24 July 2008

On Terrorism and Increasing Jewish-Arab Violence in Israel


Copyright © 2008, R. Kossover
First published at Blogcritics Magazine

Ma'ale Levona, 23 July 2008

When I was just a kid in Williamsburg, the Satmar Hassidim, long back-coated Jews with beaver hats and and long sidelocks, reacted en masse to threats to their community - particularly by the Puerto Ricans who shared the slum I grew up in. When there was some kind of danger, they would shout "goyim!!!" (heathens!) in a harrowing cry, this being the worst kind of threat they could imagine that they could publicly confront. And the streets would almost immediately be crowded with men in black running to some central spot from where the shout had arisen.

I saw this once as a child. One evening, someone was shot on Bedford Avenue. I heard the gunshot, climbed up on a chair to look out my bedroom window which faced Bedford Avenue (yes, I was that young when this happened) and saw a body lying on the street - and a crowd of black gabardined men rushing to the body after they heard both the gunshot, and the shout of "goyim!!!" piercing the night air.

Here in Israel, the Hassidim are known, along with a large group of Jews who dress similarly but have violent theological disagreements with them, as Haredím - those who tremble when worshiping G-d. And these folks are not known for their non-violence, either.

The Haredím were the ones who violently confronted the police in Jerusalem in an effort to stop the "gay pride" provocation events planned here a couple of years back. They attacked a gay man parading on Keren haYesod in a "parade" once. They have burned garbage pails, tires, cars, and overturned buses in various incidents of violence in Geula and Mea Shearim, their most famous strongholds in Jerusalem, usually over incidents dealing with abortion or post-mortem examination of the dead, or the disturbing of graves.

They are known also for throwing rocks at people who drive through their neighborhood on the Sabbath, because in driving a vehicle, they are violating the Sabbath. The main square separating the two neighborhoods of Geula and Mea Shearim has been renamed because of their habit of throwing rocks at drivers by and screaming "shabbes! shabbes!" at them. The original name of the square has been lost to the dusty tomes of unread history texts. On the police radios these days, it is known as kikár shabbát (Sabbath Square). That is what everybody else calls it, too.

It is also a practice (how common is hard to say) to hire their tough yeshiva students to educate (that is beat up) men who refuse to grant a bill of religious divorce (a get) to their wives when marriages break down. Less a few teeth and a number of bruises later, the now "educated" husbands usually grant the women the bill of divorce - or they flee the country.

The long and the short of what I'm relating here is that there is a violent streak in Israeli and Jewish culture, and the Haredím characterize it most publicly, though it should be noted that they are not the only violent elements in Israeli society or Jewish culture.

This leads us to the Arab terror attacks in Jerusalem over these last few months; the shooting at yeshivát merkáz haráv on 6 March, the frontloader attack on the Jaffa Road on 2 July, and the bulldozer attack on King David Street on 22 July. The victims of the first attack were Haredím; a large number of witnesses to the second attack were Haredím; and I suspect, though I do not know this to be true (I was here in Ma'ale Levona at the time), that a large number of witnesses to Tuesday's attack were also Haredím.

The pattern heretofore has been Arabs attacking Jews, usually innocent Jews. Indeed, the most important act of the murderer Samir Kuntar, released last week, was to smash the head of an infant against a rock with a rifle butt, an act that will likely earn him extra-judicial execution at the hands of the IDF, now that he is free and a "hero" in Lebanon.

In addition, we see the arrest of far more Arabs in Jerusalem for terrorist activity than in years previous. There appears to be a greater threat of terrorism from Arabs living in Jerusalem than authorities wanted to acknowledge, and now real questions are being raised as to whether Arabs can be trusted not to kill Jews in positions of employment. I myself would never have questioned this previously - one of the doctors who operated on me when I was admitted to a hospital suffering from a heart attack was an Arab.

Finally, we come to an event that occurred last night in Jerusalem. Originally, I saw the report in Ynetnews, and then just now in Arutz Sheva. Typical to the ideological slant of the paper, Ynetnews called this a near-lynching. But, it is illustrative of the Haredi culture that I explained above. Two Arabs got into a dispute with a Haredi store owner, and the store owner shouted "goyim!!!", just as the Hassidim did in Williamsburg a half century ago. The Arabs were attacked and they fled, entering the home of a Jewish family in mourning (their door was not locked, so as to allow visitors to come without knocking, as is Jewish custom). The Jewish man in mourning tried to protect the Arabs from being beaten up, and for this, he was stabbed by one of the Haredím, who called him a traitor for protecting an Arab against a Jew.

This kind of violence simmers just under the surface of Jerusalem all the time, but it broke last night.


While I cannot say for sure, I can guess that the Haredím have had it up to the eyeballs with the public coddling of Arab murderers and their families, and the unwillingness or inability of the police to protect the Jewish population against Arabs - who may do business with us, but hate us nonetheless.

For the last seven years that I have lived in this country, what I have seen is the fear of Arabs by Jews. This is true in Haifa, in Jerusalem, in Jaffa. It was true when Jews were chased out of Peqiin by angry Druze last year. I have friends who refused to allow their children to ride the public buses for fear of Arab terrorism when we first moved here. Jews were afraid here as they were overseas, as the Hebrew press would automatically take the side of the Arabs, and the police would not protect them. The outbreak of violence against Arabs is a healthy sign - a sign that Jews are beginning to get back their self-respect, and ugly as the incident was last night, it portends not evil, but good.

The tide within the Jewish population may be turning at last, at long last, and it appears they are willing to finally do what needs to be done to instill fear into an arrogant and murderous minority that receives all too much sympathy from ignorant foreigners worldwide, foreigners who judge us to a far higher standard than they themselves can hope to attain.

It is long past time to reverse the Jewish fear of Arabs, and to make the resident Arabs in the Land of Israel tremble. It is time to make them appreciate the gift of life that G-d gives them daily - that they might choose life and not death - good and not evil. This is a major step on the road to the reconciliation between Arabs and Jews foretold in the Book of Isaiah.

כל צאן קדר יקבצו לך אילי נביות ישרתונך יעלו על-רצון מזבחי ובית תפארתי אפאר

All the flocks of Kedar shall be gathered unto you, the rams of Nevayot will serve you; they will be brought up with favor upon My Altar, and I will glorify the House of My Splendor. [Isaiah 60:7].

22 July 2008

Israel: Vehicular Terror Attack Update, Backstory and Analysis


Copyright © 2008, R. Kossover
First published at Blogcritics Magazine

Ma'ale Levona, 3 July, 2008


As reported on 2 July, an Arab "went postal" along the Jaffa Road, killing three and injuring at least 40 people. When I was riding towards Jerusalem's Central Bus Station Wednesday, planning to go to the phone company to clear up a bill, I heard the 12:00 news on the semi-official Voice of Israel hourly news roundup. While waiting for that bus, I had seen quite a number of police motorcycles, vehicles and a number of ambulances rushing ahead in the same direction I was going.

We Israelis have some rules of thumb when it comes to seeing ambulances or police vehicles: one ambulance means an accident or a heart attack; two ambulances mean a very serious vehicular accident; three or more are the sign of a terror attack. I was convinced there had been a terror attack based on the number of ambulances and the huge number of police vehicles zipping by.

But there are also certain terms you listen for in Hebrew on the news broadcasts to indicate this: pitzútz - explosion, irúa yéri - a shooting incident, nifgá - injured, m'Habél - terrorist, pigúa - terror attack. These were among the first terms I learned in Hebrew when we moved here seven years ago. Of all these terms listed, I heard only one - nifgá - injured.

