Thursday, May 31, 2007

Jerusalem For Sale!

Do you remember the Mount Zion scandal? Now we have a new attempt to sell our city. Ladies and gentlemen, introducing the Russian Compound scandal:
If current negotiations with the Russians succeed, a large complex in central Jerusalem will be handed over to control of the Russian government.

The area in question is part or all of what is known as the Russian Compound, so named because it was built and once owned by the Russian government. It was originally constructed as one of the first complexes outside the Old City of Jerusalem, for the purpose of housing the thousands of Christian Russian pilgrims who wished to visit the holy city.

Though the 17-acre area in the heart of Jerusalem, between Jaffa, HaNeviim, and Shivtei Yisrael Streets, was once a bustling center with impressively-built structures, it now is used largely as a courthouse and detention center. The Russian government has of late informed various Israeli Prime Ministers that it would like to reclaim the area - at a price of $100 million.

Yoel Marcus Admits That Disengagement Was A Mistake

Check this out! Unilateral disengagement cheerleader Yoel Marcus wakes up (sort of) and smells the coffee (hat tip to Batya):
Ariel Sharon's unilateral disengagement turned out to be a serious mistake. It gave terror a boost, allowed the Iranians to call the shots in Gaza instead of the Egyptians, fueled anarchy in the Palestinian street and pushed the chances for an agreement even further away.
Dr. Aaron Lerner also noticed Marcus' article and he had this to say:
Yoel Marcus played an important role as key supporter and advocate of retreat from Gaza. He suggested on the pages of Haaretz that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon would be able to avoid his legal problems if he launched a withdrawal initiative and, viola!, soon thereafter Marcus was Sharon's confidant, enjoying scoops about Sharon's decision to launch - what a coincidence - a retreat plan. Marcus transformed into Sharon's biggest fan and leading cheerleader for retreat.

This column by Marcus sounds more like someone shooting his mouth off at a local pub than a serious piece (the idea that Israel could get away with destroying blocks of buildings as a form of collective punishment certainly sounds more logical after a couple of pints) but he made his way back to his "Oslo religion" with a traditional re-hash in paragraph 15 and a dangerous bout of wishful thinking in paragraph 16.
Here are the aforementioned paragraphs 15 and 16:
15. So what are we going to do with Gaza? Occupy it? We have already done that. What have we achieved by that, apart from occupation? Haven't we learned that occupation is like riding on a tiger's back? All the fleas go along for the ride. There are no overnight solutions. What we need are leaders endowed with both brains and brawn - courageous leaders prepared to talk to Syria, Saudi Arabia and all the Sunni Islamic countries in order to reach a comprehensive agreement. Only that will put an end to Hamas.

16. The time has come to stop going into a panic every time Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad threatens to destroy Israel. He is just a show-off with a very big mouth. The ayatollahs are the ones who say what's what and make the decisions in Iran. They will cut off his hands before he ever reaches the red button.
I am glad that Marcus is a journalist and not a minister in the government. On the hand, he is one of Israel's most influential journalists, if not the most influential. And that my friends tells us a lot about the Israeli MSM.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Unfair Characterization Of American Jewry

The even better news is that they are shortening their trip and returning to Eretz Yisrael after only five days because my daughter says that the people there only talk about money and she feels bored. She also complains that the fruit has no taste, she is afraid to find insects in the salad, the buildings remind her of pictures of Rome, there are churches wherever you look, and Orthodox women walk around in public without covering their hair, as if they were single girls.
I think that Fishman went a little too far this time.

Peres' Last Chance To Serve His Country

Simple Shimon Says:
Vice Prime Minister Shimon Peres said Wednesday morning that if he is elected President, it "may be the last chance I have to serve the country. The veteran politician also maintained that he accept the nomination because of numerous requests.
What country was he referring to? If he meant Israel, the best way for him to serve the country would be to retire.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

When Deviants Resort To Deception

Is homosexuality something to be proud of? I think not. Even if one accepts the claim that a person is born with homosexual tendencies, it is still nothing to be proud of. Should I be proud that I am a heterosexual, or that I have brown eyes? Of course not!

