Sunday, May 31, 2009

Prime Minister's Statement Concerning Jerusalem and the Holy Places


Prime Minister's Statement Concerning Jerusalem and the Holy Places
Sitting 96 -- 5 December 1949

The Jewish Agency for Palestine had accepted the U.N. Partition Plan of November 1947, even though it called for the establishment of a corpus separatum in Jerusalem and its immediate environs, realizing that the only realistic alternative at the time would have been the failure to decide on the establishment of a Jewish state in any part of Palestine. The failure of the U.N. in the implementation of its own resolution, the Arab invasion of all parts of Palestine, including Jerusalem, Count Bernadotte's proposal of June 1947 to incorporate the whole of Jerusalem in an Arab state--the latter when Israel was compelled to fight for its creation and survival--all these effected a fundamental change in the situation and Israel's position. When the U.N. General Assembly debated the issue of the internationalization of Jerusalem once more, the Knesset debated the subject in rare unanimity.

Sitting 96 of the First Knesset
5 December 1949--14 Kislev 5710
Tel Aviv, Knesset Building
The Prime Minister, D. Ben-Gurion: As you know, the U.N. is currently discussing the issue of Jerusalem and the holy places. The State of Israel is a member of the U.N., not because of political convenience but because of its traditional, deep-seated commitment to the vision of world peace and the brotherhood of nations, as preached by our prophets and accepted by the U.N.

This membership obliges us, from the podium of Israel's First Knesset, to tell all the nations assembled at the U.N. and all those who love peace and justice in the world what has been in Israel's heart since it became a united nation under King David three thousand years ago as regards Jerusalem its holy city and as regards its attitude to the places which are holy to the other religions.

When we proclaimed the establishment of the renewed State of Israel, on 14 May 1948, we declared that, "The State of Israel will guarantee freedom of religion and conscience, of language, education and culture. It will safeguard the Holy Places of all religions. It will be loyal to the principles of the United Nations Charter." Accordingly, our delegation to the U.N. announced that Israel would honor all the existing rights regarding the holy places and sacred buildings in Jerusalem, assure freedom of worship and free all the holy sites under its control, recognizing the rights of pilgrims of all religions and nations to visit their holy places and assuring freedom of movement for clergymen. We agreed to allow effective U.N. supervision of the holy places and the existing rights.

At the same time we see fit to state that Jewish Jerusalem is an organic, inseparable part of the State of Israel, just as it is an integral part of Jewish history and belief....Jerusalem is the heart of the State of Israel. We are proud of the fact that Jerusalem is also sacred to other religions, and will gladly provide access to their holy places and enable them to worship as and where they please, cooperating with the U.N. to guarantee this.

We cannot imagine, however, that the U.N. would attempt to sever Jerusalem from the State of Israel or harm Israel's sovereignty in its eternal capital.

Twice in the history of our nation were we driven out of Jerusalem, only after being defeated in bitter wars by the larger, stronger forces of Babylon and Rome. Our links with Jerusalem today are no less deep than in the days of Nebuchadnezzar and Titus Flavius, and when Jerusalem was attacked after the fourteenth of May 1948, our valiant youngsters risked their lives for our sacred capital no less than our forefathers did in the time of the First and Second Temples.

...A nation which, for two thousand and five hundred years, has faithfully adhered to the vow made by the first exiles by the waters of Babylon not to forget Jerusalem, will never agree to be separated from Jerusalem. Jewish Jerusalem will never accept alien rule after thousands of its youngsters liberated their historic homeland for the third time, redeeming Jerusalem from destruction and vandalism.

We do not judge the U.N., which did nothing when nations which were members of the U.N. declared war on its resolution of 29 November 1947, trying to prevent the establishment of Israel by force, to annihilate the Jewish population in the Holy Land and destroy Jerusalem, the holy city of the Jewish people.

Had we not been able to withstand the aggressors who rebelled against the U.N., Jewish Jerusalem would have been wiped off the face of the earth, the Jewish population would have been eradicated and the State of Israel would not have arisen. Thus, we are no longer morally bound by the U.N. resolution of November 29, since the U.N. was unable to implement it....

The attempt to sever Jewish Jerusalem from the State of Israel will not advance the cause of peace in the Middle East or in Jerusalem itself. Israelis will give their lives to hold on to Jerusalem, just as the British would for London, the Russians for Moscow and the Americans for Washington.

This is the first time in this country's history that the state controlling Jerusalem willingly accepts the principle of the international supervision of the holy places. It is no coincidence that it is being done by the nation which made Jerusalem an internationally sacred center and by the first government elected by the inhabitants of Jerusalem.

We hope that the religions which honor Jerusalem's sanctity and the nations which share our belief in the principles of peace and justice will honor Israel's rights in Jerusalem, just as Israel honors those of all the religions in its sacred capital and sovereign state.

(Followup) Debate on the Prime Minister's Statement : J. Riftin (Mapam), M. Begin (Herut), A.H. Sha'ag (Zwebner) (Religious Front), J. Sapir (General Zionists), I. Cohen (Progressives), A. Almaliah (Sephardim), M. Wilner (Maki), Z. Aharonowitz (Mapai), N. Yellin-Mor (Fighters) here
The Speaker, J. Sprinzak: Knesset Members, we have heard the Prime Minister's statement and those of all the parties, all of whom spoke clearly on the question of Jerusalem.Despite the differing views, I declare that the entire Knesset is united in stating that Jerusalem is an inseparable part of the State of Israel and cannot be placed under foreign rule of any kind. This is the view of the First Knesset of the State of Israel.

Veterans: Rose Saperstein: From New York to Jerusalem

May. 27, 2009
Jerrin K. Zumberg

And who are the people in the neighborhood?

At 92, Rose Saperstein still prepares her famous spice cakes and vegetable liver for her family each Shabbat and reads an average four books a week. She lives simply in a fifth-floor apartment on the edge of western Jerusalem in a row of matching stone apartment buildings. A dozen plants and well-used furniture decorate the sitting room where she sits with dancing crystal blue eyes as she awaits to tell stories from a near century of life experience.


Born in Manhattan in 1917, Saperstein grew up on the Lower East Side in a neighborhood bustling with Orthodox Jewish life.

"We aren't only Orthodox, but fervent believers in the Almighty," she says.

By the time she was married to a young businessman and World War II had come and gone, she was already deep into her life's work: volunteering.

For 26 years before retiring here, she volunteered at Beth Israel Hospital in Manhattan, helped her husband on the side and managed to make time for important volunteer work among the influx of poor Jews immigrating from Europe after the war. She had two sons with her late husband.


The voyage that landed Saperstein here began early, when her father moved the family to the country for a year in the late 1920s in an attempt to resettle.

"My father very much wanted to live [in Israel], but simply couldn't make a living," she explains. The family went back only to find themselves a part of a near tragic shipwreck in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea.

"It never left me, the sound of the scrape as the boat went up on a reef, leaving three holes in it," she says. For a week they slept on the deck in life jackets until they were saved.
For full story click here

"Wherever I walk, I am walking in the Land of Israel."

Guy Tzvi Mintz and Rav Lazer Brody sing Rebbe Nachman's famous saying, "Wherever I walk, I am walking in the Land of Israel."

Good sentiment, catchy little tune.


The Land of the Bible belongs to the People of the Bible!

On the eve of President Barak Hussein Obama's trip to Egypt and Saudi Arabia, we will hold a
In front of the US Consulate

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 3rd at 6:00pm

With the participation of Members of Knesset, Rabbis and public figures

Come One Come All!
For the Sake of the Land of Israel
we will not be silent!

Women in Green- The action Committees of Efrat-Gush Etzion-Kiryat Arba Hevron- The committee for a Jewish Shdema-Vaad Mityashvei Shomron- Vaad Mityashvei Binyamin

"He never gave up on his faith - not for a moment ...