The noon broadcast spoke of otobús hit'hapékh - an overturned bus, traktor (must I translate?), and reHóv yáfo - the Jaffa Road. The more we made our way slowly up the Jaffa Road, past landmarks like Davidka Square, maHané yehudá Shuk (souk in Arabic), the famous "open air" market where you can supposedly get bargains, the more I sensed that a trip to Bezeq to deal with a phone bill would be put off - and that I would be writing an article instead. My sense of this was confirmed when the police shut off the Jaffa Road altogether just past the Shuk and directed all traffic towards Agrippas Street, which runs parallel to the Jaffa Road for a ways. After about 100 meters or so on Agrippas, the police directed all traffic away from Agrippas Street as well, and since my ultimate destination was the Central Bus Station, which is on the Jaffa Road, I got off.

But I still couldn't see what a tractor had to do with an overturned bus.

I followed a couple of Haredím (the very observant Jews who wear long black coats and have peyót, dreadlocks) upwards towards the Jaffa Road. As I got there, a Border Guard was hollering "back!, back!" a command I sidestepped - literally. I looked at the crushed vehicles, at least twenty ambulances, another twenty police vehicles, and the Zak"a vehicle, which made me shiver. I asked questions and stood with notebook in one hand, pen in the other, and wrote most of my previous article. When I was done, I made my way to the Central Bus Station, hurrying to the internet café there to type the story up. After finishing it, and having my son send an e-mail notifying the editors of breaking news, I was just in time to catch the 14:00 bus to Ariel, which stops at Ma'ale Levona.

Riding the bus home, I caught the Hebrew news at 15:00 approximately three hours after the events occurred. In this broadcast, the term pigúa was used. Nevertheless, some important details still elude me, so lets look at the coverage since early Wednesday afternoon to see what can be had.


The first point is one which requires no URL's to document. The term traktor used was a misnomer. The construction vehicle driven by the Arab was a bulldozer - but Hebrew uses traktor to mean bulldozer as well. Another nuance in how Hebrew stretches words learned....

The second point is the names of the murdered: According to Yeshiva World News, the dead are Batsheva Unterman, HY"D (an abbreviation for השם ינקם דמם hashém y'nakém damám - may G-d avenge their blood), 33 of Bayit V'gan, a neighborhood in western edges of Jerusalem; Elizabeth Goren-Friedman, HY”D, a teacher of the blind crushed by the bulldozer. She was 54 years old and was buried Wednesday night at 22:30. The third victim was Jean Relevy, HY"D, (reported as Reloy in Ha'aretz) 68, from Gilo, a neighborhood at the southern edge of Jerusalem. Jean was in a vehicle when he was trapped and killed.

Now let's look at the killer, Hussam Duwiyat. He was an employee of the Jerusalem Municipality who lived in the Arab neighborhood of Tsur BaHer, which is adjacent to Armon haNetziv, a neighborhood in southeast Jerusalem where we had lived for five years. He was working on the site. This answers the question I had raised as to whether a terrorist grabbed the keys to the vehicle from a worker or not. But Duwiyat, who awoke on Wednesday morning a mere construction employee became a terrorist in doing the deed. He aimed to kill Jews, where there were lots of Jews.


Of course, the pro-Arab, pro-business, semi-official Ha'aretz has already absolved Hussam Duwiyat as a petty criminal run amok, not much different from his neighbor, Ala Abu-Dahim, who murdered eight students at Yeshivat Mercaz HaRav four months ago. But this goes in line with the general attitude of Ha'aretz towards this whole event, dismissing it as unimportant in the general scheme of things. They used Yaron Kutik, owner of a cafe located near where the bulldozer came to a halt, as their spokesman. He said, "This is the first time I've seen a terror attack happen right in front of my eyes, but this is not an attack that will affect us in the long term. Every Jerusalemite knows there's no such thing as a calm in Jerusalem. In a few days everyone will forget this attack and move on."

Of course, the folks in the rich suburbs of North Tel Aviv, where the publishers of Ha'aretz live, were not affected. They don't care. This happened in Jerusalem, where the "religious" Jews live. The writers at Ha'aretz do not realize how they expose the fault lines of the kulturkampf in Israel, and the fact that they chose to use this quote - a model of insensitivity to the mourners and to the dead - shows how little they value Jewish life. If they value Jewish lives so cheaply, why should an Arab be criticized for taking Jewish lives with such impunity? The underlying message of their whole article is directed at the cowardly but rich "reform" Jews of America, who chicken out of coming to Israel at the drop of a keffiyeh - "don't cancel your tours, it was just a couple of religious Jews who got killed - you're all safe here." The new "pro-business" Ha'aretz wants to make sure the money keeps flowing in.

More accurate coverage of this terror attack can be found at Arutz Sheva, where we see a repetition of events from the Mercaz HaRav killings in another interesting way. On that 15:00 Kol Yisrael news broadcast I heard on the bus, a member of Yasa"m, the swat team of the Israel Police usually used to beat up Jewish demonstrators, was heard to say, "I pulled out my gun, cocked it, and killed the terrorist."

Apparently, it did not quite happen this way.

Let's look at the Arutz Sheva piece a bit more closely. "Despite the mobilization of Yasam (special police anti-terror units) and other Israeli police forces, the terrorist was shot dead by a young religious off-duty Givati soldier who had just finished his basic training." The Jerusalem Post had a similar recitation of the facts in its original report (taken from my e-mail server). It reads as follows: "Police said that the driver plowed his vehicle into two public buses, toppling them over, and slammed into several cars. A soldier on leave took the gun from an elite policeman at the scene and shot the terrorist dead. The soldier is the brother-in-law of the IDF officer who killed the terrorist in the Mercaz HaRav Yeshiva attack, Channel 2 reported."

The soldier's name has been withheld by court order, partly to protect him from Arabs who might wish to kidnap or kill him in vengeance - which is why it has not been mentioned in this story either. But the revised report in the Jerusalem Post reads as follows: "The soldier, who cannot be identified due to a court order, said the attacker was shouting, 'Allahu Akbar.' As hundreds of people fled in panic, an elite police commando team on motorcycles sped toward the tractor, and one of the officers jumped on the tractor and shot the assailant dead."

Again, we see a religious soldier being slighted to favor the Israel Police - and to make it worse, that branch of the Israel Police that does the most egregious damage to believing Jews trying to secure the homeland here - Yasa"m - the bully goons of the secular government. Ilan Franko, the police chief in Jerusalem, did something similar to cover up the delayed response and irresolute actions of the Israel Police when Ala Abu-Dahim murdered eight students at Yeshivat Mercaz HaRav on 6 March of this year.

So, in these terror attacks, we see a careful pattern of news management - the government influenced press tries to minimize the importance of the attack, exonerate the attacker, and finally, if a religious Jew has in any way contributed to ending the attack, this contribution is erased in its entirety, leaving the secular regime to flex its muscles and show how well prepared it is to protect the citizens of this beleaguered country. When the exact opposite is the truth.

This analysis does not even begin to deal with the deliberate distortions of the news of this terror attack perpetrated by ("This is Londonistan") the BBC, caught by HonestReporting before it could be covered up.

For all this, the most important issue for me on Wednesday was not the killings or the news management and distortions by the foreign press. It was the fact that at the Central Bus Station, my bathroom away from home, the management is constructing toll booths to make sure that everyone who wishes to use any of the toilets there will have to pay a shekel. And of course, as the shekel rises against the dollar, the price of shaking hands with the unemployed goes up as well!