I think that someone with the same-sex-attraction disorder can be proud of himself if he overcomes his inclination and doesn't act upon it. This is truly a great achievement. Of course one doesn't have to publicize this, and it certainly not a cause for a parade. One should walk humbly with the Lord.

I think that all of the above is self evident. So why in the world do those afflicted with the SSA disorder like to hold parades? Why do they want to parade around in Jerusalem?

The reason is of course to alter public opinion. They desire that the public accept their deviant acts as something acceptable. This strategy has certainly worked in many places. The legislation against homosexual acts has been removed from the books in many places including Israel. The cursed practices of the ancient Egyptians and Canaanites have been accepted as an "alternate lifestyle" among many in secular circles.

Jerusalem is a different story. The "politically correct" dictates that drive certain politicians and infect the minds of most television-watching-couch-potatoes mean nothing to the overwhelming majority of Jerusalem's inhabitants. The public will not accept depravity even if the deviants and their supporters in the Orwellian press tries to disguise it as modernity. Once again the minority is trying to force its will on the majority. It looks like we are in for another round of riots and civil disobedience:
A meeting was held a few days ago in the home of the head of the Eidah Hareidit court, Rabbi Yitzchak Tuvia Weiss, who said, "Tell [Public Security Minister Avi] Dichter that he had better build another ten jails to hold all the protestors. This will be a real war."
Like I said, "Oy Gay!"

For extra credit: See what Lazer has to say.

HH #118

Esser Agaroth puts in his two cents.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Oy Gay!

It's that time of year again. Homosexuals from all over the world want to parade in Jerusalem to let us know that they are proud that their reproduction system gets aroused from members of the same sex.

You can see my posts about last year's parade here.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Za'atar Eggs

Every so often I get an email from Batya telling me to submit recipes for the KCC, that's the Kosher Cooking Carnival.

Batya must think that I know how to cook. So I decided to demonstrate my great culinary skills in this post. I'm sure that you all will be awed.

This dish is the za'atar egg. To make it we need two eggs, preferably organic ones from Giv'ot Olam:

We also need a little bit of canola oil , and a lot of za'atar . Za'atar is a spice usually made out of thyme, sesame seeds, sumac, and salt. I never heard of it until I came to Israel. The main ingredient in za'atar is the thyme (in Hebrew Eizov). It grows wild in the mountainous regions of Israel. It is mentioned in the Torah several times, and is usually translated as hyssops. For instance:
21 Then Moses called for all the elders of Israel, and said unto them: 'Draw out, and take you lambs according to your families, and kill the passover lamb. 22 And ye shall take a bunch of hyssop, and dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and strike the lintel and the two side-posts with the blood that is in the basin; and none of you shall go out of the door of his house until the morning.

The chumash lesson is over and now the cooking class begins.

Pour a little bit of canola oil in a frying pan. While the oil is heating up, crack open an egg into a clear cup in order to check it for blood spots from all angles:

If the egg is blood free, pour it into the pan. Do the same for the second egg.

Now you have to smother these eggs with za'atar:

Be sure to flip the eggs over to make sure that they are well fried. The result:


What Do You Do With Yeshiva High School Drop Outs?


JPIX # 8

Be sure to see Rafi's compilation of pics at jpix #8.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Shavuot Links

This will probably be the last post before the holiday. Chag Sameach!

Some Shavuot links:




Ohr Somayach

How Can Somebody So Smart Say Something So Stupid?

The U.S. ambassador to Israel, Richard H. Jones, has an impressive resume. This guy is one smart cookie:
Born on August 26, 1950, at Barksdale Air Force Base near Shreveport, Louisiana, Jones has Masters and Doctoral degrees in Business/Statistics from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and a Bachelor of Science degree with distinction in Mathematics from Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, California. His foreign languages are Arabic, French, German and Russian. He has been awarded two US patents and served two terms on the board of the Saudi Arabian International School in Riyadh.
Unfortunately he is human, and sometimes humans say silly things:
Pollard supporters are enraged at US Ambassador to Israel Richard Jones for his remarks Monday morning, implying that Jonathan Pollard committed treason or sold US secrets to Israel.

Speaking at a conference at Bar Ilan University on Israeli-American relations, Jones said, "Pollard took money and sold out his country... The fact that he wasn't executed shows that he was treated mercifully."

