yossibarnegev

Standing with Israel

“Sit Down and Shut Up”

Don’t make waves! Better not to draw attention to yourself and make this seem like it’s only a Jewish issue. It’s not good for the Jews…

The tactic has been used for years by Jewish community leaders, especially in the western world, to evade the responsibility of standing up for their fellow Jews who are in danger or even facing annihilation. “It’s not good for the Jews” really means, “We’re scared to death of being viewed as trouble-makers and as politically incorrect, part of the lunatic fringe of fear-mongers. We might lose our social standing and our access to the powers that be. People might use our actions as an excuse to hate Jews even more than they do now.”

We’re about to celebrate the festival of Purim. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the story, click here.

The Jews of the Persian Empire were about to be exterminated through the machinations of the evil Haman. Had Mordechai and especially Queen Esther reacted like the cowardly leaders of more modern times, there might not be a Jew left on earth today (this, of course, is strictly hypothetical because God promises that the Jewish people as a nation can never be wiped out).

Esther was the queen of Persia, living in the royal palace, and up to this time no one knew she was Jewish. She might have been able to escape the fate that had been decreed on her people. On the other hand, to go to the king and plead for them might have cost her her life. Here is what she said in a message to her cousin Mordechai,

“Go, gather all the Jews who are present in Shushan, and fast for me; neither eat nor drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will fast likewise. And so I will go to the king, which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish!”  (Esther 4:16)

That’s courage! She broke Persian law by approaching the king unannounced, a deed that usually led to instant death. Instead, with the backing of prayer and fasting, it led to a great deliverance.

How many of our leaders, Jewish, political or otherwise are willing to put their lives on the line today? The threats are just as serious as they were in the time of Esther and Mordechai and many of them are coming from the same source – Persia, today known as Iran. The modern day Haman, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has made his views and his intentions clear. These are direct quotes:

• The Zionist regime and the Zionists are a cancerous tumor.

• Any freedom lover and justice seeker in the world must do his best for the annihilation of the Zionist regime.

• The Zionist regime’s establishment was based on numerous deceptions and lies and one of the biggest lies was the Holocaust.

• All values, even the freedom of expression, in Europe and in the United States are being sacrificed at the altar of Zionism.

The reaction of the spineless – or complicit – world? Give Mr. Ahmadinejad center stage at the United Nations so he can spew his venom in an unfettered manner. And then find a way to get around the “harsh sanctions” that have been clamped on Iran to prevent them from going nuclear.  Twenty countries have so far been granted exemptions by the Obama administration. Some sanctions!!

There are numerous other Hamans today, driven by the same evil spirit that has attempted to wipe out the Jews numerous times. One of the names by which he has been known in more recent centuries is “Allah.” So whether Israel has to deal with Mahmoud Abbas, the so-called moderate leader of the Palestinian Authority, Mohamed Morsi of Egypt, the leaders of Hamas in Gaza, Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah leader in Lebanon and Syria, the same evil that empowered Haman energizes them and their hatred.

Europe’s obsequious leadership, as expected, has nicely fallen into line, obediently calling evil good and good evil. What else can be expected from a populace that by and large has shoved God out of society and is now wallowing in its own mess? But what about the United States?

It’s worrisome that a known anti-Semite like Chuck Hagel has been nominated for Secretary of Defense. And then there’s Muslim sympathizer Robert BrImageennan, nominated for CIA Director. Both men’s views of Jews and Israel are far out of the American mainstream and in Brennan’s case, heavily influenced by Islamist ideology. Jewish groups are grumbling but, except for the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), they have been afraid to step up and speak out strongly. They’ve been told by the administration in no uncertain terms to “sit down and shut up!” And they’re being good little lap dogs and obeying their master, even though the lives of millions of Jews, whom they supposedly represent, are in jeopardy.
We are in desperate need in these days of men and women with the courage of Mordechai and Queen Esther, who will put their faith in God and then be willing to do the right thing, come what may.

Will you be one of them?

Loving Dead Jews

January 27th marked International Holocaust Remembrance Day. The date, that of the liberation of Auschwitz, was chosen in 2005 by the United Nations to honor the memory of those who were slaughtered by the Nazis. It gives politicians all over the world the opportunity to give flowery, emotional speeches, pouring out affection toward the dear departed ones. Yes, it’s easy to love dead Jews. But living ones??! That’s another story altogether. And it doesn’t matter whether those Jews are in Israel or anywhere else. Hating them is back in vogue, seemingly everywhere.