Arab from East Jerusalem "Goes Postal" on the Jaffa Road

Copyright © 2008, R. Kossover
First published at Blogcritics Magazine

Jerusalem, 2 July, 2008

Jerusalem, Israel 13:34, IST

At the construction site of Jerusalem's light rail system near Bank Le'umi on the Jaffa Road, an Arab drove a construction vehicle, described by some as a tractor, left the site itself and entered into oncoming traffic, crashed into a bus stop with passengers, crashed into a bus, overturning it, and continued along the Jaffa Road in the direction of the Central Bus Station (from where this is being written), overturning and crashing into vehicles.

Police responded to emergency calls from the vicinity of this event from the Russian Compound, where the Zion Station is located, with motorcycles, squad cars, and trucks. According to reports that I gathered near the scene, the Arab continued with his rampage until he was killed. I saw at least seven ambulances proceeding from downtown along the Jaffa Road, where I had been awaiting a bus, as well as the police vehicles described above, and a Zak"a vehicle. Zak"a is a group of volunteers who put together body parts while sorting out the parts of corpses for cleansing (where possible) and for burial. They are usually found at terrorist bombings.

According to Israel Porges, a yeshiva student studying on Agrippas Street, a block away from the Jaffa Road, this all began around noon. From what he reports, both as a witness, and as one listening to the semi-official Kol Yisrael Radio, there had been reports flowing to Shaba"k, Israel's secret police, that a terrorist incident of some kind might occur, but this particular kind of event was evidently beyond their imagination. At this writing, 13:30 p.m., Israel Summer Time (10:30 GMT), it is still not clear to me that this has been a "terrorist" attack in the classic sense of the word, but alerts continue to flow into the Shaba"k.

It is also not yet clear whether the Arab who did this was actually a worker on the site, or someone who had gotten the keys to the vehicle. When I left the site of the event to go to the Central Bus Station to write this, the Voice of Israel had already reported two dead killed by the Arab.

Updates on this will follow later from Ma'ale Levona.

Barry Obama Loves the Jews - NOT! The View from the Mountains of Samaria


Copyright © 2008, R. Kossover
First published at Blogcritics Magazine

Ma'ale Levona, 8 June, 2008

When Barry (it's time to give him a nice American name, don't you think?) Obama clinched the Democratic nomination for the American presidency, he gave a speech before AIPAC, the American-Israeli Public Affairs Committee. And boy, was it a stem-winder, let me tell you. He said all the right things, hit all the right notes; he had the whole crowd at AIPAC in his hands.

Before we get into details though, for those of you who have been drinking port wine under a bridge for the last three years, AIPAC is that dreaded, powerful, ever-present JEWISH LOBBY that, according to some, runs America.


When those evil Elders of Zion got tired of meeting in the Shabtai Tzvi Nursing Home in Geneva Switzerland, they all went to their grandkids, plastic surgeons, and dentists, all of them, and got tummy tucks and chin mods, facials and false teeth and the like, so they would all look like Steven Spielberg and Barbra Streisand or maybe even the Piano Man when he still had hair on his head. You don't believe me? Ask Steven Walt and Don Mearsheimer or consumer advocate Ralph Nader. After all, a wise consumer is an informed consumer.

Anyway, now that we know who AIPAC is, we can go to that Obama stem-winder where he wowed 'em and sounded as if, instead of attending Trinity United Church of Christ for the last twenty years listening to black liberation rants by Jeremiah Wright, he was really wrapping t'fillín (phylacteries worn on the head and arm) and praying the 'amidá (the central feature of all Jewish prayer services), begging the Almighty to re-build Jerusalem, restore the royal House of David, and bring home His Children Israel from the four corners of the earth.

In this speech, Obama spoke as a true friend of Israel, speaking from his heart. He talked about being among friends who were grassroots activists; he talked about understanding that, "...there is always a homeland at the center of the story" ... As president, I will never compromise when it comes to Israel's security." He laid the butter on thick. "Support for Israel goes beyond party ... Those who threaten Israel threaten us ... I will always stand up for Israel's right to defend itself in the United Nations and around the world! ... Israel's security is sacrosanct ... And Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel and it must remain undivided!"

And the crowd at AIPAC applauded wildly. These folks assumed he meant that a Jerusalem undivided meant a Jerusalem under the Shield of David, under the blue and white flag of the Zionist movement and the State of Israel.

But the realities of the world set in all too quickly.

Ynetnews, the English on-line version of the Hebrew daily yediót aHronót (Hebrew for "latest updates") reported that "Abbas called for talks with Hamas government, denounced Obama's remarks on Jerusalem." This was on 4 June. Abbas wasted no time attempting to adjust to what appeared to be the new song out of the Obama campaign, "Hatikva". This was only one of many articles that noted the stunned feeling of Arabs round the world.

On 5 June, Sana Abdallah of the Middle East Times wrote that Obama's AIPAC speech shocked Arabs. He noted that, "millions of Arabs were able to watch the address to the powerful American-Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), which was aired live on some Arab television networks, serving as a 'rude awakening' that the United States, regardless of its leadership, would continue to favor Israel at the expense of Palestinian and Arab rights."

Al-Jazeera chimed in on 5 June with Arabs shocked by Obama speech noting that,
"His comments appalled Palestinians who see occupied East Jerusalem as part of a future Palestinian state."

The response from Barry Obama should have been expected. Around midnight local time (6 June), The Jerusalem Post reported that Obama clarifies united J'lem comment.

It wasn't Obama who did the "clarification", by the way. According to the newspaper, it was a campaign aide. The un-named aide said Thursday that,

Obama believes 'Jerusalem is a final status issue, which means it has to be negotiated between the two parties' as part of 'an agreement that they both can live with. Two principles should apply to any outcome: Jerusalem remains Israel's capital and it's not going to be divided by barbed wire and checkpoints as it was in 1948-1967.' He refused, however, to rule out other configurations, such as the city also serving as the capital of a Palestinian state or Palestinian sovereignty over Arab neighborhoods.

It is no surprise that this left many Jews who were cheering wildly just a couple of nights ago rather cold. This is not their vision of a "united Jerusalem".

According to the Post, the Orthodox Union's Nathan Diament expressed disappointment a mere day after praising Senator Obama for these remarks. Similarly, Morton Klein, of the Zionist Organization of America, found this backpedaling "troubling".

By contrast, Congressman Robert Wexler, a Democrat from Florida, a long-time supporter of Obama, rejected the idea that the Illinois senator had been misleading with his comments. He basically repeated what had been said by the Obama aide. Americans for Peace Now, the American fundraising arm for Peace Now, a group of pro-Arab Israelis, was pleased by this clarification. According to them, Obama's clarification reflected their own position advocating shared sovereignty over Jerusalem.

But enough of the corned beef and kishkes of Jews arguing over what "Goyisher princes" say. Barry Obama has a record and it speaks for itself. Let's have a look at some of Obama's real life foreign policy experience. it might provide a foretaste of an Obama presidency.

Pam Geller of Atlas Shrugs, posted this at her site at the beginning of this year. Let's look at some highlights.

The Evangelical Alliance of Kenya has posted on its website a photograph copy of a Memorandum of Understanding, dated and signed on August 29, 2007, between Raila Odinga and Shiekh Abdullah Abdi, chairman of the National Muslim Leaders Forum of Kenya.