"Malicious incitement against both Jonathan and Israel" is how an infuriated Esther Pollard, Jonathan's wife, described it.
At they have some more of his twisted logic:
"This is a very emotional issue in the United States," Jones said. "I know he was helping a friend, but that's what makes it even more emotional for Americans - if a friend would cooperate in aiding and abetting someone who is committing treason against his own country."
This of course is totally ridiculous. I guess he would feel better if Pollard passed the information to America's enemies.

What Do You Do With A Moldy Pita?

Someone in Tel Aviv decided that even though his moldy pita was unfit for human consumption, the local pigeons would be quite happy to dine on it:

I liked the color scheme of this pigeon in particular:


I really enjoyed this.

HH #117

See it here!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Say It Isn't So, Patrick!

The amazing Patrick of Clarity & Resolve calls it quits. He parts with a little bit of advice:
Be good to each other, right, left, or otherwise. Be good to individual Muslims—they are our brothers and sisters, and it is their twisted, unreformed faith that we must confront first and foremost. Love Israel always, because Israel is just and in many ways it is the wellspring of our modern civilization of freedom and rights, as well as our greatest partner against our mutual enemies. Be good to dogs and animals. Read. A lot. And always be skeptical about everything until you have looked into it yourself. Always cherish freedom and justice: without them, we are lost. Be ruthless and unremitting in your opposition to forces that threaten freedom, even if it's just speaking the truth when no one else will in casual conversation. Call your Mom once in a while too!
I discovered Clarity & Resolve way back when. He is in my humble opinion one of the best bloggers around and one of Israel's best friends in the blogosphere. His output was truly amazing and I'm not surprised that he got burnt out. Let's hope that after a little bit of vacation Patrick's fingers will get restless and that he will return to blogging.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Is It Not Wheat Harvest Today?

Yesterday it rained on our parade. When I say our parade I mean the celebration of Jerusalem Day. Yesterday was the 40th anniversary of the reunification of the city.

It is not supposed to rain in Israel at this time of year. What happened yesterday is really quite out of the ordinary, and it reminded me of what happened many years ago here in this land:
12 And when ye saw that Nahash the king of the children of Ammon came against you, ye said unto me: Nay, but a king shall reign over us; when the LORD your God was your king. 13 Now therefore behold the king whom ye have chosen, and whom ye have asked for; and, behold, the LORD hath set a king over you. 14 If ye will fear the LORD, and serve Him, and hearken unto His voice, and not rebel against the commandment of the LORD, and both ye and also the king that reigneth over you be followers of the LORD your God--; 15 but if ye will not hearken unto the voice of the LORD, but rebel against the commandment of the LORD, then shall the hand of the LORD be against you, and against your fathers. 16 Now therefore stand still and see this great thing, which the LORD will do before your eyes. 17 Is it not wheat harvest to-day? I will call unto the LORD, that He may send thunder and rain; and ye shall know and see that your wickedness is great, which ye have done in the sight of the LORD, in asking you a king.' {S} 18 So Samuel called unto the LORD; and the LORD sent thunder and rain that day; and all the people greatly feared the LORD and Samuel. 19 And all the people said unto Samuel: 'Pray for thy servants unto the LORD thy God, that we die not; for we have added unto all our sins this evil, to ask us a king.' 20 And Samuel said unto the people: 'Fear not; ye have indeed done all this evil; yet turn not aside from following the LORD, but serve the LORD with all your heart; 21 and turn ye not aside; for then should ye go after vain things which cannot profit nor deliver, for they are vain. 22 For the LORD will not forsake His people for His great name's sake; because it hath pleased the LORD to make you a people unto Himself. 23 Moreover as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you; but I will instruct you in the good and the right way. 24 Only fear the LORD, and serve Him in truth with all your heart; for consider how great things He hath done for you. 25 But if ye shall still do wickedly, ye shall be swept away, both ye and your king.'

We are just a week away from the holiday of Shavuot, which is also called chag haqatzir, the harvest festival.I don't claim to no why God brought rain yesterday. Perhaps it was to remind us that rockets are raining down on Sderot. We really cannot celebrate with a full heart when the people of Sderot are under a state of attack.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Jerusalem Day Exhibition At Machon Meir

I recently blogged about the Independence Day Exhibit at Machon Meir. Well it seems that they also have an exhibition for Jerusalem Day. You can see the opening hours and other details here.