International Holocaust Remembrance Day itself is now an excuse to vilify those dastardly Jews who refused to perish. Consider the following pearls of wisdom issued especially for the somber memorial:

• British politician, Lee Jasper of the Respect Party, posted on Facebook, “We are asked to remember that which Israel has forgotten, that religious and racial hatred is a sin against God.” He went on further to say, “Israel has failed to learn the lessons of its own tragic history having evolved into a racist oppressor.”

• Also in England, Liberal-Democrat MP David Ward just prior to International Holocaust Remembrance Day put on his website the following statement:    “Having visited Auschwitz twice – once with my family and once with local schools – I am saddened that the Jews, who suffered unbelievable levels of persecution during the Holocaust, could within a few years of liberation from the death camps be inflicting atrocities on Palestinians in the new State of Israel and continue to do so on a daily basis in the West Bank and Gaza.”

Even though he was reprimanded by his party, he replied, “I don’t feel bad about it in any way.” He also said his comments had received an “overwhelmingly positive” response from the public, with 80 unsolicited supportive emails, and just two from detractors.

• On Sunday, JanuarUgly cartoony 27, the very day of the International Holocaust Remembrance, The Sunday Times of London ran a vile cartoon by Gerald Scarfe entitled, Will Cementing Peace Continue? It featured PM Netanyahu with a scowl, an accentuated nose and a hunchback, reminiscent of Nazi caricatures of Jews.  He was pictured building a wall made of bricks, blood and Palestinian body parts. This was a variation of the classic Jewish blood libel in which Jews through the centuries were accused of using the blood of young Christian boys to make their Passover matzah. Today many Arabs and Muslim extremists make the same accusations against us except that we’re now using young Arab boys.

• Mahmoud Abbas, our supposed peace partner, said in an interview with Al-Mayadeen, a Beirut TV station, “I challenge anyone to deny the relationship between Zionism and Nazism before WWII.” This confirming that he still believes what he wrote in his 1984 book, The Other Side: The Secret Relationship Between Nazism and Zionism: “a partnership was established between Hitler’s Nazis and the leadership of the Zionist movement” in which the Zionists gave “permission to every racist in the world, led by Hitler and the Nazis, to treat Jews as they wish, so long as it guarantees immigration to Palestine.”

Mr. Abbas’ PA-TV continues to spew out hate toward Jews (otherwise known as the descendants of apes and pigs) and yet none of this is reported in the mainstream media or is challenged by the US State Department or the Obama White House.  Indeed, in spite of all this, the United States has made it clear that they are officially waiting for an Israeli coalition to form, so that negotiations can resume. The two-state solution cannot wait!

Are the above isolated incidents or are we witnessing a worldwide phenomenon?

The Israeli Ministry of Information and Diaspora has prepared a disturbing report on anti-Semitic trends in 2012 which stated that there was “an alarming rise in the number of terrorist attacks and attempted attacks against Jewish targets and an escalation in violent incidents against Jews throughout the world.” The perpetrators?… “primarily… groups which identify with radical Islam and the extreme right.” At the same time, the report found, there has also been an increase in the number of street attacks and incidents of verbal and physical violence against Jews, in Europe as well as in the U.S., Canada and Australia.

The conclusion of the matter in my opinion is this: those who hate God hate Jews, even if it’s disguised as antipathy toward Israel. It doesn’t matter whether the haters call themselves secular, progressive or “religious.” Yes, one can be religious and not know or love God Himself. Even worse, one can be a worshiper of a “deity” who in reality is a demon, even Satan himself, and whose religion is falsely praised as a “religion of peace.”

The spiritual battle lines are being drawn between light and darkness and it would behoove each of us to make sure he/she is on the right side of history and of eternity.

Ooops, Didn’t Mean It

Allow me to introduce you to the fine art of covering one’s tuchus (Yiddish for “posterior”). Here’s how it works. A public figure makes outrageous or hateful comments and when it looks like there may be some kind of consequence for his/her behavior, out comes the cover.

A couple of current favorites: it was a poor choice of words; my comment was taken out of context. Does it work? Depends. In the eyes of the mainstream media and those who don’t care about the issue, absolutely yes! The offender is automatically absolved of all his past sins. He’s a changed man who is a staunch moderate now. Uh-huh!