It pledges the support of Kenyan Moslems for Raila's election. In return, as President of Kenya, Raila agrees to 14 actions, listed a) through n) on page two. Read them all, and be sure you're sitting down. Here's a sample:

b) Within 6 months re-write the Constitution of Kenya to recognize Sharia as the only true law sanctioned by the Holy Quran for Muslim declared regions.

c) With immediate effect dismiss the Commissioner of Police who has allowed himself to be used by heathens and Zionists to oppress the Kenyan Muslim community.

g) Within one year facilitate the establishment of a Sharia court in every Kenyan divisional headquarters. [Note: everywhere in Kenya, not just in "Muslim declared regions."]

Raila Odinga has, in his own words, a "close personal friendship" with Barrack Hussein Obama Junior.

When Obama went to Kenya in August of 2006, he was hosted by Raila and spoke in praise of him at rallies in Nairobi: Obama's bias for his fellow Luo was so blatant that a Kenya government spokesman denounced Obama during his visit as Raila's "stooge."

Barry Obama, referred to here as Barrack Hussein Obama Junior, was at home with Zionist (almost every member of AIPAC sees himself as a Zionist) friends - after facilitating this agreement? Who does he think he is fooling?

Now let's go back to that Democracy Now's video explaining Walt and Mearsheimer's piece on the Jewish lobby. Michael Massing, from the New York Review of Books, explains, among other things, that they are realists coming out of the Brzezinski school of foreign policy. Guess who is one of Barry Obama's foreign policy advisors? Zbigniew Brzezinski!

Let's also look at who likes Obama - or who did until a couple of days ago. "Hamas Un-'Endorses' Obama" says this ABC news blog. This means that Hamas did like him. They had endorsed him.

For the moment, Obama will have to endure the "alcohol slap" that everyone endures when appearing to befriend Israel and Jews. That's just life, and with time, Obama will "clarify" point after point of this speech to AIPAC until they have all disappeared into smoke and mirrors.

This is the point where you are supposed to read that you should vote for John McCain because he does love the Jews for real, right? Well, guess what, folks? McCain has Jim (fu-k the Jews) Baker whispering sweet somethings into his ear about this neck of the woods, particularly Israel. So McCain is no better than Obama.

If Obama wins the American election, though, he will be just what the doctor ordered for those of us who want to rid Israel of American puppets who ruin our lives threaten our security and ultimately endanger the Jewish entity that has finally arisen here after two thousand years of exile and persecution by foreigners.

McCain will glad hand and lie through his teeth - just like Obama did to AIPAC - and Israelis will believe him. He'll be able to carry the lie off a lot better. By contrast, Obama will be the personification of the anti-Israel and anti-Jewish policy of America's oil and banking establishment. And military reservists, the backbone of Israeli society, whose lives are endangered every time the IDF throws them into foolish assaults in Gaza, and misuses them in military offensives in Lebanon, while Israeli government power-holders hide in bunkers, will finally become disgusted with the thieves and incompetents who ruin their lives.

And they will finally do what is necessary to break the yoke of oppression on our necks, so that we can build our homeland in dignity, and with G-d's help, peace.

So, I'm not condemning Obama at all. I'll be voting for the guy. He is, ironically, "the great black hope".

Author's Note: While this article generated a lot of comments at Blogcritics Magazine, I'll just include one item.

"Obama will 'clarify' point after point of this speech to AIPAC until they have all disappeared into smoke and mirrors."

I do so enjoy rubbing your noses in my ability to predict what your pathetically predictable politicians will do. According to Arutz Sheva, Barry Obama Gives Final Burial to 'Undivided Jerusalem' Statement. As I pointed out five weeks ago, "Obama will be the personification of the anti-Israel and anti-Jewish policy of America's oil and banking establishment." And his advisers will make clear what he leaves doubtful. That is why I support the son of a bitch.

Having said all this, something could happen that will make the possibility of American elections academic, at best. Looking at Debkafiles, there are several possibilities of war breaking out in this neighborhood, a war that will very seriously involve the United States in one way or another.

It's always interesting to live in Israel....

Eight Dead and Forty Wounded in Arab Terror Attack on Jerusalem Yeshiva

Copyright © 2008, R. Kossover
First published at Blogcritics Magazine

Ma'ale Levona, 6 March 2008

At approximately 8:30 this evening (20:30) on 6 March, two terrorists entered Merkáz haRáv Yeshivá in the Kiryát Moshé neighborhood of Jerusalem and killed eight students and wounded approximately forty people, as they sprayed the yeshiva with several hundred rounds from Kalashnikov rifles they were carrying.

One of the yeshiva students had a gun and killed one of the terrorists, a resident of Jébel Mukábr, a southeast Arab neighborhood just north and east of Armón haNetzív (where I used to live).

When residents of Gaza heard of the news on their own radios, they broke out cheering, shooting rifles in the air in celebration of the attack on students in a yeshiva.

The first hint of trouble came to me as I was sitting guard in the guard booth at the gate of Ma'alé Levoná. Someone got on the walkie talkie asking, "Have you heard the news?" Asked what news, he answered, "Of a shooting attack or something like that."

I turned up the volume of the radio in the guard booth and minutes before the news was due to come on at 21:00, the announcer on Radio Jerusalem said that there had been a shooting incident in Jerusalem with lots of wounded and two terrorists attacking.

The news came in thick and fast, and it was a task taking notes in Hebrew from the radio and opening and closing the gate at the same time. It was shortly known that several yeshiva students had been killed, and that many were wounded, being taken off in ambulances to Sha'aré Tzédeq Hospital and to Hadássah 'Ein Qérem Hospital, both in the western portions of the city.

As people called in to Radio Jerusalem with reports, the announcers went back and forth between six and eight dead, with fluid reports coming in on those who were wounded and in hospital. By 22:00 it was clear that eight students had been killed and that over 35 people had been wounded. Initial speculation on the terrorists coming from Gaza was ended when it was reported towards 23:00 that the dead terrorist was a Jerusalem resident. By this time, the Jerusalem police brass had already given a press conference indicating that increased police and border patrols would be on hand tomorrow in the Old City when Jews gather to recite special prayers to mark the beginning of Adar Bet, the month during which Purim takes place. The terror attack will put a pall of sadness on the prayers, which are supposed to inaugurate a month of joy with its joyful holiday of Purim.

Reports from Arutz Sheva and Yediot Ahronot contain further details of the attack. It should be noted that Yediot Ahronot has apparently dropped its English site, and denied access to the English version of this article on Arabs celebrating in Gaza.

While any terror attack comes as an unpleasant surprise, Arabs had been opening up the faucet of terror wider and wider since last weekend. It now appears evident from the nature of the increased violence that a period of instability and very possibly a hot war will follow in the not too distant future.

This does not change the fact that eight families now have to do a most painful task — bury and mourn their children and loved ones. In the comment section, I will update this information with the names of the murdered.

Hashém y'nakém damám. May G-d avenge their blood.


The following additions to the article are taken from the comments section at Blogcritics Magazine:

This is the link to the English version of Gazans celebrating the death of yeshiva students in Jerusalem. Hopefully it will work....

As promised last night, I'm updating the names of the murdered.

1. Yochai Lipschitz, z"l, hy"d, 18, of Jerusalem;
2. Yonatan Yitzchak Eldar, z"l, hy"d, 16, of Shilo;
3. Yonadav Chaim Hirschfeld, z"l, hy"d, 19, of Kokhav HashaHar;
4. Neriah Cohen, z"l, hy"d, 15, of Jerusalem;
5. Roey Roth, z"l, hy"d, 18, of Elkana;
6. Segev Pniel Avihayil, z"l, hy"d, 15, of Neve Daniel;
7. Avraham David Moses, z"l, hy"d, 16, of Efrat;
8. Maharata Trunoch, z"l, hy"d, 26, of Ashdod.