Here is another pic from the Independence Day exhibit:

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Motorcycle Accident Revisited

Last week I blogged about the MVA near Tel Aviv where moped driving instructor Moshe Hai Yisraeli lost his life. I complained about the ridiculous treatment the accident was receiving in the MSM, who were claiming that drivers bypassed 'the "obstacle," the dying man on the road, rather than stopping to offer assistance.'

Today I saw an article on ynetnews by B. Michael that dealt with the accident and the way it was treated in the press. You should know that B. Michael is a writer rooted firmly in the extreme Israeli left, and as such is someone that I rarely agree with. However, this time we are in full agreement. Here is a little of what B. Michael had to say:
Perhaps there's no need to recount what this story is all about, but nonetheless following are the details: A terrible road accident occurred at the Azur intersection in Holon south of Tel Aviv this week. For some unknown reason Moshe Hai Yisrael (may he rest in peace), who was riding a moped, was hurled under the wheels of a cement mixer. He was squashed to death and remained lying on the road alongside his mangled moped.

A security camera positioned on a nearby roof by Channel 10 News aired the footage which shows the 10 seconds where traffic continued to flow normally without a single car stopping and without a single person coming to the casualty's assistance.

And indeed, immediately after the footage was aired the festivities began. Everyone was quick to accuse one another, to cry over the demise of Israeli society, to wail, to be shocked, to wring their hands in obvious desperation and to impressively sound voices of calamity and lamentation that looked and sounded good.

In short, it was a festivity crammed with satisfaction.

However there is only one problem with this festivity: It's synthetic, it is false. It is artificial and affected, but mostly it is dangerous in its ability to teach drivers to act like a herd of curious idiots, instead of as responsible citizens.

Firstly, a few facts should be noted, perhaps not concealed intentionally but not highlighted either:

* The driver of the cement mixing vehicle stopped on the spot, got out of the vehicle, directed traffic and apparently called the police or the Magen David ambulance service, just as he should have. (I personally passed the scene of the accident about an hour after the accident and the cement mixer had indeed stopped near the site. - CX)

* According to reports, at least 20 of the drivers passing by called the emergency services, just as they should have.

* According to eye witnesses, the injuries inflicted on the moped rider were so severe that there was not the slightest doubt that Moshe Hai-Yisraeli had died instantly. (Someone where I work told me that his brains were outside of his skull, which isn't surprising since he was crushed by a cement mixer - CX)

Read the rest.

While B. Michael got it right, it seems that Israel's Internal Security Minister Avi Dichter got it wrong:
In the middle of the day, in the heart of the country, Moshe Hai Yisraeli was hit by a passing truck and critically injured as he was hurled onto the road. For a minute and a half, which seemed like eternity, he bled on the road of a busy junction and no one stopped to offer assistance. Moshe bled to death in front of passing drivers who saw what was happening and drove on.
Dichter goes on to malign the nation by accusing us of being indifferent:
Something has happened in Israel. My soul can find no comfort and my stomach has been turning since watching the inconceivable footage. My heart keeps asking what have we come to? Where will the indifference and apathy take us? What is this screen that has plastered our eyes shut so that we do not see or hear the groans of death?
Unfortunately, I saw that certain elements in the Israeli ultra-Orthodox Jewish press also swallowed the MSM bait, hook, line and sinker. Anyone who learns Gemara should have known better!

In any case all of the people that used this incident to preach morals to the nation from their pedestal of ignorance owe the nation an apology.

Update: Just saw this from Ha'aretz:
Several passersby who saw Hai-Yisraeli after the crash later told police that they kept away because of the gruesome appearance of Yisraeli's body after the truck crushed his head. "It was obvious the man was dead anyway, so there was no point in attending to him," they said.
There it is black on white: Moshe Hai Yisraeli's head was crushed. He was dead and there was nothing that any of the drivers could have done to help him. Avi Dichter proved that he is unworthy to serve in any position of authority memah nafshach: If he knew the facts about the accident and lied about them in order to gain political mileage he is beyond contempt. If he did not know the facts about the accident and started blabbing away in ignorance he is simply irresposible.