However for those who care or who have the courage to look a little more closely, the cover-ups are about as effective as those stupid hospital examination gowns with the split up the back. You do your best to keep them closed to guard your privacy, but any wrong move and they fly open and you’re horrified. Oh well, we all knew what was under there anyway. And we should know what’s under the façade of several dignitaries we’re being pushed to embrace these days.

First is President Mohamed Morsi of Egypt. Let’s hear what he has said publicly as recently as 2010:

January 10, 2010
Dear brothers, we must not forget to nurse our children and grandchildren on hatred toward those zionists and Jews and all those who support them. They must be nursed on hatred. The hatred must continue.

March 20, 2010
The Zionists have no right to the land of Palestine. There is no place for them on the land of Palestine. What they took before 1947-8 constitutes plundering, and what they are doing now is a continuation of this plundering. By no means do we recognize their Green Line. The land of Palestine belongs to the Palestinians, not to the Zionists.

September 23, 2010
No reasonable person can expect any progress on this track. Either [you accept] the Zionists and everything they want, or else it is war. This is what these occupiers of the land of Palestine know – these blood-suckers, who attack the Palestinians, these warmongers, the descendants of apes and pigs.bbbbb1

I would venture to say that the meaning is clear. The guy simply hates Jews and refuses to recognize the state of Israel, no matter which borders we talk about. But wait! Morsi just told a delegation of U.S. senators visiting Cairo on Wednesday that his remarks needed to be put “in the context in which they were said.” What context? Israeli “aggression”of course, against the poor innocent Palestinians in Gaza. As usual, it’s the Jews’ fault. We somehow even managed to be responsible for the constant barrage of Hamas rockets raining down on Israeli citizens over the course of many years. Those babies and kindergarten kids aren’t really civilians, you know; they’ll grow up to become soldiers and that makes them legitimate targets.

Evidently the “out of context” justification placated the Senators sufficiently so the delegation will still push for an additional $480 million in assistance to help Egypt’s ailing economy. Magically Mr. Morsi has morphed into a dignified statesman, worthy of U.S. assistance. He’ll most likely be getting tanks and planes, too, to fight off those “descendants of apes and pigs.”

Then there’s Chuck Hagel, nominated on January 7th to be President Obama’s Secretary of Defense. Seems Mr. Hagel has a serious Jewish problem.

• October, 2000 – while Israel was under unrelenting attack, Hagel was one of only 4 Senators who refused to sign a Senate letter in support of Israel.

• November, 2001 – Hagel was one of only 11 Senators who refused to sign a letter urging President Bush not to meet with terror chieftain Arafat until he ended terror activity against Israel.

• June, 2004 – Hagel refused to sign a letter urging President Bush to highlight Iran’s nuclear program at the G-8 summit.

• December, 2005 – Hagel refused to sign a letter to President Bush to pressure the Palestinian Authority to ban terrorist groups from participating in Palestinian legislative elections.

• August, 2006 – Hagel was one of only twelve U.S. Senators who failed to sign a bipartisan letter calling on the European Union to add Hezbollah to its list of terrorist organizations.

• Perhaps the most egregious of Hagel’s actions was his 2006 interview with Aaron David Miller where he’s quoted as saying, “The political reality is … that the Jewish lobby intimidates a lot of people up here.” 

• Hagel also serves as Chairman of the Atlantic Council, a foreign policy blog. In mid-December the Atlantic Council published a front page article titled “Israel’s Apartheid Policy.” While Mr. Hagel only serves on the Board of Directors and is not involved in writing the articles, labeling Israel’s policy as apartheid borders on anti-Semitism. It is both false and disingenuous but no apology or retraction was offered.

Four days after Hagel was nominated (Jan. 11), Charles Schumer, the third most senior Senate Democratic leader expressed reservations and said it would be hard for him to support the nominee. Shortly after, Hagel sent a letter of apology to Senator Barbara Boxer calling his statement about the Jewish Lobby “a very poor choice of words.” What about everything else? And notice he didn’t actually apologize for anything.

The tepid excuse and a personal meeting with Hagel were enough to mollify Senator Schumer and on January 15th he announced that he would not only vote for Hagel to be confirmed as Secretary of Defense, but would urge his colleagues to do likewise.

The “My comments were taken out of context” and “a poor choice of words”  excuses are only effective for those who choose not to see. Unfortunately for us, the intelligentsia, so-called “experts” and “important people” are among the willfully blind. “We the people” must dig for the truth ourselves.