Zikronatám l'brakhá 'aleinu, v'hashém y'nakém damám.

May their memories be only for a blessing upon our people, and may G-d avenge their blood.


2. To understand all this more thoroughly, let's go back to my hastily composed article and fill in some of the details that ought to have been put in, but weren't, partly due to my desire to file a story quickly, and partly due to my problems understanding Hebrew.

I wrote in the article Initial speculation on the terrorists coming from Gaza was ended when it was reported towards 23:00 that the dead terrorist was a Jerusalem resident. By this time, the Jerusalem police brass had already given a press conference indicating that increased police and border patrols would be on hand tomorrow in the Old City when Jews gather to recite special prayers to mark the beginning of Adar Bet, the month during which Purim takes place.

I listened to the press conference and there was considerably more to what was conveyed to the press than this announcement. Reporters were trying to get an accurate description of who had killed the Arab terrorist, there being a question of whether he had been a yeshivá student or a soldier. In what amounted to a smackdown of reporters' questions, the police spokesman insisted that it had been an IDF soldier who had killed the terrorist, refusing to go further in his description.

Now let's look at the Arutz Sheva story and find out the truth:

The attacker entered the yeshiva and opened fire on students before he was gunned down himself by a part-time yeshiva student, aided by an off-duty army officer from the neighborhood. The attack began in the seminary's library with the terrorist spraying bullets in every direction before anyone could react.

The part-time yeshiva student who first shot the terrorist, 40-year-old YitzHak Dadon, said he was in the Yeshiva's study hall when he heard the shots. "Everyone left through a side door," he said, "and I left through a window, and lied down on a roof overlooking the library... When he came out, I shot him in the head twice. I saw him start to stagger, and then David Shapira [a yeshiva graduate and paratroopers officer] arrived on the scene, shot him with his M-16 rifle, and then we emptied our magazines into him."

State-Run Radio Leaves Dadon Out of Report

Dadon was interviewed on various television and radio channels and told his story. When describing what the terrorist was wearing, Dadon emphasized that he was armed with a Kalachnikov rifle that was given him by "our President Peres and by the Olmert government." The interviewers invariably tried to cut him off. Later, the official news report by government-run Israel Radio left him out of its reports, announcing only, "An IDF officer who lives near the Yeshiva heard the shots, came to the scene and shot the terrorist to death." That report still appears on its internet site as of 10 AM Friday.
So the bitter reality is that the Olmert government had armed the terrorist who killed the yeshivá students by handing out Kalshnikovs - paid for with my tax money - to Arabs so that they could "secure" the PA.

What a pile of sh-t.

The plan was, when Olmert gave the Arabs the weapons, that they would be used to kill "settlers", as the scum refer to people like me, with the goal of scaring us out of their homes. But Arab bloodthirstiness won the day, and any Jew was a target.

Final news update before the Sabbath.

07 March, 2008

One of the big questions that vexed people was how the terrorist (apparently, there was only one) got into the yeshivá in the first place. Apparently he was a van driver who drove a lot of the students from their homes to the yeshivá (many schools provide such a service - partly because of Arab terrorism) and he knew which gates were guarded and how to get in and out.

So, now, one of the questions will be, "should Arabs be allowed to drive vans with Jewish students in them?" This is not an abstract question of law or discrimination. This is a real issue of lives at risk. Yesterday's attack demonstrated this fact.

After the Sabbath

Barry Chamish's question to this article in Arutz Sheva about the Merkáz haRáv Yehiva was:
"Yeah, and where was a guard guarding your precious students?"

The answer to his question is found in the following article about the attack on the yeshiva, also from Arutz Sheva.

[Jerusalem Police Commissioner, Aharon] Franco also said in an interview with Channel 2 TV that the killer did not fit the standard Palestinian Authority terrorist profile. "He is not known to the security forces. He was a normal man who worked as a driver, who was going to be married soon," he said.

The murderer, 25-year-old Ala Abu Dheim, had operated completely under the radar, stockpiling ammunition and weapons, some of which remained after the attack. Abu Dheim also personally chose the target and time for the attack after spending considerable time observing and gathering intelligence about the yeshiva, it was learned.
After dawn prayer services this morning, over wine and crackers, we discussed the terrorist, and the incident. He had been admitted to a rosh Hódesh (head of the month) celebration like any other person would have been, following the basic rules of hospitality of the Patriarch Abraham, and the rules of hospitality of any Bedouin, for that matter. In addition to being a murderer, the terrorist violated the very basic rules of hospitality prevalent in this part of the world.


12 March, 2008

It is now already six days since the attack on Yeshivát Merkáz haRáv Kook. Since that time, the head of the yeshivá, Rav Shapira, declared Ehud Olmert persona non-grata on the grounds of the yeshivá, and the Education Minister, Yuli Tamir, threatened to close the yeshivá alleging it does not have democratic standards. According to Arutz Sheva, Israel's state-run media organ, the IBA, accused the accusing Merkaz HaRav rabbis of approving a revenge attack planned by three former students to avenge the murder of eight students in an attack last Thursday. The vague report, which relied heavily on unnamed sources, was quickly picked up by the Associated Press and published in papers worldwide under the headlines: "Yeshiva graduates plan revenge attack against Arab figure." According to the Arutz Shewva report, the Yeshiva officials said the report was completely baseless, and pointed out that no arrests have been made based on the allegations. Yeshiva head Rabbi Yaakov Shapira has mentioned repeatedly in addresses to students not to seek revenge.

The yeshivá is threatening a libel suit.

In the meantime, the Israeli power-holders, pretending to be a government, have caved to American pressure, according to the Jerusalem Post, and will not launch massive attacks to attempt to erase the threat of Katyushas, Grads and Qassams on the cities of southwestern Israel. Instead, it will seek a cease fire "with Egyptian intervention". In short, to please the American bitch, Condoleezza Rice, Jews will continue to remain under mortal threat - another case Israelis dying to please Bush or Rice. According to the Post, both Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defense Minister Ehud Barak, unwilling or unable to admit their lack of balls, denied on Monday, that there was any kind of negotiating process with Hamas,
and insisted that the IDF "retained its freedom of action" in the Strip.

But that is just the offal stinking up the news.

This letter came to my e-mail today, and is the real reason I'm sending out this update - to illustrate the ties that bind us Jews together in spite of the evil regime that scatters fear and despair.

This is the text of the e-mail.

From: Israel Kaplan
Subject: Letter from Jerusalem that I would like to share with all of you.