There is a lot of mussar that we all can learn from this incident. We have to be careful in passing judgment. How misleading is the film of the accident! We don't see what happened just beyond the scope of the camera. The condition of the moped rider after the accident cannot be discerned from the distant camera shot. Wise men, be careful with your words!

Jblogospere Shorts

This weeks edition of Haveil Havalim is a drama in five parts. It starts here.

The seventh edition of the jpix carnival is also out.

The JIBs continue to cause controversy. Arutz 7 posted an article about the JIBs. The article included a promotion of their own jbogs. This upset some jbloggers(see the comments, and see what Aussie Dave has to say).

I know that I will be happy when the JIBs are over. No more sticky self-promotion posts, no more silly bickering. Hopefully peace will return to the jblogosphere with each jblogger under his vine and under his fig tree. The following summarizes how I feel about the JIBs (with apologies to Edwin Starr):

JIBs, huh, yeah
What is it good for
Absolutely nothing
JIBs, huh, yeah
What is it good for
Absolutely nothing
Say it again, y'all

Thursday, May 10, 2007

The Worst Forgery Ever?

Arutz 7 reports:
Dr. Yitzchak Klein of the Israel Policy Center has gone public with evidence suggesting that a tape released recently by the police has several signs of being tampered with or staged altogether.
Read the story and don't forget to look at the video as well. Why do I say that this may be the worst forgery ever? The police claim that the tape is of a briefing before the violence in Amona in the beginning of February 2006. However the date on the video itself is the 5th of March 2006! But that's only one of the problems with the video. Read the story!

BTW, Joe Settler also saw the video.

For those that like nostalgia, read what I wrote way back when: Amona, Ehud Olmert, And Pharoah

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

My Enemy: Parietaria Judaica

You are looking at my enemy. Sure it looks like an innocent weed, but this plant makes me miserable. The scientists call it Parietaria judaica (in Hebrew כתלית יהודה). In Australia they call it asthma weed. The plant has oodles of small flowers that produce pollen that many including myself are allergic too. I think that the neighborhood that I live in is the international capital of Parietaria judaica. The cracks and crevices in the walls and the sidewalks are this weed's favorite habitat.

Excuse me while I sneeze. Achuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Do You Know Where Your Lamb Chops Come From?

Most of us enjoy eating meat. But how many of us besides Rafi know what happens before we pick up the meat from the butcher? Here are some shechita pics from Meron. Warning: If you can't stand the sight of blood do not continue to scroll downwards. A moment before the shechita: One guy holds the lambs hand while the shochet has the chalaf or sakin in his hand:

And now for the "after" photo:

Hey, doesn't this look just yummy?

I can tell from the color of this animal's lungs that he did not smoke cigarettes. Good for him!

I have a lot more but I think that you know where your lamb chops come from now.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Exclusive Pics From Meron!

My oldest son was in Meron Fiday-Shabbat-Lag BeOmer and he came back with some nice pics. Anybody for a shot of Araq? Lechaim!

Rabbi Nachman said that it is a great mitzvah to be happy always:

The renowned Rabbi Mahpoud checks the ritual slaughtering knife:

Tomorrow we'll post some pictures of ritual slaughtering. Stay tuned for "Do You Know Where Your Lamb Chops Come From?"

Motocycle Accident Near Tel Aviv

Last Wednesday I wrote about the abundance of motorcycles in Tel Aviv:
It seems that the Tel Aviv traffic jams have made motorcycle travel attractive for those that have to get where they are going fast...

A Jerusalemite should be very careful when walking the streets of Tel Aviv. Even though all of the cars on the street have stopped, a motorcycle is liable to pop out of nowhere in an attempt to circumvent a snarl-up.
The Jewish Blogmeister commented on the post saying, "I would love to own one but I value my life too much...."

Today ynetnews reports about an moped accident that happened
Moshe Hai Yisraeli, a 62-year-old driving instructor, was killed Monday in an accident when he tried to bypass a truck.