And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.       John 8:32

Yours for Israel and our Jewish people,

Yossi

Daylight: The Story of Obama and Israel

The real story of Obama’s “support” of Israel

When it came time to really standing with Israel and our Jewish people, Obama tragically said nothing – time and time and time again!

We’re From the United States Government and We’re Here to Solve the World’s Problems!

Former President Ronald Reagan famously quipped, “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.’” The wisdom of his words has been proved over and over again domestically as we have seen government agencies turn small problems into big ones and create catastrophes where there were none previously, all at taxpayer expense, of course. Not content with domestic bumbling, our leaders are turning their attention to fixing the world and especially the Middle East…(God help us!!)

The Obama administration is delighted with the progress of “democracy” in Egypt and is intent on encouraging the process. The fact that the two major Egyptian Islamist parties have captured 62% of the latest voting doesn’t seem to worry the optimists in Washington. Didn’t you know that the Muslim Brotherhood is now a kinder, more gentle, moderate organization (secular, too!) Funny thing is that the so-called “moderate organization” has never repudiated its founding charter which says, “Allah is our objective, the Koran is our Constitution, the Prophet is our leader, jihad is our way, and death for the sake of Allah is the highest of our aspirations.” These are reasonable, tolerant folks with whom US negotiators can certainly hammer out a just and lasting peace in the Middle East and beyond. As I reported last week,

Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi

“The Obama administration has turned to Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the Muslim Brotherhood’s leading jurist, to mediate secret negotiations between the United States and the Taliban.” This is largely “untapped talent” that the US government can utilize to fix the world!

There does seem to be one glitch in this utopian vision – and that is Israel. Those stubborn Jews just don’t seem to be willing to commit national suicide, and that’s a real problem. President Obama in May, 2011, called for Israel to undertake  a full and phased withdrawal of Israeli forces” from “occupied Palestinian lands” to what he termed “borders based on 1967 lines” the 1949 armistice lines. Israel’s former Foreign Minister and UN ambassador Abba Eban, in 1967, referred to those lines as the “Auschwitz borders.” The country would, at its most populous places, be only nine miles wide. In making this supposedly helpful demand, the President failed to honor U.S. commitments made to Israel by George W. Bush in 2004, commitments which were overwhelmingly supported by both Houses of Congress.

But Bush was an “evil war-monger” and the current resident of the White House is intent on resetting the parameters of our relationship with the Muslim world (can you say dhimmitude?). Therefore we must overlook small foibles of the Palestinians – like the refusal of Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, their glorification of murderous terrorists as national heroes, their attempted unity deal with Hamas, etc. And, in order to fix the Middle East, we must force Israel to sit down at the negotiating table with a bunch of savages who want to wipe them out and sign a “peace agreement” which won’t be worth the paper on which it’s written.

Speaking of peace agreements, the new Egyptian government has threatened to cancel the Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty of March 26, 1979. This was a land for peace deal in which Israel gave up the Sinai in exchange for peace, albeit a cold peace at best, with Egypt. Caroline Glick, in her latest blog, The Land-For-Peace Hoax, asks the question,“will the US act in accordance with its role as guarantor of the peace and demand that the new Egyptian government give Sinai back to Israel?… if the Obama administration or whatever administration is in power when Egypt abrogates the treaty does not issue such a demand, and stand behind it, and if the EU does not support the demand, the entire concept of land-for-peace will be exposed as a hoax.”

Of course it’s a hoax; it was never intended to be anything else. And the chances of real concrete assistance from the US and the rest of the Western world as suggested in Ms. Glick’s article, are pretty remote. If current attitudes toward us don’t change, when we in Israel hear the words, “We’re from the United States government and we’re here to help!” we’d be wise to run in the other direction as fast as we can go!

It’s Not All Gloom and Doom

Whew! We made it through 2011…perhaps just by the skin of our teeth. As we enter the new year let’s pause for a moment to reflect on the current  “state of the world.” Since I’m not a prophet I won’t make any prognostications about what will happen in 2012. Those gloom and doom pronouncements are floating around all over the internet (usually with an agenda of some sort – sell products, solicit donations, attract devotees to some individual or group); it doesn’t pay to unduly focus on them or have a panic attack and go hide in a cave somewhere with ten years’ worth of food. Where to focus? I’ll tell you at the end of this article. Meanwhile, where are we at right now?

• The United States is now 15 trillion dollars in debt with 4.5 trillion added in just the last 3 years by a President and congress who love to spend other people’s money.

