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Friday, February 28, 2014

You Sanctified the Sabbath day

Here's Lipa Schmeltzer with Ata Kidashta (You Sanctified the Sabbath day), a brand new song from the Sabbath prayers.

Let's go to the videotape.

Shabbat Shalom everyone.

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Nice country you got there, wouldn't want to see anything happen to it

Israel has warned the government of Lebanon via UNIFIL that Lebanon will be held responsible if Hezbullah retaliates for this past week's strike on a Hezbullah weapons facility in the Bekaa Valley.
The warning comes in connection to Hezbollah's threats of retaliation for an air-strike on a Hezbollah missile convoy near the border with Syria, which was attributed to the IAF by foreign media sources.  The strike would have been a first on Lebanese soil as recent attacks attributed to Israel have taken place on the Syrian side of the border.
A Lebanese security source was quoted saying that the Janta region where the alleged airstrike took place is known to be a hotbed of Hezbollah recruitment and training. It is also considered a key stop on the route through which arms are smuggled between Lebanon and Syria.
At first, Hezbollah denied the airstrike on its television network al-Manar. However, on Wednesday, the network quoted Hezbollah Chief Hassan Nasrallah who vowed to respond "at the time and place of our [Hezbollah's] choosing."
"It is self-evident that we see Lebanon as responsible for any attack on Israel from the territory of Lebanon," Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz said on Friday.
"It is the duty of the Lebanese government to prevent any terrorist attack - whether a terrorist or missile attack, or any other kind - on the State of Israel," he told Israel Radio. 
Meanwhile, Lebanon filed a complaint the the UN Security Council against Israel over the Israeli strikes, according to a report in Lebanon's Daily Star.  
Let them try it... 

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Graphic video: Desperate struggle at the gallows in Rohani's Iran

We keep hearing how Iranian President Rohani is such a 'moderate,' but the truth is that the number of hangings in Iran has increased dramatically since Rohani took power.

This video has been circulating on the internet. The Video captured the desperate struggle of a prisoner in Karaj, a city north of Tehran, who was denied a final good bye with his mother, who was present at his hanging.

Let's go to the videotape. Warning: This is pretty graphic.

If anyone speaks Persian and wants to explain it, please do. This is the best explanation I have seen.
His final request to say goodbye to his mother before being killed was denied by the hangmen, who ignored the mother's heartfelt pleas from the audience to say a last goodbye to her son.
In response to the cruelty, the man kicked out at one of the hangmen, knocking him from the gallows box and overturning the bench he was to stand on for the hanging.
A desperate struggle ensued as the outnumbered condemned man fought against hangmen with his hands tied. It was a struggle fated for a tragic outcome, as the guards overpowered the man and carried out the execution right before the man's mother and the public.
If this regime has a nuclear weapons capability, God forbid, does anyone doubt they will use it? 

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Chicago-Tel Aviv: $506, Dallas-Tel Aviv: $538, Miami-Tel Aviv: $689

Want to spend Pesach in Israel?
If you want a long Pesach trip you can go from 04/01-04/29 from Chicago for $537 or from Dallas or Miami for $641

This can work from NYC as well. Just book a one-way ticket nonstop flight to Chicago on American for 7,500 British Airways Avios.

For example a flight from Chicago to Tel Aviv for a long Pesach from 04/01-04/29 is $537 on Orbitz.

That flight goes from Chicago to Tel Aviv via Philadelphia. You can’t miss the Chicago to Philly outbound segment but you can fly Tel Aviva-Philadelphia nonstop and miss the Philadelphia to Chicago return segment. All bags must be claimed in Philly.

Or you can book a multi-city trip, just search for leg 1 from NYC to Chicago on 04/01, leg 2 from Chicago to Tel Aviv on 04/01 and leg 3 from Tel Aviv to Chicago on 04/29. The total will be $633.

Same story to go to Tel Aviv for Lag B’omer from 05/07 to 05/22. Search for leg 1 from NYC to Chicago on 05/07, leg 2 from Chicago to Tel Aviv on 05/07 and leg 3 from Tel Aviv to Chicago on 05/22. The price will show $749 but drop to $633 after selecting flights. Or just use 7,500 Avios to get to Chicago and book the $537 flight from Chicago (price drops only after selecting flights)
Unfortunately, this does not work in the other direction....