Yona Baumel dies without knowing MIA son's fate

May. 31, 2009

Yona Baumel, 81, died on Friday without fulfilling his heart's deepest desire: to discover the fate of his son Zachary, who was last seen on the Sultan Yakoub battlefield in Lebanon 27 years ago.
"In the last month of his life he understood that he was dying and it hurt him that he did not know what happened to his son," Rabbi Benny Lau told The Jerusalem Post on Saturday night as he was on his way to Baumel's funeral at Har Hamenuhot Cemetery in Jerusalem.
"He never gave up on his faith - not for a moment - not in God and not in the fact that his son had to be found," said Lau.
Baumel, a native of Brooklyn, New York, immigrated to Israel in 1970 with his wife Miriam and their three children, Shimon, Osna and "Zach," the youngest who was 10 at the time.
In June 1982, as Zach neared the end of his time in the IDF, his unit was surrounded near the village of Sultan Yakoub. Zach - along with Yehuda Katz, Zvi Feldman, Hezi Shai and Arye Lieberman - were unaccounted for after the battle.
Shai was captured by Ahmed Jibril's PFLP-General Command, and Lieberman by Syrians. He was returned in 1984 and Shai in 1985.
But no clear sign was ever received as to the fate of the other three soldiers, including Zach.
Rumors soon began to circulate that they had been kidnapped.
Several hours after the battle, Western journalists from Time magazine, the Associated Press, and La Stampa, as well as the Syrian media, reported that three Israeli soldiers from a tank crew were paraded through Damascus in a "victory march."
For full story click here
For the background story of the Battle of Sultan Yakoub click here

Obama Team: Promises of previous administrations irrelevant

(Dr Lerner has a number of links today for background information related to this article. Click on the IMRA banner above for more articles.)

Dr. Aaron Lerner - IMRA: Important message for Israel from President
Obama: Don't take any "risk for peace" based on promises from an American

Israel: U.S. demand for settlement freeze 'not fair'
By Barak Ravid, Haaretz Correspondent Last update - 01:31 31/05/2009

Tensions between Washington and Jerusalem are growing after the U.S.
administration's demand that Israel completely freeze construction in all
West Bank settlements. Israeli political officials expressed disappointment
after Tuesday's round of meetings in London with George Mitchell, U.S.
President Barack Obama's envoy to the Middle East.

"We're disappointed," said one senior official. "All of the understandings
reached during the [George W.] Bush administration are worth nothing."
Another official said the U.S. administration is refusing every Israeli
attempt to reach new agreements on settlement construction. "The United
States is taking a line of granting concessions to the Palestinians that is
not fair toward Israel," he said.

The Israeli officials attributed the unyielding U.S. stance to the speech
Obama will make in Cairo this Thursday, in which he is expected to deliver a
message of reconciliation to the Arab and Muslim worlds.

Mitchell was joined at the London talks by his deputy David Hale, Daniel B.
Shapiro (the head of the National Security Council's Middle East desk), and
State Department deputy legal adviser Jonathan Schwartz.

The Israeli delegation consisted of National Security Adviser Uzi Arad,
Netanyahu diplomatic envoy Yitzhak Molcho, Defense Ministry chief of staff
Mike Herzog and deputy prime minister Dan Meridor.

Herzog spoke to Mitchell and his staff about understandings reached by
former prime ministers Ehud Olmert and Ariel Sharon with the Bush
administration on allowing continued building in the large West Bank
settlement blocs. He asked that a similar agreement be reached with the
Obama government.

Meridor spoke of the complexities characterizing the coalition headed by
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and said Washington's demands of a
complete construction freeze would lead to the dissolution of the Netanyahu

The Israeli delegates were stunned by the uncompromising U.S. stance, and by
statements from Mitchell and his staff that agreements reached with the Bush
administration were unacceptable. An Israeli official privy to the talks
said that "the Americans took something that had been agreed on for many
years and just stopped everything."

"What about the Tenet Report, which demanded that the Palestinians dismantle
the terror infrastructure?" said the official, referring to former CIA
director George Tenet. "It's unfair, and there is no reciprocity shown
toward the Palestinians."

The Israeli envoys said the demand for a total settlement freeze was not
only unworkable, but would not receive High Court sanction. Tensions
reportedly reached a peak when, speaking of the Gaza disengagement, the
Israelis told their interlocutors, "We evacuated 8,000 settlers on our own
initiative," to which Mitchell responded simply, "We've noted that here."

Defense Minister Ehud Barak will travel to Washington today in an attempt to
put further pressure on the Obama administration.

"We want to reach an agreement with the United States on ways to advance the
peace process," said a senior Jerusalem official. The U.S. stance, he said,
"will stall the process and bring about tension and stagnation, which will
hurt both Israel and the United States.

The Salami Principle (1991)

The above cartoon was published back in June 1991.
Fifteen years (18) have passed,
...and they're still trying to slice us up!

The experience of déjà vu is usually accompanied by a compelling sense of familiarity, and also a sense of "eeriness," "strangeness," or "weirdness. ...Perhaps this qualifies for all of the above.

Weekly Commentary: Keeping Netanyahu's Kitchen Hot

Dr. Aaron Lerner
Date: 28 May 2009

Let's get this straight.

It isn't the fault of the people who pushed to break up coalition
governments when the leadership defied their mandates. The fault is with
the politicians who underestimated the consequences of breaking their
promises to their constituents.

The lesson, time and again, has also been that when a leader turns to act in
violation of his mandate, that time works against those who seek to stop

Now, that's not to say that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu came back from
Washington resigned to ultimately march in lockstep according to President
Obama's orders.

Just that it should be made clear, for the benefit of all concerned, that
everyone in this game is considerably more experienced than the last times

Netanyahu certainly deserves credit for refusing to bow down and proclaim
his faith in the two-state religion - and for his very clear rejection of a
settlement freeze. But his remarks relating the outpost issue to Iran is a
dangerous precedent.

Now, while it is certainly the case that Prime Minister Sharon wrote of the
"removal of unauthorized outposts" in his 14 April 2004 exchange of letters
with President Bush, we also know that there are many outposts that lack
authorization because they are missing a few signatures on some paperwork.
The "removal of unauthorized outposts" ultimately applies, if we put our
minds to it, only to those outposts that have underlying legal impediments
that prevent their being authorized.

So the outpost story is considerably more complicated than an "all or
nothing " proposition.

How Netanyahu picks his way through this challenge will send a message to
his constituents as much as to Washington regarding his operating

Prime Minister Netanyahu may be calling, for the record, for Israelis to
back down on the outpost issue. But we all know that he needs for the
opposite to be the case.

The harder it is for him to do anything on the outpost issue, the easier it
will be for him to withstand pressure to compromise on the many other
matters on the table.

Sure it's hot in the kitchen.

But nobody forced him to take the job.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

"We're Not Alone,"

Not Then, and Not Now!

"We're Not Alone," 1967 The Israeli army's swift victory in the Sinai Peninsula in 1967 is depicted here as an act of divine providence.

From: With Eyes Toward Zion: The Political Cartoons of Noah Bee

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Column One: Israel and the Axis of Evil

Column One: Israel and the Axis of Evil

May. 27, 2009

North Korea is half a world away from Israel. Yet the nuclear test it
conducted on Monday has the Israeli defense establishment up in arms and its
Iranian nemesis smiling like the Cheshire Cat. Understanding why this is the
case is key to understanding the danger posed by what someone once
impolitely referred to as the Axis of Evil.

Less than two years ago, on September 6, 2007, the IAF destroyed a North
Korean-built plutonium production facility at Kibar, Syria. The destroyed
installation was a virtual clone of North Korea's Yongbyon plutonium
production facility.

This past March the Swiss daily Neue Zuercher Zeitung reported that Iranian
defector Ali Reza Asghari, who before his March 2007 defection to the US
served as a general in Iran's Revolutionary Guards and as deputy defense
minister, divulged that Iran paid for the North Korean facility. Teheran
viewed the installation in Syria as an extension of its own nuclear program.
According to Israeli estimates, Teheran spent between $1 billion and $2b.
for the project.

It can be assumed that Iranian personnel were present in North Korea during
Monday's test. Over the past several years, Iranian nuclear officials have
been on hand for all of North Korea's major tests including its first
nuclear test and its intercontinental ballistic missile test in 2006.

Moreover, it wouldn't be far-fetched to think that North Korea conducted
some level of coordination with Iran regarding the timing of its nuclear
bomb and ballistic missile tests this week. It is hard to imagine that it is
mere coincidence that North Korea's actions came just a week after Iran
tested its solid fuel Sejil-2 missile with a range of 2,000 kilometers.