This accident could have become no more than another figure in the gloomy road-accident statistics in Israel. However, a video camera, located at the junction where the accident occurred, showed drivers bypassing the "obstacle," the dying man on the road, rather than stopping to offer assistance.
The truth is that if you look at the video a little over a minute after the accident people are arriving to try to offer help. When you think about the amount of time that one needs to park in a safe place, get out of the car and get to the scene of the accident, that is not such a big delay. Also take into account that some of the people who saw it were probably in shock, while others probably felt that the best thing that they could do was get out of the way and call the police.

By the way, I passed the scene of the accident about an hour after it happened. Moshe Hai Yisraeli z"l (already covered with a white sheet), his moped and helmet were still lying in the street. Apparently they were waiting for a traffic investigator of the police to arrive before moving anything. The cement mixer had stopped not to far from where the collision took place. An ambulance and MDA staff stood around helplessly. A Hareidi guy from ZAKA was also on the scene. Leave it to the nirganim of the Israeli MSM to speak badly of our people.

In Honor Of The Heat Wave

This was originally posted way back when. I'm reposting it since the message is timely:

The Princess Of Jaffa Street And The King's Daughter

It's summer in Jerusalem. The weather is hot and dry. Now is the
time for Yaeli to take out her summertime wardrobe. Yaeli's
summertime clothes don't cover too much, after all it's hot during the
summer. When Yaeli walks down the street she gets a lot of attention.
Many men turn their heads to take a good look. There's a lot to see.

Yaeli likes the attention. She feels like a movie star. She senses
several pairs of male eyes that are scrutinizing her every move as she
struts her stuff down Jaffa Street. Even the Avrech who turns the
other way at the sight of the brazenly dressed Yaeli doesn't faze her.
Isn't this also an acknowledgement of her attractiveness? Yaeli
smiles at the thought. She is more than a movie star. She is the
Princess of Jaffa Street.

Shulamit wears the same long-sleeved-button-down shirt in the summer
that she wears during the winter. Her skirt reaches several inches
below the knee. No heads turn to see her, which is fine as far as she
is concerned, since she does not seek attention. She is a true
daughter of Sarah, Rivkah, Rachel and Leah. No one is looking at her,
except the One above who sees and know all, and rewards those who do
His will. She is the King's daughter. "The complete glory of the
king's daughter is within...(Psalms 45:14)."

In the meantime, Yaeli is enjoying all of the stares that she is
getting. Does she know that those gazing at her see her as a
collection of body parts and nothing more? Does she realize that she
is foolish for revealing herself in such a way in public? Is she
aware that she has forsaken her humanity and has given in to her most
primitive animal instincts? The answer to all of these questions is
"no." She has been duped by a decadent culture that speaks of women's
liberation but excels in degrading them.

When will Yaeli realize that deep down, in her innermost essence, she
is also the King's daughter and not the Princess of Jaffa Street?

Sunday, May 06, 2007


No time for a real post today. So here are a few links:

HH #115

Lag Be'Omer:

A Simple Jew

Life In Israel

Here is a gratuitous pic snapped on the way to the holy city of Tel Aviv:


This is also nice.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Commuting To The Holy City Of Tel Aviv

Thank God that I have a job. Unfortunately, my job is in the holy city of Tel Aviv, which means that I have to commute every morning from my home in the holy city of Jerusalem. Commuting is a drag, but it is much better than being unemployed.

The daily trek to Tel Aviv has certainly changed my life, and not for the better. I come home from work totally exhausted. The job is not tiring, the traveling is! I certainly have no desire to go to the daf yomi lesson. I have less patience for my family. I pray that I will find work in Jerusalem soon.

I have learned to make the best of my time on the bus. Here is a list of commuting tips:

1) Books: At least some of the time on the bus can be utilized for learning. I take a chumash and some mishnayot along with me.

2) MP3 player: This device was invented for commuters. After you are tired of learning from the books, you can sit back, relax and listen to shiurim or music.

3) Munchies: Being hungry on the bus adds to the misery. Fruit, cookies and chewing gum are good to have around. I don't recommend drinking too much as having a full bladder without the possibility of of emptying it is not pleasant.

4) Cellular telephone: Don't leave home without it!