Leftists hold 'occupation conference' on ruins of Arab village

Nationalist Baruch Marzel crashed a conference about the 'occupation' at Tel Aviv on Thursday, and decried the hypocrisy of holding the conference on the ruins of the Arab village of Sheikh Munis.
Nationalist activist Baruch Marzel succeeded in entering a Tel Aviv University conference on "influences of the occupation" on Israeli society this Thursday. As Professor Daniel Bar-Tal waxed on about "war crimes" of moving populations from "occupied territory," Marzel spoke out about the "real occupation."
"You're on an Arab mosque, here is the occupation. You're in the occupation, you profit off of the occupation," leveled Marzel at the professors, pointing to the hypocrisy of the university which was founded on what was previously the Arab village of Sheikh Mounis.
"You live the occupation, there's a mosque under this building that they destroyed, and expelled the people to Hevron where I live," continued Marzel.
After members of the conference tried to silence Marzel by accusing him of not being used to academic guidelines of debate, Marzel fired back "I'm used to the truth."
I'd be happy to trade Sheikh Munis for the rest of the country. Let the 'Palestinians' have Sheikh Munis and we'll keep Jerusalem, Hebron, Bethlehem, etc.

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The difference between BDS boycotts and the Nazi boycotts

Dry Bones does it again. He's got this exactly right (unless you include George Soros).

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America's newest diplomat?

Chelsea Clinton will be 34 years old on the 27th and is looking forward to a life of politics. Start her out properly as US Ambassador to Libya and put her on our American compound in Benghazi. After all, what difference does it make!


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Religious Zionist students urge their rabbis not to attend rally

Rabbi Shlomo Aviner, a prominent religious Zionist rabbi, announced on Kol b'Rama radio (a Haredi station) this week that he plans to attend Sunday's mass rally against drafting Haredim.
Rabbi Shlomo Aviner told Kol B’Rama radio that he would be there, saying, “Just like the nation needs an army – that’s obvious – the nation needs Torah… We can’t hurt one without hurting the other.”
But not everyone in the national religious community agrees.
A group of students wrote a letter urging the rabbis not to attend, and even warning that they could come to harm due to strong anti-Zionist sentiment among those present.

The letter, a copy of which reached Arutz Sheva, quoted several articles from hareidi news sources in which religious-Zionist rabbis were accused of spreading anti-Torah teachings, of “ruining everything,” and of being “wicked.”
“Even if the purpose of the prayer rally Sunday were a good one – please don’t go, because of the danger posed by the herd which is incited by its leaders,” they wrote.
Similar comments were made by former IDF Chief Rabbi Avichai Ronsky.
“I really find it difficult to understand how there are rabbis, great Torah scholars, some of them my teachers, who are calling to participate [in the rally] and even plan to attend,” he said.
“Our moral understanding, our understanding of halakhah [Jewish law], is that men must enlist in the army. Even Torah scholars – maybe for a limited period of time, like in the hesder program… That’s our Jewish and moral understanding,” he declared.
It is clear that the planned hareidi rally will be a protest against enlisting in the IDF, and not merely a protest against the planned criminal sanctions, he said. “They call not to enlist in the army, even for those who aren’t learning [Torah]."
“It’s no secret that many don’t enlist even if they aren’t learning… The rabbis simply do not want them to enlist, because they want to keep their community separate from society,” he accused.
He noted that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has promised that no yeshiva students will be sent to jail.
“I call on our entire community not to take part in the protest, which will call on the hareidi community not to enlist in the army,” he concluded.
I don't expect to see a lot of knitted kippot (skullcaps) of the national religious community at Sunday's rally. But you never know. When I went to political rallies against Oslo, I always wore my black hat....

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Purim miracles

Here are Gad Elbaz, Ari Lesser and Naftali Kalfa with Purim miracles.

Let's go to the videotape.

More about this video here.

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Why pay only 'migrants' to leave?