Aside from their chronological proximity, the main reason it makes sense to
assume that Iran and North Korea coordinated their tests is because North
Korea has played a central role in Iran's missile program. Although Western
observers claim that Iran's Sejil-2 is based on Chinese technology
transferred to Iran through Pakistan, the fact is that Iran owes much of its
ballistic missile capacity to North Korea. The Shihab-3 missile, for
instance, which forms the backbone of Iran's strategic arm threatening
Israel and its Arab neighbors, is simply an Iranian adaptation of North
Korea's Nodong missile technology. Since at least the early 1990s, North
Korea has been only too happy to proliferate that technology to whoever
wants it. Like Iran, Syria owes much of its own massive missile arsenal to
North Korean proliferation.
For Full Article click here

Touring and Planting in the Outposts

Touring and Planting in the Outposts
Tuesday June 2, 2009

After the miraculous victory of the Six Day War, when G-d enabled us to return to our Biblical Heartland, we expected the government of Israel to start a wave of massive building and indeed, after lots of pressure by the pioneers, the Biblical cities were built- in Jerusalem, Hebron, Beit El, Shilo, Ofra, Shechem etc…
This continued until the Oslo agreements.

Since Oslo, the government of Israel has ceased settling Israel’s heartland: the historic cradle of Jewish civilization and thus has ceased to fulfill its main natural and national mission.

We, the settlers, have mostly submitted to governmental dictates while seeking to evade them via all kinds of behind-the-scenes deals and maneuvers – like during the Exile. However, we’ve now reached the point of total strangulation.Our children and grandchildren cannot live in the communities in which they grew up for no building is allowed. All building permits are given by the defense Minister.If he does not give his signature, the building becomes "illegal". A ludicrous and unbearable situation.

When you’re being strangled and your life is threatened, you break the attacker’s hold. So too, when Israel’s government refused to openly and proudly build up the Jewish presence in our homeland -- as is normal and proper -- we were forced to expand to the hilltops and build the outposts.

Now, once again, the government has surrendered to foreign and domestic pressure with its specious decision to destroy 26 outposts under the guise of “enforcing the law.” It hopes to appease the would-be destroyers by trading the outposts for our opponents’ kind permission to allow natural growth in the settlement blocks and Jerusalem.

Unfortunately, we know from past experience that every time we compromise, they continue to destroy. Besides the increase in terror and war, our concessions just whet their appetites for the next course.

The so-called “outposts” are mostly communities in every way -- young families living in proper homes, children, nursery schools, and synagogues. But aside from what the outposts are, their importance lies in what they mean: they show us the proper direction and they illuminate our national mission to continue building and settling the Land of Israel. That is what our enemies are so eager to uproot.

This coming Tuesday, June 2nd,2009 we will tour the outposts
to see them from up close and to stand by them in their hour of need.

We will visit Mitzpe Avigail in the North Hebron Hills,
Chazon David, the Federman Farm and Mitzpe Avichai in Kiryat Arba and Ma’ale Rechavam in Gush Etzion.

At 7:00pm we will all gather in Maaleh Rehavam for a ceremony and planting trees with the participation of
Member of Knesset Michael Ben Ari, Attn Elyakim Haetzni, Rabbi Uzi Sharbaf

We will set out in our cars and by bus (registration is a must- fee for the bus 10nis)
At 3:30pm- from Jerusalem Inbal Hotel
At 4:00 pm – from the Gush Etzion intersection
At 4:30- from Kiryat Arba Hebron, next to security department
We will meet the residents of each outpost and hear from them some explanation about the place they live in and why the plan to uproot outposts is so dangerous for Israel.

Organized by
Women in Green- The Action Committees of Efrat, Gush Etzion, and Kiryat Arba Hebron- The Committee for a Jewish Shdema

For details and to register for the bus: Nadia Matar 0505-500834 Yehudit Katzover 050-7161818

Land for Peace (1991)

Fifteen (18) years ago this month. May 1991. Notice that Mr. Shuldig is wearing what used to be the standard dress code for Israeli gents. A jacket, shirt with open collar and no tie. These days our politicians, newscasters, and businessmen wear Italian suits and silk ties.
Of course some things never change.
Like the obscene idea that "Peace" is something that Israelis need to "buy". Peace, real peace, is like love. A mutual blessing for both parties.

Land for Peace is like Money for Love.
Sure you can pay for it...
But what you get is short-term, empty, and just not the real thing.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

VPM Moshe Ya'alon:'Palestinian entity cannot be formed'

Gil Hoffman , THE JERUSALEM POST May. 26, 2009

Vice Premier Moshe Ya'alon, who is very close to Prime Minister Binyamin
Netanyahu, ruled out the creation of any "Palestinian entity" at a
conference at the Knesset entitled "Alternatives to the Two-State Outlook."

The conference, organized by Likud MK Tzipi Hotovely,
was purposely timed to coincide with the aftermath of Netanyahu's meeting in Washington with US President Barack Obama,
amid speculation ahead of Obama's key speeches to
the Muslim world and the quartet next month. The event was intended to send
a message that opposition to the creation of a Palestinian state was common
among mainstream Israelis and politicians not considered extremist.

In his address, Ya'alon outlined why every diplomatic process with the
Palestinians had failed so far and why efforts to find a solution to the
conflict must stop. He said the best that could be done now was to manage
the conflict, rather than solve it, by encouraging reforms and economic
development in the Palestinian Authority.

"I do not see any chance of establishing a viable Palestinian entity in
Judea and Samaria and/or the Gaza Strip that could sustain itself
economically," Ya'alon said. "The gap between Israel as a First-World
country and a Palestinian Third-World country is a recipe for instability. I
also don't see a chance to form a viable Palestinian entity in Judea and
Samaria and/or the Gaza Strip that could bring stability on the security
front, while chances the entity would be adversarial are very high."

For Full Story click here

However, for those who would like to better understand what the real problem is this 43 second Youtube will probably do the job.

Sefirat Ha'Omer The Finish Line

With Erev Shavuot just around the bend, the finish line in sight, a 1 minute reminder of what it's all about.

Forty-nine days that can change your world:

The forty-nine days between Passover and Shavuot, (between leaving Egypt and receiving Torah at Sinai), are days laden with awesome spiritual potential.

The opportunity for growth is ours for the taking.

The Temple Institute celebrates the 49 days.

Amnesty in 2008: Anti-Israel Obsession

Amnesty in 2008: Anti-Israel Obsession Continues to Undermine Moral Principles
NGO Monitor

May 27, 2009

In 2008, Amnesty again focused disproportionately on Israel’s response to aggression from Gaza, and led the NGO campaigns accusing Israel of “collective punishment” and “war crimes.”

Amnesty’s publications in the region portray Israel as among the worst human rights violators in the Middle East (second only to Iran). In 2008. Amnesty issued more in-depth reports (9) and “Wire” articles (22) on Israel than any other country.
The data indicate that media attention and ideology, in contrast to universal human rights, drive Amnesty’s agenda. Amnesty’s anti-Israel press releases consistently reflect the organization’s role in influencing international public opinion.
Amnesty International’s 2009 Annual Report (for events in 2008) further demonstrates the NGO superpower’s highly biased approach. Amnesty grossly distorts the conflict, selectively reports events to erase the context of terrorism, ignores human rights issues not consistent with the political agenda, and repeats un-sourced and anecdotal claims.

Amnesty promotes an overwhelmingly Palestinian narrative of events, blaming Israel for the end of the Gaza ceasefire and the weapons’ smuggling tunnels under the Egyptian border.

The section on “Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories” employs highly exaggerated language and absurd allegations. Amnesty accuses Israel of “unprecedented use of force” in Gaza, “virtual imprisonment,” and bringing the Palestinians to the “brink of human catastrophe,” and charges that “impunity remained the norm for Israeli soldiers.”

For Full Story

Bushehr in Exchange for Yitzhar

In the face-off between Mahmoud (Achmadinijad), Hussein (Obama) and Bibi, the first two can chalk up a major victory even before the game begins. Mahmoud doesn't have a bomb yet, but Netanyahu is already running to drive Jews from their homes and destroy their villages. Hussein Obama, who released the trial balloon called Bushehr in exchange for Yitzhar can also congratulate himself on two big wins.

Netanyahu paid lip service to a strong, independent Israel, but his actions show that he has accepted Obama's Bushehr for Yitzhar principle. He also accepted another of Obama's principles: that the right of Israel to exist as a Jewish state is open for negotiation.

Netanyahu attempted to make negotiations with the Arabs conditional on their acceptance of the fact that Israel is a Jewish state. But he folded as soon as Obama refused to buy into this pre-condition. When the negotiations begin, the principle of a Palestinian state will be irrefutable. But a Jewish state? What's that?