Every morning I take the 35 bus line to work. It's a quick ride and usually takes no more than 12 minutes. The third stop after I get on by the shuk (open air market) is directly in front of Yeshivat Merkaz HaRav. This morning I found myself a bit anxious, unsure of what I was going to see as we passed by. As I looked around, I saw death notices pasted all over the street and flowers that had been brought lined the entrance to the Yeshiva. When the bus pulled up to the stop, the driver shut off the engine and stood. With tears in his eyes he told everyone sitting on the bus that one of the boys killed on Thursday night was his nephew. He asked if everyone on the bus would mind if he spoke for a few minutes in memory of his nephew and the other boys that were killed. After seeing head nods all over the bus he began to ! speak. With a clear and proud voice, he spoke beautifully about his nephew and said that he was a person who was constantly on the lookout for how to help out anyone in need. He was always searching for a way to make things better. He loved learning, and had a passion for working out the intricacies of the Gemara. He was excited to join the army in a few years, and wanted to eventually work in informal education. As he continued to speak, I noticed that the elderly woman sitting next to me was crying. I looked into my bag, reached for a tissue and passed it to her. She looked at me and told me that she too had lost someone she knew in the attack. Her neighbors child was another one of the boys killed. As she held my hand tightly, she stood up and asked if she too could say a few words in memory of her neighbor. She spoke of a young man filled with a zest for life. Every Friday he would visit her with a few flowers for Shabbat and a short d'var Torah (explanation of the Torah) that he had learned that week in Yeshiva. This past Shabbat, she had no flowers.

When I got to work, one of my colleagues who lives in Efrat told me that her son was friends with 2 of the boys who had been killed. One of those boys was the stepson of a man who used to teach in Brovenders and comes to my shul in Riverdale every Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur to be a chazan (public representative who chants the prayers) for one of the minyanim (congregations of at least ten men).

We are all affected by what goes on in Israel . Whether you know someone who was killed or know someone who knows someone or even if you don't know anyone at all, you are affected. The 8 boys who were killed will continue to impact us all individually and as a nation. Each one of us has the ability to make a profound impact on our world. This coming Wednesday morning, I will be at Ben Gurion airport at 7 am with Nefesh B'Nefesh welcoming 40 new olim (immigrants) to Israel . We will not deter. We can not give up. We will continue to live our lives and hope and work for change, understanding and peace.

Final Note:

The is the interview where the reporter tried to cut off the killer of the terrorist for blaming Olmert and Peres for giving arms and ammo to the PLO, arms and ammo used to kill eight yeshivá students last Thursday night.

The translation of the Hebrew lasts long enough for you to see how the Channel 2 reporter tried to cut off YitzHak Dadon from stating that Olmert and Peres had armed the terrorists.

Obviously the state president and prime minister did not hand the weapons personally to the terrorist who killed the yeshivá kids. But the policy of arming terrorists is what Dadon referred to, the policy that the Channel 2 reporter tried to interrupt. Channel 1 did not carry this at all on its broadcasts, as it is the government station.

Put differently, there is plenty of Jewish blood on the hands of the power-holders in this country. They, like the terrorists, deserve the sharp hand of real justice, may it come soon to them.

A Second Arab Attack via Bulldozer in Jerusalem

Copyright © 2008, R. Kossover
First published at Blogcritics Magazine

Author's Note: About an hour after this article was published, my wife called. She was able to get the SIM card into her phone and so her phone was again in order. She is safe.

She will be able to downtown from the Central Bus Station, which is northwest of the city center. But those who live in the south of the city, neighborhoods like the German Colony, Greek Colony, Armon haNetziv, etc., will have far more difficulty going through Keren haYesod, which goes towards the center of town near Hotel Row.

Traffic on the streets west of Keren haYesod near Government Hill, Gan Soccer, and the Wolfson Medical Center will be maddeningly slow. The injured have mostly been taken to Sha'are Tzedek Hospital, where I was treated for a heart attack some years back.

Ma'ale Levona, 15:45

Reports came into us here in Ma'ale Levona first via cell phone, then via Arutz Sheva, then via Ha'aretz of a second Arab "bulldozer" attack. Fortunately, at this writing, around 15:45, Israel Summer Time, no one has been killed, thank G-d.

According to the cell phone report, a young man checking the Hebrew Internet at 14:20 reported five injured at the intersection of King David Street and Keren haYesod Street. This is right near hotel row in central Jerusalem, and from this information alone, it appears that these attacks are a concerted attempt to drive away tourists during what has been, up until now, a record breaking year for tourism in this country. A friend of my son reports that it is impossible presently to get to the Central Bus Station from central Jerusalem. My wife is also in Jerusalem, on her way to the Central Bus Station having to pass north through Keren haYesod Street. Her cell phone is out of order, so we are out of contact.

According to Arutz Sheva, "The terrorist began his attempt to murder Jews on King David St. near the Yemin Moshe neighborhood. He took a tractor from a construction site, and began plowing into vehicles along the street, hitting three cars and a bus. When he reached the intersection of Keren HaYesod St., a citizen and Border Guard policeman shot and killed him. The entire incident was over very quickly, eyewitnesses said."

The head of Manhigut Yehudit faction of the Likud, Moshe Feiglin, also witnessed this attack. He said that his first impression of the attack was the tractor-shovel attempting to drop down upon a passerby. "At first I thought it was some kind of accident, but very quickly we realized that it was an attack. Thank G-d, it ended very quickly, because of the alertness of a passersby who shot him - I saw a man I know from the southern Judea community of Susia, but he was the first one to shoot the terrorist, and then the Border Guard policeman came and finished the story."

The man who first shot the terrorist was later announced to be Yaki Asael, 56, father of eight, from Susia, according to Arutz Sheva.

Ha'aretz reports "Driver shot dead; 16 hurt, one in serious condition." Note that the headline from Ha'aretz is careful not to call this a terror attack.

Further updates will come when I find out more news.

This update came in at 15:50 from Rabbi Rahamim Pauli, as an e-mail to me and others:

Moments ago I was on the phone with my cousin, he told me that another bulldozer attack occurred in Yerushalayim.

This time the attack was near the Gan Hapalmon or Liberty Bell Park. The Park is right between the Sheridan Hotel/Heichel Shlomo and Migdal David in the old City not far from the main post office and the interior ministry in Yerushalayim.

This time it was a smaller bulldozer as it was not a road-work earth moving massive bulldozer. Again the driver was shot first by a civilian and then by a border policeman. The regular policemen just aren't there in time. The attack occurred around 14:30 local time.

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20 July 2008

The Return of Two Bodies for Live Terrorists


This previous week has been dominated by the news of the return of live Arab murderers for two dead bodies kidnapped by HizbAllah in 2006. It is evident that the Israeli government knew for quite some time that that Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev, ז''ל, הי''ד, were already dead. Why they were willing to return a live murderer for dead bodies puzzles me.

I have no diffficulty with the idea of returning the corpse of an Arab multiple murderer and terrorist for the dead bodies of the Sgts. Goldwasser and Regev. Returning a big name killer like Sami Kuntar alive only leaves me sick with shame that bastards and traitors like Ehud Olmert, and Shim'on Peres represent us on the world stage. They humiliate us all and make me ashamed to be an Israeli. May G-d judge these scum with firm justice, and may they see no Divine Mercy - they do not deserve it.

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12 July 2008

Israel News Analysis - The Winograd Report Hits the Fan


Author's Note: It is now 12 July, 2008. The Winograd Report has been successfully watered down and Ehud Olmert was spared the spearing he deserved in it. But his corruption appears to be catching up with him at last. As for the scenarios outlined at the end of this article, Shim'on Peres is now State President, and has fancy parties, welcoming all sorts of foreign dignitaries here. But he plays a behind the scenes role as a foreign minister type, and I believe he is behind the present investigations that have blackened Ehud Olmert's name and made Olmert's future as a leader problematic In addition, it should be noted that the surrender of the Heights of Golan, parts of Jerusalem and almost all of Judea and Samaria to the Arab enemy are all very much on the table..

Published 03 May, 2007 at Blogcritics Magazine
Ma'ale Levona, Israel

May Day! May Day!