For the third consecutive month, the number of illegal migrants that agreed to leave Israel has more than doubled.
A total of 1,705 African migrants agreed to leave Israel voluntarily in February, Interior Minister Gideon Sa'ar said Thursday.
The number is the largest single monthly total yet, coming after 765 who left in January, 325 in December and 63 in November.
Sa'ar credits the figures to the new anti-infiltration amendment, the opening of the Holot detention facility for African migrants, greater  of enforcement against Israelis hiring illegal migrants, the one-time grant that was increased from $1,500 to $3,500 and a general climate that he says is not rewarding for those migrating to Israel illegally.
He also took issue with the assumption many hold that the number is mainly made up of people who were detained in Holot and agreed to leave so as not to remain in prison. According to Sa'ar, of the 1,705, only 64, or 3.7% were in Holot or in Saharonim prison, the rest were living in Israeli cities.
Hmmm. I wonder how many 'Palestinians' would leave for $3,500 each. Just sayin'.... (By the way, that is not entirely an idle observation. Rabbi Meir Kahane suggested paying 'Palestinians' to leave 30 years ago).

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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Amnesty calls for arms embargo against Israel

Amnesty International has issued a report calling on the US and the European Union to place an arms embargo on Israel.
“Suspend transfers to Israel of munitions, weapons, and related equipment including crowd control weapons and devices, training and techniques,” Amnesty said in a 74-page report titled “Trigger- Happy: Israel’s use of excessive force in the West Bank” that it issued on Thursday.

Arms transfers by the United States, the European Union and other countries should only be resumed once Israel can ensure that they will not be used to violate international humanitarian law and international human rights law, Amnesty said.

“Without pressure from the international community, the situation is unlikely to change any time soon,” said Philip Luther, director of the Middle East and North Africa Program at Amnesty International.

“Too much civilian blood has been spilled. This long-standing pattern of abuse must be broken. If the Israeli authorities wish to prove to the world they are committed to democratic principles and international human rights standards, unlawful killings and unnecessary use of force must stop now,” Luther said.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor shot back.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said the report “smacks of bias, discrimination and racism.”

He accused Amnesty of wanting to deprive Israel of the right to self-defense.

“Amnesty takes to making up its own laws. In their frenzied public relations stunt to grab a quick headline, they innovate in the legal realm: no right of self-defense under fire [for Israelis],” he said.

“Amnesty lies by omission, and otherwise.”

The IDF said that Amnesty was ignoring the substantial increase in Palestinian violence against Israel in the last year. In 2013, Palestinians injured 132 Israelis, almost double the number of those harmed in 2012, the IDF said.

It noted that this was “no surprise, considering that over 5,000 incidents of rock-hurling took place, half of which were toward main roads.”

It added that “there were 66 further terror attacks, which included shootings, the planting of [improvised explosive devices], blunt weapon attacks and the abduction and murder of a soldier.”

The report, it said, also showed “a complete lack of understanding as to operational challenges the IDF is posed with in the West Bank.

“Where feasible, the IDF contains this life-threatening violence using riot dispersal means, including loud sirens, water cannons, sound grenades and teargas.

Only once these tools have been exhausted, and human life and safety remains under threat, is the use of precision munition authorized,” it said.
NGO Monitor also blasted the report

“Amnesty International accusations are reckless, blatantly biased, and reflect the lack of a credible research fact-finding methodology,” said Prof. Gerald Steinberg, president of NGO Monitor. “Amnesty lacks the expertise and credibility to analyze or assign blame for deaths in the context of violent confrontations in the West Bank. As in the past, the allegations in this report repeat unverifiable Palestinian ‘testimony.’”
Indeed, in a February 10 interview with Al Jazeera, Amnesty International’s Secretary General Salil Shetty acknowledged that “we are not an expert (sic) on military matters. So we don’t want to, kind of, pontificate on issues we don’t really understand.”
In its report, Amnesty makes numerous non-specific claims without any supporting evidence, such as “Palestinians killed by Israeli soldiers did not appear to be posing a direct and immediate threat to life” and the use of “arbitrary” force. In contrast, other monitoring groups such as B’Tselem acknowledge that the majority of Palestinian casualties occurred during combat or violent clashes and confrontations with Israeli security personnel. Amnesty’s removal of this essential context and abuse of the term “civilian” further highlights the lack of credibility.