For Full Article Click Here

Parents of Fallen Soldiers Teach Heroism

Parents of fallen IDF soldiers Roi Klein and Noam Apter conclude three-week tour of United States and Canada speaking on subject of heroism to local teens

Josh Lichtenstein Published: 05.27.09, 00:00
Ynet/Israel Jewish Scene

The parents of Roi Klein and Noam Apter, two fallen IDF soldiers, have recently returned from a three-week tour of the United States and Canada speaking on heroism. They were invited to speak by the Bnei Akiva North American delegation, and the Beni David pre-army program.

Major Roi Klein, a member of the Golani brigade, was killed during the 2006 Lebanon War. In the Battle of Bint Jbeil, a hand grenade was thrown into the house where Klein and his unit were positioned. Klein immediately jumped on the grenade, which killed him instantly. His act of bravery saved the lives of his entire unit.

In 2002, Sergeant Noam Apter was killed during a terrorist attack at the yeshiva in Otniel. Noam Apter was working in the yeshiva kitchen, preparing Shabbat dinner for over 100 students in the adjacent dining hall. Two terrorists snuck into the kitchen through a service entrance, disguised in army uniforms and armed with M-16 rifles. In his final moments, Apter locked the adjoining dining room door which prevented the terrorists from reaching the other students. He died in the ambush but was able to save the lives of his yeshiva classmates.

What a journey
During the journey, the Klein and Apter families visited community centers and schools in Toronto, Hamilton (Canada), Chicago, Detroit, Monsey, Long Island, and New York. Students and parents from across North America were able to learn about these two remarkable stories of bravery in the midst of danger.
For Full Story


A Candle of Remembrance for the one hundred and eighty paratroopers who gave their lives sanctifying G-d's name, on this the forty second year since they fell in battle, in the conquest of the city of G-d and the place of His holy sanctuary.

When this letter reaches your hands, I will no longer be among the living. In these, the final moments of my life, I feel compelled to express my thoughts.

I am twenty years old. My dreams of building a family I must abandon, and pictures of my life, from the moment I was born, until this moment, are racing before my eyes…

In these brief moments the soul sees what a man can't see in a lifetime of moments.

I am positioned in this location overlooking the site of the Holy Temple, hearing the bullets whistle past my head, the explosions of mortar as they fall all around me, and seeing the flowing blood pooling on the stone floor beside me. My finger, which squeezes tight the trigger of my rifle, is growing weak. I stop for a brief moment, release my grip, and grasp instead the pen, to write these few last words on a blood stained scrap of paper.

To my right and to my left lie the lifeless fallen bodies of my fellow paratroopers, who stormed the old city gates. Now their souls are making their heavenly journey to the Throne of Glory, from where they were hewn. In but a few solitary minutes my soul, too, will be released from the bonds of my body, and I too will make my upward ascent to join the souls of my companions, as an offering of ascents on the supernal altar in heaven.

My eyes see the Temple Mount spread before me in all its grandeur. At the center of its great plaza I see the Dome of the Rock, and, behold – atop the dome I see waving in the breeze, the flag of the reborn state of Israel. A flag - "a tallit made entirely of techelet," upon the azure background of the sky, and the radiant blue stone of the heavenly Throne of Glory. My heart fills with pride and sublime satisfaction: I have not died in vain! I have given my life for the return of my people to Zion and to the place of the Holy Temple.

The Jews of two thousand years of exile, my brothers, the sons and daughters of my people, were slaughtered and incinerated alive, their bodies reduced to mere ashes which blackened the skies as they poured forth from the chimneys of the extermination camps. In your deaths you sanctified the name of G-d, even in your certainty that the people of Israel was being blotted from the earth, and that you were the last of the sons of Jacob.

How I am filled with joy – how fortunate is my lot! – that I have been granted this opportunity to give over my soul to the outstretched hands of the supernal angels, while my eyes still see the bravery of my people, the rise of Israel and the return to the rebuilt Jerusalem!

No, I am not the last of the last, but the first of the first! The first to emerge from the darkness of exile into the great resplendent light shining forth now from the courtyards of the Holy Temple – the house of the L-rd.

The roar of the cannons grows dim. A moment of quiet returns: I see in the place of the ephemeral Dome of the Rock, emerging and rising up from the earth a magnificent edifice, indestructible and glorious, reflecting in its golden surfaces the golden rays of the sun. My eyes see thousand upon thousands of people streaming across the mountains and through the valleys, from all directions. They are gathering, this great congregation of humanity, and pouring forth through the gates of the Holy Temple and into her courtyards.

Indeed, my entire being is filled with great joy - my life I have given, but in giving my life, the people of Israel has received from me the gift of a generations longed-for dream fulfilled. I am as Moses, to whom it was said, "Behold, before you is the land, but there you will not tread." But Moses stands at a great distance and longs to come to "this good mountain, this Levanon," - this Holy Temple, yet remains far away, in the place where he is buried.

But me? I am so close! The Holy Temple is within my grasp! And I have the great merit to see in my mind's eye the Holy Temple rebuilt before me - just a few short strides from where I lay.

My soul departs from me. And as it departs so do two thousand years of bitter exile. And now unfolds a new age on earth: the rebuilding of the Third Holy Temple and the days of the Messiah.

In the grave silence which now engulfs all that is around me, I hear the soft cooing of the dove... the cooing of the beloved shechinah, saying, "My son! My young dove! You have returned now to the cote."

The sound of great anguish and the sound of great joy I can hear: "Two thousand years I have waited for you, two thousand years of longing, and behold - you have returned to the covey of your family."

The call of the dove grows stronger: "People of Israel, where are you? Your lives have been given to you as a gift, like the spoils of war. Step forth upon the path of your warriors - who gave their very souls! Let each man lift up a stone in his hand, a shekel of silver, or a single grain of gold. "Go up to the mountain, bring wood, and build the house; and I will take pleasure in it, and I will be glorified, saith HaShem." (Haggai 1:8)

That which you are called upon to give in order to build G-d's holy house is but as naught. Other have offered up their very lives, each life an entire world! Those that sent forth their souls, upon the altar of the Third Holy Temple.

As for myself? I am but one of the fallen. I listen to the beckoning of the dove, and gather my strength to ask of my people: From the greatest to the least: Will you follow in our footsteps?

The above was an imaginary letter, penned by Rabbi Yisrael Ariel, the founder and head of the Temple Institute. Rabbi Ariel was a paratrooper in the Six Day War, and participated in the liberation of the Temple Mount. To hear his moving personal testimony, please click here, (video).

Additional photographs from the Rabbi's personal colection can be see here.

Happy Shavuot

Tomorrow is Erev Shavuot. Shops, offices, and businesses across the country will close early, and sundown will usher in the Shavuot holiday. The food "theme" of this ancient Biblical holiday is ...CHEESE! For previous Dry Bones cartoons, info, links, and columns about this cheese-eating holiday, just click on Shavuot.

Happy Holiday! Hag Samaeah!
The next Dry Bones cartoon will be posted on Monday (June 1, 2009).

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Hebron- 4000 years and 40

Noam Arnon--A New History of Hebron

Click on cover to begin


IMRA, Independent Media Review and Analysis, was founded in 1992, by Drs. Aaron and Joseph Lerner, as an ongoing analysis of developments in Arab-Israeli relations. Awarded credentials by the Government of Israel as a news organization, IMRA provides an extensive digest of media, polls and significant interviews and events.
The site includes:

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When Israel Says "NO" to the USA

When Israel Says "NO" to the USA
(A Win-Win Proposition)
Yoram Ettinger, Ynet, May 24, 2009

Critical milestones, in the history of the Israel, occurred while constructive disagreements dominated the relations between the Jewish State and its only significant ally, the USA.

When a junior partner loses the capability to say "No" to a senior partner, then both lose!

US-Israel concurrence is not a prerequisite for the advancement of peace and bilateral strategic cooperation. Israel should strive for a wider agreement with the US, but not at any price. Common ground with the US should not be at the expense of Israel's independent national security policy-making. It should not undermine Israel's control of land, which is critical to its survival.

The superiority of Israel's security considerations over agreement with the US ­ even at a painful cost to Israel ­ paved the road to the 1948 establishment of the Jewish State. "Much as Israel desired friendship with the US and full co-operation with it…Israel could not yield at any point which, in its judgment, would threaten its independence or its security…" stated Prime Minister Ben Gurion, when rejecting a brutal US ultimatum to refrain from declaration of independence and to accept a UN Trusteeship. Ben Gurion added that "[The US] would be gravely mistaken if [it] assumed that the threat, or even the use of UN sanctions, would force Israel to yield on issues considered vital to its independence and security…" (My Mission In Israel 1948-1951, James MacDonald, Simon and Shuster, p. 49).

