enlarge)


Affixed to the package was the following note:
Dear Harry & Ginny,

Please find enclosed the following items to remind you of your adventures:
* Canned Mushrooms
* Salmon (Spread)
* Bertie Botts Every Flavor BeansChocolate Frog
* Licorice Wands
* A Chocolate Frog
* Bread
* Necklace (De-cursed)
Happy Purim
from your friend
Jack Trapp
(The Trouble-making Wizard)


Bertie Botts Every Flavor Beans"Trouble-making" was an understatement, I'd say. Fortunately, I did make it to the distant location by sunset. So, I did not have to risk experiencing whether this nut job actually had the power to curse me.

Whew! What a Purim!



*********

After searching the Net, I have found that Britta Peterson has the best Harry Potter ideas and recipes, perfect for a gift basket. She includes all of your favorites, and more:


* Treacle Tarts
* Pumpkin Pasties
* Chocolate Frogs
* Licorice Wands
* Peppermint Toads
* Cockroach Clusters
* Cauldron Cakes
* Acid Pops
* Pumpkin Juice
* Butterbeer
* Bertie Botts Every Flavor Beans
* "Official Hogwarts Brie in Puff Pastry"
* Fortress du Fromage with Magic Wands
* Parchment Scrolls
* Herbology Fruit
* Herbology Crudites

That post was made before the final installment Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Jack's mishlo'ah manoth () above reflects the content of the full series. But, here are some additional ideas for next year:

Fried Egg Sandwich or Spaghetti Bollanaise (in a jar) - recalling one of Hermione's most successful meal preparations.

Something similar to Kreacher's Steak and Kidney Pie could be included, as could Harry's 17th "Snitch" Birthday cake. I'll bet doughnut holes with gold icing and plastic wings would do the trick there.

If you have any guesses or questions about where Jack's food items came from, please leave them in the comments section below.

*********

Photo credits: "Sophomore 74 Studios"

Monday, March 09, 2009

Purim In Hevron 5769

Hag HaPurim 5769

Well, my sources (my neighbors) report that this year's attempt to read Megillath Esther at Dr. Baruch Goldstein's HY"D grave was anticlimactic. It was declared a "closed military zone," and that was that.

One a year, the guys from K'far Tapu'ah make the "pilgrimage" down to Hevron for Pruim and the anniversary of Baruch Goldstein's death, where everyone attempts to "get along," and they generally do.

This year, I am working in Jerusalem, and so will keep Purim the following day (Shushan Purim) the first time I've done that in seven years.

Ma'arath MakhpellahThe Megillah is read by Rabbi Ido Elba, the Rosh Kollel of Ma'arath Makhpellah (Cave of the Patriarchs). Rabbi Elba spent two and a half years in jail for, none other than,...daring to write an article about Halachah.

Sure, the article was about when it is OK to kill goyim, and was included in the highly controversial, memorial book Baruch HaGever. But did they have to put put him in jail for writing an hallachic article?

His son, and former student of mine, Mordechai described for me what it was like to have to visit his father in jail,...not what your typical nine year old calls fun.

As I said, it was reported to me that this evening's festivities were anticlimactic. Please comment below, if you heard differently, say if there were any "scirmishes," involving our valiant "hilltop youth."

The highlight of the evening was "Officer" Schlein. He was a big hit. But, you'll have to write in to get the details on that one!

Hag Purim Same'ah!

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Haveil Havalim #207 Is Up!

12 of the Twelfth Month 5769

Haveil Havalim #207 is up at The Real Shaliach. It's the "A Very TRS HH" edition.

Click on the link to check out what he's talking about!

Tapu'ah K-9 Unit Update

12 of the Twelfth Month 5769

From Yekutiel Ben-Ya'akov....

Dear Tapuach K-9 Unit supporter,

Here’s an update to keep you apprised of some of the more important goings-on with the dog program.

First, we recently sent two of our better dogs south of Jerusalem to a bloc of settlements called Gush Etzion. After several infiltrations by Arabs, the local Chief of Security contacted us, and we immediately set about augmenting his existing security regimen.

In addition, we arranged regular on-site training for the group with a new outfit from Tel Aviv. They now work regularly with the dogs, and their patrols have succeeded in eliminating the number of attempted incursions since the program began.

Next, we are currently being sought after by security professionals in Kiryat Arba, Adam and a Yeshiva in Itamar to duplicate our initial successful program model in Tapuach. These communities are interested in everything from starting courses to building kennels, raising funds and organizing volunteers to guard their communities and institutions. They have all requested the unique training system developed in Tapuach and the best possible dogs for patrol and emergency response contingencies. We have a great number of applicants for the new course offerings already.