• Homegrown terrorism in the United States is growing. A Pew Poll of US Muslims has indicated some disturbing trends. Among native-born African-American Muslims, 11% have a favorable opinion of al-Qaeda, 16% say that attacking civilians can be religiously justified at least sometimes and 40% support extremism. In another study by Mordechai Kedar and David Yerushalmi, only 19% of United States’ mosques do not teach jihad violence and/or Islamic supremacism.

• Europe is still teeter-tottering financially and its leaders are concerned over its economic future as it enters 2012.

• Post-Christian Europe became noticeably more Islamized during 2011.

The Arab Spring has produced the very opposite of the “freedom” that media and government “talking heads” were promising, with Islamic pro-Shariah regimes coming into power.

• Iran has been flexing its muscles as it tested its first domestically produced nuclear fuel rod and tested a new medium-range surface-to-air missile, all in its race toward the goal of producing a nuclear weapon.

• A shocking article by Andrew McCarthy in Family Security Matters revealed that “that the Obama administration has turned to Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the Muslim Brotherhood’sleading jurist, to mediate secret negotiations between the United States and the Taliban.”

Sheikh Yusuf-al-Qaradawi

I have written about al-Qaradawi before. He is, without exaggeration, evil incarnate! “Qaradawi urges that Islam must dominate the world, under a global caliphate governed by sharia.” His view of the Jews, not just Israel or “settlers”, is straight out of classic Islamic writings:

This is what is told in the Hadith of Ibn-Omar and the Hadith of Abu-Hurairah: “You shall continue to fight the Jews and they will fight you, until the Muslims will kill them. And the Jew will hide behind the stone and the tree, and the stone and the tree will say: ‘Oh servant of Allah, Oh Muslim, this is a Jew behind me. Come and kill him!’ The resurrection will not come before this happens.” This is a text from the good omens in which we believe.

Al-Qaradawi believes this? Some impartial mediator!  What could the administration possibly hope to gain by the intervention of a barbaric monster who is still living in the seventh century? The scary thought is – perhaps their intent isn’t to advance American interests. America is the “great Satan,” you know.

• Finally, here in Israel, PA leader Mahmoud Abbas is still working on unity talks with Hamas and other Palestinian factions. Why bother to come to the negotiating table with “evil Israel” when you can come to the negotiating table with a “terrorist organization.” On top of that, Abbas has just appointed General Mahmoud Damra to the post of special presidential advisor for district affairs. Damra has the dubious distinction of being one of the 1,027 terrorists released as part of the Gilad Schalit exchange. He was directly involved in several attacks that claimed Israeli lives.

OK already, the state of the world is bleak, and 2012 won’t be a year for the faint-hearted. But, as I said earlier, to focus on the craziness will do nothing but make us crazy or depressed. Where to focus? On the One who is ultimately in charge of everything. His solution to the world’s dilemma is much too simple for most people to grasp but it’s guaranteed to work, whether on an individual or national level…and here it is…

If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
2Chronicles 7:14

O Little Town of Bethlehem

O little town of Bethlehem


How still we see thee lie


Above thy deep and dreamless sleep


The silent stars go by


Yet in thy dark streets shineth


The everlasting Light


The hopes and fears of all the years


Are met in thee tonight

These words, written in 1868 by Rector Phillips Brooks of Philadelphia, have etched into our collective imagination a pastoral scene of harmony and tranquility. Angels proclaiming,…” peace, good will toward men,” shepherds watching over their flocks, the innocent babe in the manger… While that description might have fit the town of Bethlehem in the days of the birth of the Messiah, it is far from the case now. In fact, the village has morphed into an ugly concrete jungle, full of hatred and violence, especially toward Jews and Christians. The reason? Islam!

Once Christians made up more than 85 per cent of the population of Bethlehem. Yet under Jordanian rule (1948-1967) and under the Palestinians (1995-present) that figure decreased to just 12 per cent of the 60,000 inhabitants. Isn’t it interesting that when the hated Israeli “occupation” was in control of Bethlehem from 1967-1995, the Christian population remained stable and Christians predominated in local governance? What’s the difference? Under Muslim hegemony Christians and other minorities live in fear – for good reason! If they don’t behave as good dhimmis there is a heavy price to pay – maybe their heads.