The US ultimatum included a military embargo and a threat of economic sanctions. But, Ben Gurion determined that sovereignty and national security ­ rather than concurrence with the US ­ constituted supreme strategic values. He realized that an agreement with the US would be transient, non-binding (according to the US Constitution) and subject to US interpretation, while national security would be a fixture largely controlled by Israel. Ben Gurion's order of national priorities transformed Israel from a sympathy-deserving remnant of the Holocaust to a potential strategic partner.

The 1979 Israel-Egypt peace treaty was initiated by Prime Minister Begin, in defiance of a policy introduced by President Carter and National Security Advisor Brzezinski. While Begin insisted on a direct Jerusalem-Cairo dialogue, which minimized the Palestinian role, Carter and Brzezinski lobbied for an international conference, which would highlight the Palestinian issue. Begin's and Sadat's determination not to allow the peace process to become a hostage in the hands of the Palestinian issue and radical regimes, forced Carter and Brzezinski to abandon their own policy and jump on the bandwagon (all the way to the Noble Peace Prize).

The first Intifadah (1987-1992) escalated US-Israel disagreements, fueled by the US-PLO dialogue. President Bush #41st and Secretary Baker did not waste an opportunity to condemn Prime Minister Shamir as a supposed obstacle to peace and persona non-grata in Washington, DC. However, regional and global challenges, and Shamir's steadfastness in face of internal and external pressure, yielded the dramatic enhancement of US-Israel strategic cooperation: upgrading Israel to "Major Non-NATO Ally," inclusion of Israel in "Star Wars" and US funding of most of the anti-ballistic missile "Arrow" project, expansion of joint military exercises, increasing pre-positioning of US military ammunition and supplies in Israel, upgrading of the port of Haifa for the Sixth Fleet, participation of Israeli defense contractors in Pentagon contracts in Europe, emergency assistance following the 1991 Gulf War, etc.

The US Administration was not at ease with Shamir's demand to stop issuing refugee certificates to Soviet Jews, and to force the USSR to fly Jewish Olim (immigrants) only to Israel. Shamir's readiness to risk disagreement with the US stopped the 95% dropout rate among Jewish Olim and produced a wave of one million Olim to the Jewish State, which has catapulted the country demographically, technologically, medically, culturally and militarily.

In 1967 and in 1991, President Johnson and President Reagan pressured Israel against a unilateral military action against the Egypt-Syria-Jordan axis and Iraq's nuclear reactor. Prime Minister Eshkol and Prime Minister Begin defied US (and global pressure), wrecked the Nasser-led anti-US Arab axis and destroyed Iraq's nuclear project, thus advancing drastically US' and Israel's national security. Eshkol and Begin realized that sovereignty and national security ­ rather than concurrence with the US ­ constituted the top strategic values. Will Prime Minister Netanyahu follow in their footsteps, avoiding temptation to transform common ground with the US into the top strategic value?

Israel's Army Out of the Box


By Moshe Feiglin

1 Sivan 5769
May 24, '09

Translated from the Hebrew article on NRG

In Israel, you just don't talk about Israel's Defense Forces, the IDF.
People prefer not to think about the army's shortcomings, blithely saying that if the IDF has successfully protected Israel over the past sixty years, it must know what it is doing. Only people from within the system – and with a lot of decorations on their shoulders – are allowed to express their opinions and occasionally – their criticism.

With all due respect to the IDF, a serious analysis of the history of Israel's wars leads us to the conclusion that in some cases, Israel didn't survive because of the IDF, but despite it. The IDF is the army of the entire nation. It is the largest and most important tool that Israel has in its battle for its physical survival. Silencing constructive criticism does not help it to become a more effective army.

Now for a personal story. As part of my reserve army service, I was once sent to command a small group of soldiers at a front line position on the border. After we got ourselves organized, the commander of the area arrived to check the capabilities of the new units manning the posts.

"Do you have any comments?" the officer asked us. "Yes," I answered, "It is very easy for a single terrorist to infiltrate this outpost and to murder the guard and the other soldiers as they sleep in their beds." At this point I delineated the exact and simple path that a potential terrorist could take. The commander's reaction surprised me. He was visibly angered and left the outpost.

Two years later, our battalion was sent once again to that outpost. A 16 year old terrorist infiltrated – using the exact path that I had described to my superior – and murdered one of our soldiers.

With that in mind, I would like to present some ideas to improve the IDF.

Draft age is too early. An 18 year old is not mature enough to be a soldier. This was true in the past and is even truer today, when society conditions youth to remain children as long as possible. Men should be drafted at the age of 20, as prescribed by the Torah (Numbers 1:45). At 20, a young man is mature enough to serve in the army. When I was only 19 years old, I was already an officer. Some of my soldiers had been drafted late and were 20 or older. The difference in their performance was clear for all to see.

An army based on soldiers who begin their military service when they are 20 will be a mature, professional, efficient army, free of those "immaturity" blunders that fluster boys who are not yet ready for army life. Presumably, the number of army suicides will drop, as well.

Currently, Israeli boys are inducted into the army at the age of 18 because that is when they finish high school. In the two year interim until their induction at age 20, these boys should be allowed to do national service or to pursue whatever path they choose.

If an 18 year old decides that he would like to spend the next two years traveling the world or to begin his academic studies that would be fine. But the future draftees should also be allowed to do national service vital to our country in exchange for one year of the three year term of military service. Alternately, they could be sent to study professions that are in short supply in Israel, such as medicine or Jewish studies. These studies can be considered one year of national service. These students should be allowed to defer their draft until the completion of their studies.

Another point: I believe that the IDF's reliance on the reserve forces is more tradition and ideology than what the rules of efficiency would dictate. An army based on reserve forces cannot be a truly professional army. Israel should consider transition to a standing army-based force in which the reserves would be relegated to home-front missions.

Reserve duty is extremely expensive. The tax payer pays for it twice: Once to the reserve soldier and another time for lost days of work. The reserve units' equipment is stored and managed by the standing army in special IDF warehouses. All these factors lead to the conclusion that expanding the standing army while downsizing the reserves would produce a much more effective military result at a similar price.

And now for the most important point: Transition to a volunteer army. The standing army should be comprised of volunteers. They should receive excellent salaries and a respected place in society. I am certain that the supply will be greater than the demand and will allow the IDF to exact top-notch performance from its top-notch soldiers.

And what about everybody else? Every capable male should be drafted for a short basic training in which he would learn to shoot and perform basic military functions. Yes, every capable male from every sector – with the training appropriate to the needs of the sector. Yeshiva students should be allowed to do the basic training during the break in semesters and in accordance with all the standards of Jewish law. Once every few years, all the basic trainees should be required to do a "refresher" course. These men would be drafted in the most extreme cases of all out war, when they could quickly be trained in more advanced military methods.

In truth, the IDF is already quite volunteer-based. It is no coincidence that most of the dead and wounded from this winter's Gaza war were Religious Zionists. Those men who do not wish to enlist, already know how to avoid army service. Volunteer enlistment will free us of our obsession with the issue of draft for yeshiva students. If they want, they can enlist. If not, they won't – just like every other Israeli citizen.

In addition, the volunteer enlistment will eliminate the advantage that Arabs enjoy today in the work market, which they join at the age of 18, while their Jewish counterparts begin their civilian lives three or four years later.

The IDF is an army that we can and should be proud of. Let's think out of the box to make it even better.