That has been the cry going out from the "prime minister" Ehud Olmert and "security minister" Amir Peretz, the Two Stooges whose goose was cooked when the Winograd Report hit the fan during the evening hours of 30 April. The Third Stooge, former IDF "chief of staff" Dan Halutz, had already been sacked and is now hiding out at Harvard in the groves of academe. Various press reports have talked about how scathing the report was etc., etc., and of the "political earthquake" that hit Israel.

Gimme a break!

From hundreds of anecdotal reports, Israeli soldiers were sent forth without adequate supplies to engage the enemy in the north, HizbAllah, attacking them along the line of expectation, the precise path that HizbAllah expected to be attacked.

Woo hoo! Way to go, retard!

The sins of Olmert and crew have already been hashed over hundreds of times since last July, when the fool brazenly bragged about recovering hostages "kidnapped" by HizbAllah in the north and Hamas in the south - and then refused to follow even a reasonable strategy to do so. Everyone has been calling for the idiots' heads since being sent home from the north with reservists leaving huge signs at the edge of Jerusalem - "Take Responsibility For Your Mistakes! Quit and Go Home!"

When the Katyusha rockets began hitting the northern third of Israel last July 12th, the government and administration ran away, leaving the citizenry to fend for themselves. The government has not even transferred to the "responsible authorities," the idiots who ran away, the millions of shekels needed to enable the recovery of the northern part of the country. Today, there is a general strike in the north to protest that fact.

All the Winograd Report has done has been to put the obvious into official language that not even the pretentiously magisterial Olmert, or the "little captain" Peretz, can deny.

Getting Around the Rule of Law

Let's do a little analysis of all this, remembering these points. Olmert, who was the Vice Prime Minister when Ariel Sharon had his major stroke early in 2006, was kept in office by a subterfuge of the law. Ariel Sharon did in fact die in Hadassah, as David Bedein reported. But he was dragged back from the dead, and stuck on life support machines for political reasons.

According to Israeli law, had Sharon been declared dead, the head of the political party he headed when he became prime minister in 2003 would have succeeded to the position of interim prime minister, and new elections would have been called. The head of the political party that Sharon headed upon accession to the prime minister's office in 2003 was the head of the Likud party, Benyamin Netanyahu.

By declaring the prime minister "impaired," Attorney General Menahem Mazuz avoided the possibility of Netanyahu becoming prime minister and thus allowed Ehud Olmert, and Sharon's fake political creation that Olmert now headed, "Kadima," to continue in office and attempt to form a government if it won a sufficient number of seats in the elections.

So an operation was done upon a corpse, and reports came out regularly about Ariel Sharon's condition to maintain the fiction that he was the sitting prime minister, while Ehud Olmert ran for office while sitting in the prime minister's chair. Now that Olmert has been in office for a year and half, Sharon has been airbrushed out of the political photos. Scarcely a word is said about the corpse body of a man hooked up to life support machines.


Way back in 2004, Sharon, after declaring his intent to pull out of Gush Katif, offered to hold a referendum within the Likud party to allow the members of the Likud, whom he represented, to decide on pulling out. It appeared at first that he would actually follow the desire of the voters, his own supporters, in the matter. In the end, he lost the referendum, and declared that he would go ahead with a withdrawal anyway. But, deferring to the voters of his party, he would only order a withdrawal from a few of the 24 towns and villages in Gush Katif. A report harshly critical of this referndum and of Israel's presence in Gaza noted the following:

Predictions from within Likud are that he will now offer only a partial withdrawal from the Gaza Strip of only those of the 21 settlements “most exposed” to violence. The occupation of the Gaza Strip would be essentially unchanged.
Enter Menny Mazuz. The attorney general declared that Sharon had to pull out of the entire bloc of Gush Katif as he said he would. What power did Mazuz, whose position as attorney general did not qualify him to try to make security policy? Mazuz had possible indictments sitting in his drawer - indictments of Ariel Sharon and his son Omri to begin with, for various kind of fraud, campaign violations, and the like.

Mazuz, who had been a protegé of Yossi Beilin, a staunch advocate of withdrawal from Gaza, Judea and Samaria, was merely following "his" party line, and using the indictments in the drawer as his weapon.

By 6 May 2004, Mr. Sharon, picking up the hint, returned to the line of pulling out of Gush Katif entirely, and stonewalled his way through the entire effort. And what was the central plank of the "Kadima" party that Sharon founded in 2005 after the withdrawal from Gush Katif? Withdrawal from all of Judea and Samaria, unilaterally, if need be! This was the policy known as "convergence".

The loss in Lebanon basically did in that policy. Oh, Olmert will pretend to support it, and his foreign minister Tzipi Livni will talk about a "Palestinian state" and all that trash - but the people of Israel are not willing to buy that bill of goods any more. But if a knight on a white horse comes to the nation's rescue...

Knight on a White Horse

So we see Olmert facing the desertion of his coalition as Kadima minister after Kadima minister tries to figure out a way to replace Olmert without facing the danger of new elections. Labor Minister Eitan Cabel quit the government urging his fellow ministers from the Labor party to do likewise, including Mr. Peretz; the chief of the coalition quit, calling upon Olmert to do likewise, Tzipi Livni has already tried a putsch within the Kadima party - and failed. If you examine this page listing articles in Haaretz, you'll see one major name in Israeli politics absent.

Shim'on Peres.

Deputy Prime Minister Shim'on Peres has been the eminence grise in this government, the fellow who knows where all the bodies are buried (literally). While Olmert has publicly faltered, Peres had remained quiet awaiting the release of the interim report of the Winograd Committee to confirm the incompetence of Mr. Olmert, his security minister and former chief of staff. But Peres moves carefully, and has been campaigning quietly to oust Olmert and take the position himself. A Stratfor analysis dismisses him as a possible replacement for Olmert, arguing that the situation calls for someone strong in security, rather than diplomacy. That would rule out Tzipi Livni, who appears to enjoy the support of the Hebrew press.

Let's take another look at Peres, then. It can be fatal to under-estimate him. While he was never a general in the army, he has credentials that make him very strong in the area of security. He initiated atomic energy research in the 1950s in Israel and in the 1970's he was instrumental in Israel's "acquiring" nuclear material for its clutch of nuclear missiles. In 1976, he orchestrated the rescue of 100 Israeli hostages from Uganda, the daring operation at the Entebbe airport that killed Yoni Netanyahu and brought his brother Benyamin into the political limelight.

In addition, Peres has a resource that virtually none of his contemporaries, friend or foe, has - a solid Jesuit education. The Jesuits are famous for their ability to teach strategic thinking, and Peres learned at their knee. Keeping this in mind, let us look at three possible scenarios for the medium future.

1. One is that Olmert is driven from office and is succeeded by Peres, who promises to bring a fresh approach and to save the Kadima party from its natural fate - extinction. But there is a corollary to this scenario, one that I've examined before. This is that Katzav is also driven from office in one way or another, and that Peres steps forth as the deGaulle of the country, seeking to combine the posts of state president and prime minister and end the instability of the country's political system. This is the "knight on a white horse scenario." Given that there is virtually nobody else to run the country who has any level of competence (with a couple of execeptions), the Israeli "maiden" kisses this knight whom she has spurned so many times before.

2. The second is that Olmert is driven from office and that either Tzipi Livni or Avi Dichter takes his place. Katzav is driven from office in one way or another, and is replaced by Peres as state president. Because of Peres' ties overseas, he exercises considerable behind the scenes influence, far greater than his office warrants, and he seems again to be a "knight on a white horse", serving as mentor for the younger cabinet members and being invited to sit in on their meetings.