An example of this phenomenon is Victor Batarseh, Christian mayor of Bethlehem. Forget making any mention of the plight of the Christians of his city in his annual Christmas address. Instead he towed the party line, calling for a boycott of Israel in order to bring them back to the negotiating table with the Palestinian Authority. Obviously there could be no allusion to the fact that Israel is the only place in the Middle East where the Christian population has grown over the last 60 years, from 40,000 in 1948 when Israel was founded to 155,000 today.

We can understand Mayor Batarseh’s unwillingness to confront the issue of Muslim persecution of Christians. He has a lot to lose. But mainstream media has knowingly been complicit in the cover-up. In the rare reports on Muslim-on-Christian violence, the accounts are framed as “ethnic clashes,” making it sound as if there is some kind of moral equivalency in the bloodletting. There is none! The fact is that whenever (throughout the history of Islam) and wherever Muslims become a majority, non-Muslims are severely persecuted.

Raymond Ibrahim, a  widely published author on Islam, and an Associate Fellow at the Middle East Forum, puts out a monthly report of Muslim Persecutions of Christians. This is definitely not light reading, but we ignore this information at our own risk. Leaders of western nations are, tragically, turning a blind eye to the danger: here and here.

So while multitudes around the world are celebrating the birth of the Prince of Peace, many of His followers languish in prison, are being tortured or are fleeing for their lives – if they can find a place to go, that is. The silence of the media, academia and even liberal “Christianity” is deafening. Let’s not be silent as the islamic jihad both by violent means and by stealth moves to overthrow the world.

Hanukkah – The Struggle Continues

On Tuesday evening we light the first of eight candles, ushering in Hanukkah – the Feast of Dedication. The holiday commemorates the re-dedication of the holy Temple in Jerusalem after the miraculous victory of a small band of faithful Jewish men over the Greek Seleucid armies in 165 B.C.E.

   In 168 B.C.E. the Jewish Temple had been seized by Syrian-Greek soldiers and dedicated to the worship of the god Zeus. While this upset the Jewish people, many were afraid to fight back for fear of reprisals. Then in 167 B.C.E. the Syrian-Greek emperor Antiochus Epiphanes IV made the observance of Judaism an offense punishable by death. He also ordered all Jews to worship Greek gods. When in the town of Modi’in Greek soldiers forcibly gathered the Jewish people and told them to bow down to an idol and then eat the flesh of a pig, Mattathias, a priest, and his five sons rebelled and killed all the soldiers. After fleeing to the mountains they were joined by other Jewish people and the Maccabees, as they became known, brought about a great victory for the Jewish people against overwhelming odds.

The struggle that took place back then has repeated itself over and over again. The Jewish people in the time of the Maccabees had gradually been assimilating into the Greek culture. Judaism for these “enlightened” folks meant no more to them than it does to so many of us in the Western world today. Forget spirituality or truth – we have symbolism, social justice and, of course, a gastronomical experience. Because of the disconnect with Judaism and Israel, a majority of us are totally clueless when it comes to defending Israel against Arab rewriting of history. Sadly, many Jewish young people have embraced leftist ideology and blame the world’s problems on Israel.

Daniel Greenfield in his blog entitled, “A Holiday of Resistance”, challenges Jewish complacency by stating, “The Maccabees fought to resist having their culture and their religion replaced with just that kind of empty hedonism and self-worship. They fought because they believed they had something worth fighting for. Not for their possessions, but for their traditions, their families and their G-d. The celebration of Chanukah is not just how we remember them, but how we remember that we are called upon to keep their watch. To take up their banner and carry their sword.”

 In other words, if we view our scriptures and our rich history as nothing more than nice stories and good food, how will we have the strength and courage to defend our right to the land of Israel?

At the first night’s candle lighting ceremony last year at the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron, Knesset Speaker, Reuven Rivlin (Likud), said, Hebron was the birthplace of the Kingdom of Israel, and on Hanukkah independence was returned to Israel. Hebron was the basis of our right to the Land of Israel, as a moral right that has no superior, and the right of ownership that cannot be questioned; it was our right then and it is our right today.”   Rivlin went on to say regarding Hanukkah, “We did not take a foreign land, nor the property of strangers to us, but rather the Land of our forefathers which had been conquered in the past by enemies.” He then challenged the people, “Will we be able to stand by that today as well?”