Bnei Anousim in Europe Join Efforts to Support Israel

May 26, 2009
- Press Release -
For further details contact: Arik Puder - Spokesman at
or +972 52 5820820

For the first time, Bnei Anousim in Europe
enlist to join Israel's Hasbara (Public Diplomacy) efforts

Dozens of participants, whose ancestors were forced to convert to
Catholicism during the Inquisition over 500 years ago, gathered this past
weekend in Barcelona for a special seminar run by Shavei Israel to train
them in making Israel's case to the media

Barcelona (25 May 2009) - Amid rising anti-Semitism and anti-Israel
sentiment throughout Europe, and especially in Spain, the Shavei Israel
organization convened a special seminar this past weekend in Barcelona (from
May 22 to 24, 2009) with the aim of training Bnei Anousim to become
effective advocates for Israel and its cause in their home countries.
A number of experts on Israel advocacy were brought in to take part,
including Dr. Raanan Gissin, a former spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister
Ariel Sharon, and Ambassador Einat Kranz-Nieger, Israel's Deputy Ambassador
to Spain. Both conducted training sessions for the participants and provided
them with guidance and tools for defending the Jewish state in the local and
international media.
The seminar was held at the Jewish community center in Barcelona (known as
the CIB), and drew some 70 participants, mostly from Spain and Portugal, all
of whom are Bnei Anousim (whom historians refer to by the derogatory term
This marks the first time in the history of the State of Israel that Bnei
Anousim are actively volunteering to be part of Israel's hasbara efforts in
their own countries.
For full story click here

Festival of the Giving of the Torah

Rabbi Dov Begon – Rosh Yeshiva of Machon Meir
Message for Today:

The Torah was given to the Jewish People, not to any individual or particular party or stream within the Jewish People. Only when Israel were united as one person with one heart did they receive the Torah at Sinai. The knowledge that the Torah was imparted to the entire Jewish People is bequeathed to every Jewish child when he is learning to talk. His father then teaches him, “Moses prescribed the Torah to us, an eternal heritage to the congregation of Jacob” (Deuteronomy 33:4; Rambam, Hilchot Talmud Torah 1:6). Our holy Torah is a heritage for the entire Jewish People.

Likewise each day, before we learn Torah, we bless G-d, “who chose us from amongst all nations and gave us His Torah.” The blessing refers to us in the plural. Every approach to Torah learning must start with an awareness that G-d chose us from amongst all the nations, that the Jewish People are a chosen people, a “kingdom of priests and a holy people” (see Exodus 19:5-6). Torah learning that does not begin with recitation of the Torah blessing to G-d “who chose us from amongst all nations,” brought the exile upon us. As our sages say, “Why was the Land lost? Because they did not recite the blessings before Torah learning” (see Bava Metzia 85, Sichot HaRav Tzvi Yehuda Kook, Talmud Torah 2).

Today, how fortunate we are and how pleasant our lot that after two thousand years of exile we have finally merited to return to our land. And we are not only returning to our land, but to ourselves and to our Torah – our heritage. Here in Eretz Yisrael, the special soul of the Jewish People as a chosen people, a kingdom of priests and a holy nation, is increasingly being revealed for all to see. True, we are still only at the start of the process of rebirth, and there is still enormous confusion and lack of knowledge and understanding regarding the essence, identity and purpose of our people, chosen by G-d to bring light to the world. Yet we can already see the light at the end of the time tunnel, in the form of tens of thousands of our Jewish brethren who are returning to our holy Torah, filling the synagogues and study halls, and reciting the Torah blessing, praising G-d “who chose us from amongst all nations and gave us His Torah.” On Shavuot, we recite with enormous joy, “You chose us from amongst all peoples. You loved us and wanted us… and You lovingly gave us holidays for joy, festivals and good times for rejoicing, including this Shavuot holiday, the festival of the giving of the Torah.”

With blessings for a joyous Shavuot and looking forward to complete redemption.Shabbat Shalom!

Quota On the Number of Jews

In an impassioned plea yesterday, Kadima MK Otniel Schneller said "The American request to freeze natural growth in Judea and Samaria is unethical and is a reminder of past restrictions against the Jewish people," Schneller said. "It is even worse than the White Paper, which did not recognize our right to a national homeland, but at least allowed us our natural right to have children.

"I will not lend a hand to a dictate preventing my daughters from giving birth to my grandchildren, and I will not cooperate with an effort to trample human rights, as the Americans are in essence trying to do."

For the Full Article click here

One Day In May (1991)

This is the 18th Anniversary of May 24 1991, when all of Israel was swept up in the witnessing of the miracle of the return of the Ethiopians to this, their ancestral homeland. Long prophesied in their and our holy books and traditions, the entire country was looking a Biblical miracle in the face. The cartoon page addressed the embarrassing question of how a secular nation can interpret a miracle.

As I often did, back in those days, I used a Doobie cartoon at the bottom of the page to deliver a wry observation so as to cut the overly saccharine sentiments of the cartoon above.

Will the US follow its laws and suspend funding to Abbas?

As US President Barack Obama prepares to welcome Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to Washington this week, and US lawmakers debate the proposed $900 million aid package to the PA, it is once again using its money to proclaim that killing Israeli woman and children is heroic.

The PA chose to name its latest computer center "after the martyr Dalal Mughrabi," who led the most deadly terror attack in the country's history. Her 1978 bus hijacking killed 37 civilians, 12 of them children, including American photographer Gail Rubin. The new center is funded by Abbas's office, which is bolstered by Western aid money. (Al-Ayyam, May 5).
US law prohibits the funding of Palestinian structures that use any portion of their budget to promote terror or honor terrorists. But $200 million of the US's proposed $900m. aid package is earmarked to go directly to the Abbas government, which regularly uses its budget to honor terrorists. In fact, this latest veneration of Mughrabi is not an isolated case, but part of a continuing pattern of honoring terrorists that targets children in particular.
Last summer the PA sponsored "the Dalal Mughrabi football championship" for kids, and a "summer camp named for martyr Dalal Mughrabi... out of honor and admiration for the martyr." It also held a party to honor exemplary students, also named "for the martyr Dalal Mughrabi," under the auspices of Abbas and at which Abbas's representative "reviewed the heroic life of the martyr [Mughrabi] (Al-Hayat al-Jadida, July 23, 24 and August 8, 2008). All these PA-funded activities were to teach kids that a killer of women and children is a role model.
TWO MONTHS AGO, 31 years to the day after the Mughrabi murders, PA TV broadcast a special program celebrating the terror attack, calling the killing of 37 civilians "one of the most important and most prominent special operations... carried out by a team of heroes and led by the heroic fighter Dalal Mughrabi" (PA TV March 11). And its not just Mughrabi who is a Palestinian hero. Despite professions in English by Abbas and other PA leaders that they reject terror, the PA has a long and odious history in Arabic of celebrating terrorists as role models and heroes, often involving US money.
For Full Article Click Here
Itamar Marcus is founder and director of Palestinian Media Watch. Barbara Crook is PMW's associate director.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Sometimes in Life

Sometimes in life there are people who just don't seem to get it.
For example:

On the other hand, there are people who know exactly what they want.

New Immigrants to Gush Etzion Receive Extra Help

by Malkah Fleisher

( New immigrants to communities in the Gush Etzion area of the Judean region will now be able to receive additional benefits and support as part of the Ministry of Absorption's Aliyah Kehilati "Community Aliyah" program.

Aliyah Kehilati offers substantial financial and social assistance to immigrants who make aliyah to one of a select group of communities. While olim (new immigrants) to Efrat are not eligible, those who move to other Gush Etzion communities are entitled to enhanced Hebrew language ulpan courses and extra rent subsidies, entrepreneurship stipends, academic assistance for school-age children, cultural and special activities, and aliyah-related counseling.

These benefits, which are additional to those in the regular "absorption basket," are already extended to North Americans who move to Ariel, Jerusalem, Ma'aleh Adumim, and Modi'in, to Britons moving to Modi'in or Haifa, and South Africans and Australians moving to Modi'in.

Nefesh B'Nefesh (NBN), the organization facilitating North American and British aliyah, will assist immigrants in accessing these services and allowances. "We look forward to working together with the Jewish Agency on this project and ensuring a smooth and successful absorption for many more olim," said Tzvi Richter, NBN's director of the Guidance and Community Resources department.

The Aliyah Kehilati project in Gush Etzion will be headed by Benjie Aziz. Interested immigration applicants are encouraged to contact him at, and to inquire about opportunities through Nefesh B'Nefesh at

Moskowitz Prize for Zionism Award Ceremony

Mr. Sammy Bar Lev
Mayor of the city of Katzrin

Mrs. Ronit Shuker
Founder, Givat Achiya community and Shilo-area; return to Jewish labor

Mr. Noam Arnon
A leader of the Jewish community of Hebron

Moskowitz Prize for Zionism award ceremony draws MKs and hundreds of people
from across the country to honor three pioneering Zionists

May 24, 2009 - JERUSALEM- At a twilight ceremony on Thursday on the slopes
of the ancient City of David, Likud Minister Beni Begin and Nobel Prize
winner Prof. Yisrael Aumann congratulated the winners of the 2009 Moskowitz
Prize for Zionism "Lion of Zion" award, and encouraged the audience to take
pride in their identity and continue to do their part to strengthen the
country. The Moskowitz Prize for Zionism, established in 2008 by Dr. Irving
and Cherna Moskowitz, recognizes exceptional individuals from across the
spectrum of Israeli society who put Zionism into action, placing the
collective before personal needs and do what it takes to ensure a strong,
secure Jewish homeland.