OscarThird, in response to the growing demand for new programs, we have set in motion the process to purchase a number of top flight canines from a number of prestigious European kennels. These dogs will have breeding papers that vouch for their pedigree, and will thereby allow us to breed our own high-level service dogs for the long term. This development should not be underestimated. Our ability to supply dogs with the best instincts and physical competencies will mean tremendous savings financially and better protection for Jews in Israel.

Finally, in Tapuach we have four permanent residents who own and maintain high level canines, and who regularly attend the refresher courses that we offer throughout Judea and Samaria to former participants in our programs. These courses review and develop dogs and handlers on a more individual basis and are offered at subsidized rates.

A breakdown of the overall general costs of our programs looks as follows:

Six new dogs will cost $60,000.

A new kennel will run between $20,000 and $30,000 depending upon its size and in which location we ultimately choose to build.

The course for new trainees will last between 3 and 6 months (depending upon the frequency of the sessions) and will cost $30,000.

To sum, we are still as dedicated as ever to expanding our patrol programs because we know that they save lives. There is no technology that has been invented to date that can substitute for a patrol dog with a well trained handler in locating and neutralizing terrorists. There is no technology that can see behind rocks, through fog and clouds or at night, and then instantly zoom in to aid in neutralizing the threat. A dog will.

The tragic story of Rabbi Shlomo Miller HY“D, Chief of Security in Itamar, speaks directly to the need for more highly trained canines and handlers. Had he a dog to release before he exited his bullet proof vehicle, the terrorist would either have been neutralized or the dog would have been killed. At least in the latter case the source of fire could have been determined and proper cover could have been taken. As it was, the brave Security Chief leaped from his car in pursuit of the sniper and was shot nearly instantly.

We have every reason to believe that in these days of Barack HUSSEIN Obama’s presidency that Jews will come under increasing fire from their enemies, as the Arab world grows emboldened by the changing of the guard in the White House. It’s for this reason that we have to be vigilant. It’s for this reason that we must remain dedicated to the expansion of the single most effective weapon available against terror: a well trained guard dog and handler.

I know times are rough; however, we urge you to continue your generous support.

In the merit of your support may you and your family be blessed with health, wealth and happiness!

With love of Israel,
Yekutiel ben Yaakov (Mike Guzofsky) Moshe Cohen

Donations can be mailed directly to Israel to:

Klavim L’Haganat Yisrael
P. O. Box 6592
Jerusalem, Israel

Emails can be sent to guzofskyyekutiel@gmail.com

Telephone (from outside of Israel): 011-972-54-4876709

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Check Your Diaspora Mentality At The Door

9 of the Twelfth Month

The following is a response to a comment from Devorah of Efrat (#24) on Tzvi Fishman's latest post on Arutz 7, "Homosexuality, Missionaries, and Internet Porn."

Devorah said, "Tzvi, are you trying to start World War 3? We have enough trouble with the Arabs as is."
Tzvi is absolutely right. As Ellen Horowitz, Tomer Devorah, and The Key To Redemption have constantly tried to warn us [often on deaf ears], we must fight against this treat, and indeed have misswoth to do so.

Your attitude is so common within the Modern Orthodox and mamlachti (unconditional state loyalist) worlds. Leave your galuth (diasporan) mentality in galuth please.

We live in Eretz Yisrael and do not have to take it from Yishma'el (Arabs/Islam) OR Esau (Christians and much of the West).

Here, we are not "good, little Jewish boys and girls on our best, politically-correct behavior," in constant fear of the goyim hurting us, or "worse," rejecting us from their society.

Rather, we are a nation living in our own Land, promised to us by the Almighty, living by OUR rules, the Torah.

You are familiar with the Torah, aren't you?

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Banned From The JTF Forum!

8 of the Twelfth Month 5769

The posting of What The Goyim Think About Jews on the Jewish Task Force [JTF] Discussion Forum got me banned from that forum.

Apparently, I hit a nerve, daring to point out how halachah (Jewish Law) does not necessarily match the apparently Christian-loving sentiment on that forum.

When an administrator posted to the string in question that I should refrain from post such divisive material, I respectfully replied with a query as to which part of the terms of use I had violated.

I agreed that the owner Chaim Ben-Pesah has every right to make whatever rules he wants on his forum, and that I should choose to follow them or leave.