In the biblical book of Daniel, written several hundred years before the fact, there is a detailed prophecy about the character and deeds of the Maccabees:

Those who do wickedly against the covenant he (Antiochus Epiphanes) shall corrupt with flattery; but the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits. (Daniel 11:32)

The Hanukkah struggle continues today against overwhelming odds. But the same God who brought a miraculous victory for our people almost 2200 years ago is still able to do the same. The question is, will we be the people who know their God, who will be strong and carry out great exploits?

The Uncomfortable Truth

Image

God offers to every mind its choice between truth and repose.  Take which you please – you can never have both.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

It has never been easy to speak the truth. The truth is frequently uncomfortable. Human nature prefers to be stroked, lulled into a nirvana of our own imagination. Lest you think this is a new phenomenon, the prophet Isaiah penned these words in the 8th century B.C.E. describing the majority of his nation:

These people are rebellious and deceitful children,
        children who refuse to listen to the Lord’s teachings.
        They say to those who have visions,
        ‘Don’t have visions that tell us what is right.
        Tell us what we want to hear. See illusions.
            Get out of our way! Stop blocking our path!
        Get the Holy One of Israel out of our sight.’ ”
Isaiah 30:9-11

The problem of ,“Tell us what we want to hear,” is further exacerbated in today’s upside down world in which wrong is right, good is evil, darkness is light and light is darkness.

Dare to speak the truth and literally all the forces of hell will be unleashed against you, especially if you’re speaking about Israel.

On Friday, December 9, Republican primary candidate, Newt Gingrich, in an interview with The Jewish Channel had the chutzpah to say: the Palestinians are an “invented people” … “who are in fact Arabs and were historically part of the Arab community.” So there is no such thing as a Palestinian people. How about the much-touted “peace process?“ Gingrich: “I think it’s delusional to call it a peace process.”

Was Newt simply being opinionated and “islamophobic” or was he speaking the truth? You can judge from this piece of history:

On March 31, 1977, Palestine Liberation Organization executive committee member, Zahir Muhsein, in an interview with a Dutch newspaper, Trouw, admitted:

“The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel for our Arab unity. In reality today there is no difference between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people, since Arab national interests demand that we posit the existence of a distinct ‘Palestinian people’ to oppose Zionism.”

Reaction to Newt’s words was predictable – rage.

Saeb Erekat, a senior Palestinian official, described his comments as “despicable.” “This is the lowest point of thinking anyone can reach.” Hanan Ashrawi, another top official, said Gingrich’s “very racist comments” showed he was “incapable of holding public office.”

I’m not endorsing Newt Gingrich’s candidacy (or anyone else’s for that matter) but I have to express admiration for a man who isn’t afraid to take the heat.

Then there’s President Obama. The following words were meant to stroke his Jewish constituency, lull them into comfort and keep them on the plantation (can’t run a campaign without those Jewish contributions, you know):

“I try not to pat myself too much on the back, but this administration has done more for the security of the state of Israel than any previous administration.”

Very nice – but is it true? Unfortunately it seems that Mr. Obama was trying to be the nice guy while expressing his true feelings and intentions through his high-level lackeys: Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta, Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton and Ambassador to Belgium, Howard Gutman. Click on the links to view their outrageous comments. Can anyone imagine that they would voice opinions like this without the approval of the “big boss” himself?

Sadly, taking a stand without waffling is rare even in the Israeli government. One exception is Deputy Foreign Minister, Danny Ayalon, who in cooperation with StandWithUs has just released, The Truth About the Refugees. This is the third of the Truth series – the other two are The Truth About the West Bank and The Truth About the Peace Process. All three videos clearly explain the historical facts about the ongoing Israel – Palestinian conflict. I cannot encourage you enough to arm yourself with truth and view each of these videos and then pass them on to your friends and family!

Finally, Palestinian Media Watch has just released a new book, Deception – Betraying the Peace Process, written by PMW Director, Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik which “exposes a year-long duplicitous campaign by the Palestinian Authority (PA) to utilize the various cultural, educational, and media sources under its control to promote messages of hate among Palestinians and undermine the peace process with Israel.” Marcus hopes to distribute his book to every member of Congress as well as those in the European parliaments.

Going back to the sage words of Ralph Waldo Emerson: truth or repose – which will you choose?

Chutzpah!

I try very hard to keep my cool while going through the process of reading many articles each week and deciding which ones are the most relevant for that week’s newsletter. But three pieces posted on Ynet.com this Saturday nearly made me blow a fuse.