Adjacent to the Old City of Jerusalem and the Western Wall, the City of
David was a poignant spot for an event held on the eve of 42nd anniversary
of Jerusalem's reunification.

"In this citadel of Zion, we express appreciation and admiration for acts of
Zionism," said Begin, addressing a packed audience that included fellow
cabinet members Minister of National Infrastructure Uzi Landau and Minister
of Science Daniel Hershkowitz. "We must continue to cope with the
difficulties facing us and fortify our strength."

Prof. Aumann, Special Advisor to the public committee entrusted with ....
For Full Story Click Here

Jaw-dropping Statement of the Day

French foreign minister Bernard Kouchner as quoted by Israeli foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman.

During the cabinet meeting, trying to illustrate how the settlement issue was widely misunderstood abroad, Lieberman said that in a recent meeting with French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, he said that his home settlement of Nokdim needed additional preschools, and was asked by Kouchner why the children there couldn't just go to study in nearby Bethlehem.
On what planet does Kouchner live?

TY to Israel Matzav

Interview with Shuly Nathan of "Jerusalem of Gold" fame

Iyar 27, 5769, 5/21/2009
Ben Bresky interviews Shuly Nathan

Now a mother and housewife, I caught up with Mrs. Nathan by phone in between her picking up her children from summer camp. For more information visit her web site at Her name is alternatively spelled Shuli Natan or various other combinations. Also check out

Israel Beat: Why don't you just tell us a little about who you are and what you do.

Shuly Nathan: I am the singer who first sang the original version of Yerushalayim Shel Zahav on Independence Day, 1967 at a song festival. And the song has become like a prophesy and the hymn of the Six Day War and one of the most beloved songs in Israel until this day.

Israel Beat:Did you know that was going to happen that day?

Shuly Nathan: No, no. I felt that I had a treasure in my hand, as a song, but I could never imagine that it could take such root. That it would become almost like a hymn.

Israel Beat: And they just found you and put you up on stage?

Shuly Nathan: Well, Nomi [Naomi] Shemer chose me to sing this song. Teddy Kollek [the mayor of Jerusalem] asked for songs for Jerusalem for the festival. Outside of the contest, Nomi had been asked to write a song and she wrote Jersualem of Gold. And then when they asked who would like to perform this song, she said, "I heard a young girl singing not long ago in an amateur program and I would like her to sing the song." So first they objected and said this girl, her name is Shuly Nathan, she is a soldier and she is an amateur singer and they don't use amateur on that festival. And Nomi said, "If you don't let her sing that song, I am not going to submit the song." That is how my fate went.

Israel Beat: So you've worked with her this entire time?

Shuly Nathan: Yes. I worked with her in the winter that was before January and February, before the festival. The festival was in April. And I got to know her. We worked plenty on the song. Although she gave me quite a lot of freedom, she insisted on the harmonies and the general frame of the song but she gave me quite a lot of freedom to make my own interpretation.

Israel Beat: So that performance was actually before the war?

Shuly Nathan: It was before the war. It was two and a half weeks before the war. The next day they started to call the Miluim [reserve duty soldiers]. Two and a half weeks later, the city was free. General Motta Gur said "Har Habayit is in our hands", and all the paratroopers that were there were yelling and shouting "Yerushalayim Shel Zahav!" It became like a hymn.

Israel Beat: What are you doing now? You're now releasing new albums, right?

Shuly Nathan: I made about six albums in the first part of my career, long-plays, between '67 and '75. Then I got married and had five children and I stopped for ten years. My second career started when my youngest son was two, and it lasts 'til now. I released four CDs. Amongst them, one of Shlomo Carlebach which I released about two years ago. And I'm going on and I'm very, very busy. Singing in Israel and around the world as well.

Israel Beat: Do people recognize your name? Do they know you?

Shuly Nathan: Most people do. They young people, they know, if you tell them, I'm the original singer of Jerusalem of Gold. So everybody knows Jerusalem of Gold.

Israel Beat: Did you work with Naomi Shemer this entire time?

Shuly Nathan: I worked with her later. We released another LP. Shuly Nathan Sings Naomi Shemer Songs. That was in 1974. We were always in touch with her and with her family -- her husband and her children. We were very found of each other.

Israel Beat: Have you been all over the world touring?

Shuly Nathan: I've been, yes. All through the years, yes.

Israel Beat: What have the reactions been?

Shuly Nathan: It's always very exciting. When they hear Yerushalayim Shel Zahav, people cry. They get very excited.

Israel Beat: How did you learn how to sing?

Shuly Nathan: I started to play the guitar and that made me start singing when I was sixteen.

Israel Beat: Do you have any CDs coming out now?

Shuly Nathan: I am working. I am starting one now that will be more ethnic music. Ladino songs, Italian, Moroccan, Jewish. Maybe some songs from around the world.

Israel Beat: Are there any Jerusalem of Gold type songs now?

Shuly Nathan: Not that I know. There isn't anything like it. Because it's not a normal song. So it's really something once in a decade.

Israel Beat: Do you have any advice for people for people who want to write a great song such as that?

Shuly Nathan: It's not something that you can do with intention. I don't think she did it with intention in her mind. She just went to Jerusalem, walked in the streets of Jerusalem, wrote about the sadness of us not being able to reach The Wall and the holy places and she was inspired. She certainly was inspired.

INFO4U: Top Tech Tips for Olim

Not just for Olim, this was found on yesterdays Janglo and has in it a wealth of information. For those not familiar with Janglo (Jerusalem Anglo Protexia), this is the site with thousands of subscribers in the Jersulem area, seeking work, offering opportunities, and proffering advice on every topic imaginable. You can subscribe or just visit their site which is constantly updated throughout the day.

8. INFO4U: Top Tech Tips for Olim
Posted by: ""
Sun May 24, 2009 9:48 am (PDT)

Top Tech Tips for Olim


Most desktop computers and Laptops will work in Israel as they are 110/220 capable. You will need to either replace the cable or use an adapter to switch the plug. With Desktop systems, be sure to switch the power supply to 220-240 before you bring it to Israel.

PC’s: If you have a current PC purchased in the last 3 years, I would advise bringing it. You can then install the Hebrew language and get a Hebrew keyboard. If your PC is under warranty, check with the vendor to see if they will honor the warranty in Israel. If you are looking at getting a new PC, it is worthwhile to pay a little extra in Israel to insure that you will have a warranty on the system, with Hebrew pre-configured.

Mac’s: Macs will work in Israel, if you have one, bring it. I would recommend taking out Applecare on the system before Aliyah. Idigital, an Apple reseller in Israel, will honor the Applecare warranty.


A GPS in Israel will cost at least twice the cost of one purchased in the states. If you have a GPS unit, you may be able to purchase additional maps for it. Contact the vendor or look for third party solutions. If you have an IPHONE 3G, the Google maps will work here in Israel.
If you don't mind the small screen, there are GPS capable phones ....
For full article click here

Palestinian minister: Jerusalem construction may spark another intifada

Khatem Abdel Kader tells Ynet Obama administration understands implementation of Israel's plans in Jerusalem 'jeopardizes establishment of Palestinian state,' which he says is 'vital to US national-security interests'

Ali Waked Published: 05.24.09, 23:33 / Israel News

The Palestinians warn that Israel's "continued construction and appropriation of land" in east Jerusalem may be grounds for another uprising.
The Palestinian minister for Jerusalem Affairs, Khatem Abdel Kader, told Ynet Sunday evening the US administration realizes that "the implementation of Israel's plans for appropriation and the demolition of Palestinian homes in east Jerusalem may spark a third intifada."
Kader said the Palestinians have identified a clear change in America's position on the issue of Jerusalem.
"They are acting according to the concept that the failure to establish a Palestinian state would jeopardize the US' national security interests – and without Jerusalem there is no Palestinian state. This is why the Americans are cooperating with us to thwart Israel's plans in Jerusalem."
According to the minister, US representatives have been monitoring every demolition order issued by the Jerusalem Municipality. "The Americans understand that these plans endanger not only to the future of Jerusalem, but also the future of the Palestinian state and the entire (peace) process," he said.
The Obama administration, Kader maintained, "Realizes that Jerusalem will never be unified under Israeli sovereignty and has made it clear that Jerusalem must be accessible to everyone – but not united under Israel's rule."