I sent a personal message to Chaim as well, to which he has yet to respond. As a side note, I was being confused with another resident of K'far Tapu'ah with the same initials. I thought that was odd. So I mentioned to Chaim that I am, in fact, Ya'aqov Ben-Yehudah, a real person. I could not care less if anyone thought I was a real person or not. However, I did not like the tone being used by one of their beloved Christian participants against my friend with whom my identity was being confused.

Instead of receiving any reply to my query, the string was removed, and tonight, when I tried to log on to the JTF Forum, that I had been banned.


(Click image to enlarge and clarify)

Now, when I was banned from the Revava Forum (Don't get me wrong. I don't make a habit of going around, trying to get banned from discussion forums), I did not even receive a "you've been banned" message, let alone a warning from any of the forum's moderators. I simply tried to log-in one day, I could not.

My sources tell me that there was not even an entry regarding my having been banned in the forum's moderation log. It was as if I had never existed as a member.

The only "crime" which any of us could discern was that, even though I had never caused any trouble, I had primarily been posting announcements for a rival group's events and activities. Thus, I was apparently removed by the forum's owner, who could no longer tolerate such "insolence."

Go figure.

Monday, March 02, 2009

What Is "Extremist?"

7 of the Twelfth Month 5769

YNET: What Is "Extremist?"
I have A LOT of acquaintances, yet very few friends. I consider Yo'el Meltzer one of them. I hope my saying so publicly will not hurt his writing career. Yo'el has a certain knack for saying it like it is, reaching a relatively wide audience, yet without compromising principles.

The above link is to YNET, which published this article first and which has already hosted some lively debate on it. See my comments #20 and #25. If you prefer Arutz 7, you can click here.


Yoel Meltzer
5 Adar 5796/March 1, 2009

As coalition talks heat up, the phrase "extremist coalition" is frequently heard. At times, it is Kadima stating that they will not join an "extremist coalition", while at other times it is the leadership of the Likud saying they will form a right-wing coalition, albeit not an "extremist" one. With the term being bantered about so regularly, perhaps it should be clarified what exactly this term means.

For starters, according to one dictionary, "extremist" means "one who advocates or resorts to measures beyond the norm." Hence, right from the start, it should be clear that "extremist" is a relative term. Moreover, something is determined as extremist only in relation to its position vis-a-vis the "norm" (which, of course, is also a relative term). Thus, for example, we find that according to this definition, Zeev Jabotinsky's frantic pleas in the 1930s to European Jewry "to liquidate the exile before the exile liquidates you," would certainly be considered extremist, since the majority of European Jewry (the "norm") did not agree with Jabotinsky's prediction. Nonetheless, history proved that Jabotinsky was unfortunately correct, while the majority (the "norm") was clearly wrong.

This is just one example of many to show that what occasionally is considered an extremist approach is, in retrospect, correct, while what is considered the norm is, in retrospect, mistaken. Of course, this is not a fixed law and sometimes the opposite is true. What is important, however, is to understand that these terms are purely subjective and relative. Thus, whoever designates an idea or approach as "extremist", and by default what is the norm, is doing so from his own personal, subjective point of view and world outlook. This is an important point that should be kept in mind when confronted by such terms.

A much healthier approach would be if public officials would clearly state what they consider extremist in another party, and why, and in the process clarify what is their own unique point of view and world outlook. Thus, for example, if Kadima or Likud were to state why they believe that Yisrael Beiteinu's calling for citizenship based on loyalty is extremist, perhaps Yisrael Beiteinu would respond with their own reasoning of why they believe that such a position is legitimate and required. Whatever the outcome of such a dialogue would be, at the very least the public would be presented with some clear ideas of what our public officials actually believe in, rather than being fed the usual cliches.

Turning to another dictionary, we find that "extremism" is "any political theory favoring uncompromising policies." Thus, for example, based on this definition Kadima could easily claim that HaIchud HaLeumi has an extremist point of view, since they are 100% opposed to the creation of a Palestinian state in any shape or size, in any part of the Land of Israel. In other words, they are totally uncompromising and therefore extremist. However, similar to the case above, if Kadima would only state this clearly, rather than talking in general terms about an "extremist coalition", perhaps some genuine public dialogue would ensue.

In such a scenario, HaIchud HaLeumi might respond by saying that Kadima's determination to establish a Palestinian state in the majority of Judea and Samaria - despite the experience of missile attacks from Lebanon and Gaza during the past few years and despite the direct threat that such a state would pose against Tel Aviv and Jerusalem - is not only foolish, but it is also extremist, due to Kadima's uncompromising commitment to bring such a policy to fruition. Or perhaps they would respond by explaining in an intelligent way that from a Jewish perspective their position is actually the norm, while everything else should be viewed relative to their position.