The first is ‘Israel must mend regional relations‘. At a speech given to the Saban Center for Middle East Policy, US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta warned Israel against viewing the Arab uprisings rattling the Middle East as an excuse to enter a defensive crouch.” Panetta is encouraging Israel specifically to reach out more to Turkey, Egypt and Jordan. Could it be that Mr. Panetta is deliberately ignoring the fact that Egyptian elections have assured Islamist domination in that country? According to Israel National News The Muslim Brotherhood captured more than 40% of the vote and the hardline Islamist Salafist Nour Party received 20%. According to Middle East expert Dr. David Buk’i, “Israel’s worst fears regarding its relationship with Egypt are coming true before its eyes!”

Second, Panetta exclaimed, “With full confidence that the United States is willing and capable of ensuring that Israel can safeguard its security as it takes the risks needed to pursue peace, now is the time for Israel to take bold action and to move towards a negotiated two-state solution.”  Full confidence? With these reassuring words, meant to hold onto the Jewish vote back home, Mr. Panetta is obfuscating the feeble track record of the United States when it come to ensuring Israel’s security in times of crises. As P. David Hornik put it, “There’s an inglorious history of the United States and Europe leaving Israel to fend for itself against threats, sometimes even existential ones.”

Third, demanding that Israel take risks for peace and bold actions is getting old. These ultimatums have been aimed at Israel for years, yet when is the last time that you heard, “the Palestinians must take risks and bold actions for peace”?  Could there be a bit of a double standard here?

Finally, Panetta saved some choice language for Israel. Asked specifically what Israel should do first (in taking bold actions), Mr. Panetta replied, “Get to the d★✗✲ table” — that is, return to negotiations. This statement totally defies all logic given that Mahmoud Abbas has done everything in his power to avoid negotiations with Israel including unilaterally going to the UN to secure Palestinian statehood.

The second article also relates to Panetta’s speech at the Saban Center:  US cautions Israel against solo military op in Iran.  Adrian Blomfield, Jerusalem correspondent for Britain’s Telegraph, reported on a private meeting with Panetta, PM Netanyahu and Defense Minister, Ehud Barak. Panetta said that President Obama demanded an unshakable guarantee that Israel would inform the United States before taking any military action against Iran. In Mr. Blomfield’s words, “The two Israelis were notably evasive in their response, according to sources both in Israel and the United States.”  This obviously does not sit well with the Obama administration, but given the existential dangers Israel is now facing, she cannot afford to depend on a “friend” who behaves like an enemy.

The third article is another reality-bender:  ‘Jew-hate stems from conflict‘. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict, of course! Ignoring historic Muslim hatred of Jews which dates all the way back to Muhammed himself, Howard Gutman, American ambassador to Belgium,

Howard Gutman

theorized that, “growing global anti-Semitism is linked to Israel’s policy towards the Palestinians.” He even invented a distinction between what he labels “traditional anti-Semitism” and “Muslim hatred for Jews” which hypothetically stems from the ongoing strife between Israel and the Palestinians. In his view “an Israeli-Palestinian peace treaty will significantly diminish Muslim anti-Semitism.”

Gutman is a lawyer by training, is Jewish and played a major role in fundraising for the Democratic Party. He was appointed to the post by President Obama. It is clear that Mr. Gutman is only parroting the party line of the Obama administration.

The American envoy’s above speech to a group of Jewish lawyers from across Europe was poorly received. The speaker who followed Gutman, German attorney Nathan Gelbart, sharply rebuked the ambassador when he said: “The ‘Israel critic’ will never state ‘Jews go home’ but is questioning the legality of the incorporation of the State of Israel and therefore the right for the Jewish people to settle in their homeland. He will not say the Jews are the evil of the world but claim that the State of Israel is a major cause for instability and war in the region. There is no other country, no other people on this planet the ‘Israel critic’ would dedicate so much time and devotion as to the case of Israel.” 

Despite the obvious antipathy of this administration toward Israel, President Obama defended his Middle East policy at a recent fundraiser in New York:

      “I try not to pat myself too much on the back, but this administration has done more for the security of the state of Israel than any previous administration,” Obama said. “We don’t compromise when it comes to Israel’s security … and that will continue.”

The only attendees at that event who might have really believed the president’s words are those who get their news exclusively from The New York Times or mainstream network news. The better informed public (like you, dear reader) can draw its own conclusions.  I would encourage all of you to view the latest Youtube video from the David Horowitz Freedom Center, Obama – The Anti-Israel President.