Meanwhile, the Washington Post reported Sunday that an unwritten agreement between the Bush administration and former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, according to which some of the larger settlements in the occupied West Bank would ultimately become part of Israel, was hindering US President Barack Obama's efforts to pressure Jerusalem into halting all settlement expansion.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Cabinet earlier in the day that while "while we will not authorize the construction of new settlements, it would be unfair not to accommodate natural (population) growth."

Strategic Defense

I saw the successful launch of the Israeli "Arrow Missile" on TV this evening. It's supposed to knock down Iranian Missiles that are on their way to wipe us off the map. The second news item was about the pressure, demands, and restraints that the Obama White House is putting on Israel.
I joined the two items together in today's cartoon.

My First Yom Haatzmaut in Israel

Aliyah is not the destination, life is. Living in the land of Israel is the objective
Hannah Zakon
Ynet News 04.29.09, 07:34 / Israel Jewish Scene

I have often heard that the decision to make aliyah is one of the most difficult decisions to make.

I could not disagree with this more. Not because I cannot see the pros and cons or because I think that making aliyah is easy – far from it. But because it never crossed my mind as an active decision. The same way that I do not ‘decide’ to stop at a red traffic light, I just stop.

Aliyah was the same for me. It wasn’t a decision but a natural progression and understanding. Perhaps, not so much an understanding of what it meant to live in Israel – but what it means to not live in Israel.

My first encounter with Israel, unofficially, was at the age of seven. With thanks to the media and the first Iraq war I was able to peek at it through a heavy curtain. To be more exact, an Iron Curtain.

Having been born in Azerbaijan, which was at the time part of the Great Soviet Empire, my encounter was both brief and quiet. During the first Iraq war I would hear my parents speak about Israel, a country that I knew existed but was unaware of its exact importance and relevance to me. My parents spoke about the land of the Jews, our land – but quietly and behind closed doors. This was how I discovered that there was a country that belonged to me and I belonged to it.

Unfortunately, even with the fall of the Soviet Union, my family did not return home. But instead we moved to New Zealand and settled there. New Zealand was the most beautiful and gracious host to me and my family. However, despite its beauty and ease of lifestyle it could never function on a permanent basis. For me, any country other than the land of Israel would be transitional, a stepping stone to my true destination. Not because I did not enjoy living in New Zealand but because there was something missing, a part of me could never be complete.

In 2003, I came to Israel on a Bnei Akiva Olami (World Bnei Akiva) year-long "hachshara" (training) program, where I further cemented my need to be here. However, having gained a vast amount of leadership training and knowledge I first returned to my community in New Zealand to impart all that I had learned. Only after I had given all that I could, I felt ready to fulfill my dream. To bring my body back to where my soul had been waiting.

The soul knows what it wants and doesn’t care about how good the body has it. That is why I never made the decision to make aliyah. It happened because that it what the soul wanted.

To decide to change your place of residence, to become a citizen of a country that is not your birth country is to immigrate. When I moved to New Zealand I immigrated. I changed my passport, my country of residence, stood for a different anthem and so forth. When I moved to Israel I made aliyah. The two are not equitable. I would go as far as to say that it is extremely dangerous to liken the two. To put them on an equal scale is to de-legitimize and to diminish all that it means, physically and spiritually, to make aliyah.

I come from a typical Ashkenazi family. We wandered through Europe, we made timely stops (when allowed); we went from place to place in the hope of building a new house, a new life and perhaps a new reality. My family literally wandered across the world. But, as it turned out, we traveled so far that we came back to where we started. Why? Because where we started was the only place that was right, the only place that we matched and that matched us.

There is something special, aside form the obvious, in making aliyah that those born here can never quite grasp. With the act of making aliyah, we each complete a journey threefold -for ourselves, our families, and our people-. It is mind-blowing to see prophecy realize itself – but to be part of it leaves me speechless.

Life in between 2 extremes
Despite the importance of making aliyah, anyone who says it's easy, has either not done it or was too young to remember. It's not easy; it may be one of the most trying times in ones life. Somehow everything in Israel becomes extreme; the good times are the absolute best you will ever experience. Unfortunately, the bad times are equally some one of the worst that you will endure. However in between these two extremes is life. This is the point of aliyah.

Aliyah is not the destination, life is. Living in the land of Israel is the objective.

Mark Twain once asked us what our secret is. How is it that despite our meager numbers we have stood the test of time? How is it that despite others turning their heads to our suffering, we have survived? How is it that we have outlasted the greatest empires? He, and the world, saw us as the few, as the weak. They measured us by numeric strength. Mr. Twain was missing one piece of crucial information when he wrote his remarks. He saw as individuals; he did not see the rows upon rows of ancestors that stood and still stand behind us. With his question he missed the point; we have survived because we are a 'We' and not an 'I'.

This is the answer that I have found on my journey. But to each oleh, to each Jew, there is a different answer to a different question. The important thing is not so much the answer but the search for it.

There is no where else in the world that a Jew can even begin to pose the right question – let alone begin to answer it.

Hannah Zakon is a World Bnei Akiva Alumna born in Azerbaijan, raised in New Zealand, who made aliyah a few months ago and is celebrating her first Independence Day in Israel

I Stood With an Israeli Soldier

by Leora Hyman
INN Iyar 6, 5769

I felt I had reached the top.

I live in Gush Etzion. Efrat to be exact. Efrat and Gush Etzion's history is rich with stories of the Jewish people dating back to times of the Torah, leading up to its triumphant return to Jewish hands in 1967. We are part of the Hills of Judea, thus accounting for Efrat's many hills and the man-made stairs to help residents climb between levels of buildings.

Efrat is an exerciser's paradise. Residents get a workout wherever they walk. One of my favorite roads is the one
Standing in Israel at anytime, anywhere, can be a moment to never forget.
my family calls the forest road. It is a very steep hill (as in: my legs are burning after I've taken only five steps) on a section of Efrat's security road that abuts a lovely small forest. At the top of the hill is a wonderful playground.

My husband and I walked this hill together and as I looked at my watch I was hoping to make it to the top by 11:00. It was Yom HaZikaron, Israel's Memorial Day for its fallen soldiers and victims of terror. The siren was going off at any moment and I wanted to be at the top of our security road, in our Hills of Judea, remembering the men and women who died so that I could stand "right here, just like this." I looked at my watch again and could see that we would make it; we would be at the top by 11:00.

At 10:59 as I looked up from my wristwatch I saw the soldier. He was standing among the trees on a rock standing guard. He wasn't quite at the top of the hill. I approached him, pointed to my watch and asked him in Hebrew if I could stand with him. Somehow standing beside a soldier seemed even more important to me than reaching the top of that hill.

He understood that I was referring to the sounding of the siren. He answered, "Of course, I will come to you."

We stood there, the three of us together, facing Jerusalem as the sirens sounded. I wasn't standing quite at the very top of the hill as I had hoped to be, but I felt I had reached the top of something even higher. This young soldier was by my side here, in the Land of Israel, because I live here. I knew I was in a moment I would never forget.

Standing in Israel at anytime, anywhere, can be a moment to never forget. Everyday, when I leave my house, I look at Eretz Yisrael before me and I thank God for bringing us here almost three years ago. When I get on a bus and the driver wishes me Shanah Tovah ("Happy New Year", before Rosh Hashanah) or Shabbat Shalom because it's Friday, I still get a thrill.

Just last month, when we stood on the Eitam, the newest hill of Efrat, I felt blessed. I could tell my children, standing with me as the sun rose, that we were seeing the sun in the same place it was when the Almighty first created it. Right here, in our land, where creation began.

When the countrywide sirens went off last week for Holocaust Memorial Day, I was overwhelmed at being a citizen of a country that protects its citizens, and Jews the world over.
Before 1948, no one really worried about protecting us.

Before 1948, no one really worried about protecting us. Today, the State of Israel, the state of the Jewish People, has an army. It has a really strong army.

And the people of Israel remember its fallen, to whom we owe a debt beyond measure. Because of them, since my family moved to Israel, we have enjoyed riding horses in the Golan, swimming off the beach in Ashkelon. Because of them we have explored the tunnels beneath the Kotel, and stood where our forefathers and mothers are buried in Hevron. Because of them, my son retuned from Har Habayit (the Temple Mount) with light radiating from his young, wonderful face.

And, because of them, I could walk up our forest hill and stand with an Israeli soldier.