The debates could go on and on, but the point here is that rather than continuing to spend endless time delegitimizing and vilifying other parties who have different points of view, the time has come for Israeli pubic officials to start engaging in real discussions based upon actual ideas and approaches, rather than mere sound bites and cliches such as "extremist". The Israeli public deserves this from their elected officials.


Yo'el Meltzer lives in Israel and works in the finance department of a non-profit organization.

Zionist Pigs?

7 of the Twelfth Month 5769

Wild PigThey are not really that "cute and cuddly," as depicted in the photo. They are quite dangerous, and a general menace.

Now, Elder Of Ziyon reports that Arabs are accusing Jews of being responsible for the damage caused by these wild pigs. They even claim that Jews are behind a recent pig attack on an Arab just north of Shchem (which CNN and others insist on calling "Nablus").

First, we're accused of training rats to infiltrate the homes of Jerusalem Arabs; now trained pigs?

What WILL we think of next?

The truth is, though, that there is a wild pig problem, and the pigs do not discriminate.

They cause a lot problems for Jewish farmers. For example, it is now strawberry season, and there has been an on-going struggle over the damage that the pigs cause. Needless to say, the pigs damage all sorts of crops.

South of us, the town of Eli has a big problem with the pigs running through their town, making it dangerous to walk through parts of the town alone at night.

Do not let their size and shape fool you. They are quite fast, and hills do not seem to slow them down.

I do not believe that they have any other natural predator in the area. The skinny, wild dogs are no match for them.

I have heard about local Arabs trying to trap and kill the menacing wild pigs, but I am not so sure that is true.

There various news reports of the Arabs' "blame the Jews" mentality suggests that they are hardly likely to take any responsibility for coming up with such a solution.

What The Goyim Think About The Jews

6 of the Twelfth Month 5769

Tamar Yonah at Arutz 7 wrote about What The Goyim Think About The Jews, in response to one of her readers, Dean. Here is an extended version of the comment I left. We'll see if it gets published or not. (Well, what do you know! Arutz 7 published it.)

For the record, I happen to like Tamar Yonah, and believe her to be one of the last normal, level-headed broadcasters on Arutz 7 (Ben Bresky is also normal.).

(I await your hate mail and comments.)

Dean,

You seem like a nice enough guy, and you may have made some good points. But, I really couldn't care less if you're right or wrong, or what any other goyim think about Jews.

As Rabbi Me'ir Kahane HY"D suggested, it is up to you to bless us. We don't owe you anything in return.
בראשית יב
ג
וַאֲבָרְכָה, מְבָרְכֶיךָ, וּמְקַלֶּלְךָ, אָאֹר; וְנִבְרְכוּ בְךָ, כֹּל מִשְׁפְּחֹת הָאֲדָמָה

Genesis 12
3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and him that curseth thee will I curse; and in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed.'

I'll modify that by suggesting we do owe you gratitude when you discover cures for cancer, energy-saving devices, and cool, new things in space.

Regarding your support, Rabbi Me'ir Kahane HY"D also said,...

"If you want to support us, support us from afar. If you want to come here and missionize, we'll have to cut your heads off."

Furthermore, Christianity goes against Torah, and most certainly against the 7 Misswoth (commandments) of No'ah, which include an injunction against avodah zarah (foreign worship) which you are obligated to follow.

Jews are only commanded to chase after goyim over these issues inside the Land of Israel (Ramba"m: Hil. Avodah Zarah 7:2).

Furthermore, we Jews have been worrying way too much about what you think of us, and need to worry a lot more about what The Almighty thinks of us.

We also need to worry more about what we think of ourselves. Seeking external validation for our self-esteem and for our very existence is nothing less than co-dependent*.

In Rabbi Kahane's book Listen World, Listen Jew (Required reading for every Jew!), he teaches that one of the greatest mistakes of the Jewish People has been that of assimilation into to goyshe societies and cultures. This strategy has never worked, and thus should be abandoned, in favor of an authentically Jewish way of life, which he equates with a Torah way of life.

Dean, you shouldn't care what I think about you either.

But, if you feel strongly about the words you, then you will encourage Jews to visit, if not come to live in Israel.

We'll do the rest.
*********

*The 10th Tradition of Co-dependents Anonymous [CoDA] states that...
CoDA has no opinion on outside issues; hence the CoDA name ought never be drawn into public controversy.
My intention is not to suggest that CoDA has any opinion, supportive or otherwise, regarding the above issues. I simply cite their literature for informational purposes only.
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