Even with all of the above, sometimes I get bored. Taking pictures is my last resort of keeping myself entertained:

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Pesach Sheni

It's Pesach Sheni today. Here's a few things to read as you munch your matzah:

Pesach Sheynei "A Second Chance"

Pesah Sheni if Mashiah Comes Prior To It?


The Holy City Of Tel Aviv: Motorcycles

One of the differences between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv is the ubiquity of motorcycles in the latter. They are everywhere! It seems that the Tel Aviv traffic jams have made motorcycle travel attractive for those that have to get where they are going fast. Another factor is the fact that in a city where parking your car can be expensive, the bikers can usually find free parking on the sidewalk.

A Jerusalemite should be very careful when walking the streets of Tel Aviv. Even though all of the cars on the street have stopped, a motorcycle is liable to pop out of nowhere in an attempt to circumvent a snarl-up.

Here are some motorcycles enjoying free parking on Rothschild Blvd.:

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

The Holy City Of Tel Aviv: Sepahrdic Synagogue

Who's To Blame? Olmert, Peretz, Halutz, and the Israeli MSM

While most Israelis were talking about the Winograd Commision interim report's strong criticism of Olmert, Peretz and Halutz, the part of the report that deals with their predecessors has taken a back seat. We must remember that the Second Lebanon War was a result of the pullout of Israeli troops from Lebanon in 2000 by then Prime Minister Ehud Barak:
"At the same time," Winograd said, "though the responsibility of the above three is supreme, many others were partner to the above problems." He noted that Hizbullah's readiness was not dependent on Israel, and its ability to "sit on our border and build up its military capabilities" was the result of our unilateral withdrawal from Lebanon in May 2000. In addition, the lack of readiness was the responsibility of previous governments, and the fault of false and out-dated conceptions that did not take into account the entire realm of threats against Israel.
Before the pullout from Lebanon, leftist groups like the "Four Mothers", with active help from the Israeli MSM (in particular Carmela Menashe,who even boasted about this) created the public atmosphere for Ehud Barak to withdraw our soldiers from Lebanon. It's amazing that after everything that happened the "Four Mothers" website still contains the following:

Indeed, the wicked do not repent even at the gates of hell. The "Four Mothers" did not repent even after they put an entire country through hell.

The pullout, as is well known, brought about the "containment policy", which led eventually to war:
As Israel withdrew from its self-imposed security zone in southern Lebanon in 2000, both then-prime minister Ehud Barak and then-chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Shaul Mofaz warned Lebanon and Syria that any attacks on Israel would incur "a very painful response."

But ever since the withdrawal, the IDF has responded to the many Hizbullah attacks and provocations in a measured and localized fashion, aiming to contain any escalation and end each incident as quickly as possible.

The most prominent example of this policy of containment was the October 2000 kidnapping of three soldiers from Mount Dov. Israel responded with a limited bombardment of Hizbullah positions. Mofaz, then army chief, told the Winograd Committee that back then, he recommended a much wider, but still measured, response, but it was rejected by the cabinet. The Winograd panel calls this decision the beginning of the "Age of Containment" that led, eventually, to the Second Lebanon War.
What's worse is that the "containment policy" was not a result of Israel's security interests, but rather of the political interests of the Labor Party which wished to portray the withdrawal from Lebanon as a success:
In his testimony before the committee, Deputy Defense Minister Ephraim Sneh said the decision take a measured respond to the October 2000 kidnapping came from the desire to avoid painting a grim picture of the withdrawal from the security zone so soon after it was carried out, and to prevent the opening of a second front after the outbreak of the second intifada a month earlier.

Sneh added that another reason for the containment policy was to allow the residents of the North "breathing room" after years of living under Hizbullah bombardment.
Today the Israeli MSM is full of reports detailing the Winograd Commision report and the failures of Olmert, Peretz and Halutz. I wonder if the pundits ever ask themselves where they were in the year 2000 when Ehud Barak pulled our troops back to the international border. How many of them protested the immoral abandonment of our allies in South Lebanon? Who among them realized that the withdrawal would encourage the Arabs in the PA to increase their attacks and start another "initfada"? Where is the pundit that understood that the retreat from Lebanon was the sowing of the seeds of a future war?
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