3. The final scenario is that Olmert is able to hold onto the "seat" of prime minister" but is forced to accede to rule by others - like his deputy prime minister, Peres.

What do all three scenarios have in common?

The European Union, with some help from NATO, will be invited in to "expedite" the "peace process" - that is to say drive out Jews from their homes in Judea, Samaria, the Heights of the Golan, and very possibly parts of Jerusalem itself.

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A Disengaged Nation Goes to the Polls - Early Israel Election News


Authors Note: This is now 12 July, 2008, and I am picking up articles at Blogcritics Magazine that should have been posted here a long time ago but weren't. At this writing, the country looks forward to a new elections, as the sitting "crime minister" is under threat of indictment and has been questioned by police now three times. Whatever purpose Ehud Olmert may have served for his foreign masters in the United States, that purpose seems to have been fulfilled, and he is being thrown to the wolves - the wolves being those politicians who are loyal not to the United States but to the European Union - politicians like MenaHem Mazuz, the "Attorney General".

Published at Blogcritics Magazine 28 March, 2006

Today is a holiday in Israel. Everything will be closed. The supermarkets, drug stores, banks, and shops will all be closed. Only the self-employed, the restaurants, the shopping malls, the reporters, and the bus drivers will be working. Today is election day. So this is a wrap-up.

In my article here at Blog Critics,"All the Trash is Jumping into One Bin", some months back, I made some specific predictions. One was that Ariel Sharon, for one reason or another, would step down from his post as prime minister in 2006. Another was that he would remain prime minister, whether elections were held or not (until he stepped down).

It appears that Ariel Sharon has remained prime minister, but indeed he has "stepped down" - or should I say been struck down. But he will not remain prime minister, assuming elections are actually held - a strong likelihood given that the polls have already opened at 10:00 this morning. I can hear the jets flying overhead on patrol. If anyone plans an attack to stop the elections, they will have to consider those jets.

If for some unforeseen reason, the elections are cancelled, he will remain prime minister.

There are 31 parties running for the 120 seats in the Knesset. The Israel Project
has summed up in English what all of the 31 political parties running stand for and the home page of this link explains briefly how the government works here.

It used to be that election day was a day that everyone went to the polls to vote. A turnout of nearly 80% was normal, and a turnout of 75% was considered poor. According to many news sources, not all that many people will be voting. This article in Debkafiles says that many young people, who form a large percentage of the population, will be staying home out of disgust with the choices in front of them. According to the article,

"At the last sampling, one-third of the 120 parliamentary seats were undecided. What most rocked campaign managers was the frank admission by 21-28-year olds that they do not intend to turn out at all because they do not regard a single party leader, whether Kadima's acting prime minister Ehud Olmert or opposition leaders, Binyamin Netanyahu (a former Likud prime minister) and Amir Peretz of Labor, worth the candle.
If they bothered to vote at all, many younger voters said, it would be for fringe parties like Green Leaf (which is campaigning to legalize marijuana), the environmentalist Greens or the Senior Citizens."

This does not augur well for the large parties running expensive election campaigns. Acting Prime Minister Olmert has made few campaign appearances, opting for the magisterial look of the leader already in power. But he has not been able to stay out of the battle entirely. Gil Hoffman from the Jerusalem Post writes how the battle between Netanyahu and Olmert has gotten personal. One of the Likud ads mentions the fact that both of Olmert's sons have emigrated from Israel, one living in New York, the other in Paris. Another ad attacks Olmert's wife, Aliza, and his daughter, Dana, both of whom have left-wing views. On the other hand, Olmert attacked Netanyahu, who lived in Philadelphia for several years and while there, changed his name to Benjamin, which is English for Binyamin.

The group most people refer to as "ultra-Orthodox," who are properly known as Hareidím, may be preparing a surprise for their rabbis and for the list that has represented them for quite some time, United Torah Judaism. According to this article, from Israel National News,

"A campaign is underway in Hareidi-religious circles not to vote for the party that has traditionally won their support, United Torah Judaism.

A Geocartographic Institute study, quoted in the Hareidi publication Mishpachá (Family), states, 'Tens of thousands of Hareidi Jews will not vote for UTJ this time. Most of them will vote for Shas, and some for NU/NRP [National Union/National Religious Party] or Marzel, [of the Jewish National Front] and a minority will not vote at all. The main reasons: the fact that the child allowances were cut so drastically, the abuse of the Torah Sage Rabbi Elyashiv, ignoring of the Council of Torah Sages, and the behavior of the party faction during the Disengagement.'"

The party held the balance of power in January, 2005, eight months before the expulsion of Jews from the communities of Gush Katif and Northern Samaria, the infamous "Disengagement," and had the option of staying out of the government and possibly forcing elections, or joining the coalition and receiving money for its yeshivot. The party chose the money for the yeshivot. Shortly afterwards, the party split and half of it sat in the cabinet the entire time the expulsion of Jews from Gaza was taking place.

According to Aryeh Zelasko, who sent me this article in an e-mail, "the sector of Israeli society that has undergone the greatest and in many ways the most profound changes in the past generation has been the Ashkenazi Hareidim."

The title of this article in Haaretz: Poll - Kadima down to 35 seats, but right lacks 'blocking bloc'. In other words, the right wing parties, according to this poll taken at the end of last week, would get 51 seats. Last year, Ariel Sharon was able to turn to the UTJ for votes, but if it is punished at the polls as suggested by the Israel National News article quoted above, the UTJ may not have the seats to save Kadima, the leading party in the poll, in its efforts to make a coalition. Then Kadima would be forced to turn to Arab parties to cement a majority in the Knesset and name a government. Only one of the three Arab parties running actually supports the State of Israel

The falling numbers of Kadima appears to be the continuing thread of many stories as we go into the election here. At this story at IMRA, the final polls of several sources are listed. According to the last pre-election polls: Kadima 34-36, Labor 17-21, Likud 12-14, Yisrael Beiteinu [a Russian immigrants' party] 7-15, NRP/Nat'l Union 8-12. The key element in these polls is that only the parties that presently have seats in the Knesset are asked about. This means that the Jewish National Front, the Green Party, the Green Leaf Party, the "Gil" (retirees) Party, which have no seats in the Knesset presently, are not usually even asked about. One of the polls did ask about them, and they are listed.

It is a distinct possibility that Kadima, which had been favored in the polls up until now with as many as 40 mandates in the new Knesset, will have difficulty forming a new government.

Even the developing Sanhedrin has weighed in on the elections, calling on the public to vote for only religious parties, defining religious parties as those which will not give up any territory in the Land of Israel and stating that "with the election of an Arab authority, by an Arab public which openly declares their intention to destroy the State of Israel, the Halachic [Jewish law] ruling of obligatory warfare comes into force, to save Israel from the hand of danger. There must be a fitting military response, to 'subdue the enemy and expel him from the land'". The only political party that appears to fit the requirements of the Sanhedrin as a religious party is the Jewish National Front.

So now we'll see.

Author's Postscript to the Article


This is according to Haaretz (29 March 2006), which, no matter what I think of its editorial slant, usually gets in first with the burst.

With 99.7% of the votes cast yesterday tallied the results are as follows.

Yisrael Beitenu................................................................12
National Union/National Religious Party..............9
Retirees Party.....................................................................7
United Torah Judaism....................................................6
Arab Parties (combined totals only) ..............................10

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