Similarly, in 2009, Amnesty played a central role in the discredited Goldstone report on the Gaza conflict, as well as in a number of other allegations targeting Israel.
Likewise, NGO Monitor has shown that Amnesty’s “research” team on Israel comprises two individuals with backgrounds in anti-Israel political activism, not military and legal expertise.
Yes, but unfortunately, I'll bet a lot more people read Amnesty's report than the criticism, and that more headlines will reflect Amnesty's views than the critics' views.

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French soccer star gets 5-game suspension for Nazi salute

French soccer star Nickolas Anelka has received a 5-game suspension for doing the Quinelle reverse Nazi salute after scoring a goal in a game in December. This is from the first link.
West Bromwich Albion forward Nicolas Anelka has been banned for five matches and fined 80,000 pounds ($133,400) for making an alleged anti-Semitic gesture in a match in December, the Football Association said on Thursday.
The Frenchman, who made a "quenelle" salute after scoring in a 3-3 draw against West Ham United on Dec. 28, has also been ordered to complete a compulsory education course.
Here's hoping he falls flat on his face the next time he plays. 

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Going after Arab Bank in New York

Here's a very lengthy post about a lawyer's efforts to go after the New York branch of Jordan's Arab Bank for financing terrorism. Here's the key passage:
What Osen found particularly galling was that much of the money that flowed to these families and groups passed through New York, where the Arab Bank’s dollar-denominated transactions were cleared. It appeared Arab Bank was facilitating massive amounts of terror financing from Madison Avenue, right under the noses of federal regulators and the US government.
Shortly after the bombing of bus no. 6 a representative from “The Organization of Martyr Families” telephoned Bassam Takruri’s parents. He told Takruri’s mother to open an account at the Arab Bank so the family could receive its reward. Soon after the account was open, the first $200 arrived by direct transfer, a process repeated every month for a year. When, a few weeks after the attack, Israeli bulldozers razed the family’s home to the ground, they moved into an apartment paid for by the group, a portrait of their martyr son hanging over the sofa.
It never occurred to Takruri’s father not to accept the funds or turn down the offer of a place to live.
“We needed the money,” he told Der Spiegel. “We suddenly no longer had a house.”
Now that Osen understood how the money flowed, he needed a theory of liability that would enable him to bring suit against the bank. It didn’t take him long to settle on the US Anti-terrorism Act, which Congress passed into law shortly after the events of September 11, 2001. It made it possible for the families or heirs of an American injured by an act of terrorism to sue in any appropriate district court of the United States and recover “threefold the damages he or she sustains and the cost of the suit, including attorney’s fees.” One key aspect of the Act deals with terror financing. Osen believed that the bank violated the law by soliciting, collecting, transmitting, disbursing, and providing the financial resources that allowed Hamas and its affiliated organizations to flourish and engage in a campaign of terror.
In the past, American courts awarded billions of dollars in damages against Iran for sponsoring terrorist groups, but victims have had difficulty collecting because the US State and Justice departments resisted seizing foreign government assets. Because of a lack of diplomatic relations, Iran had few assets in America, and what it had were embassies and the like — nothing that could be seized. Osen was sure a judgment against a foreign bank, especially one with assets in the United States, would reap different results. You couldn’t alter the nation of Iran’s behavior by suing it, but you could deter commercial entities from aiding terrorism by holding them accountable and hitting them on their bottom lines.
Read the whole thing.

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If you're coming to the million man march, come early

As I understand it, Sunday's million man march against the Haredi draft is due to start at 4:00 pm in Jerusalem. It was likely scheduled that way to allow yeshivas located outside of Jerusalem to have a normal morning session. But the police announced on Thursday that the Jerusalem - Tel Aviv highway will shut down at Latrun headed toward Jerusalem at 1:00 pm on Sunday. That means that those who want to get to Jerusalem will have to find other roads (443, 375 and others) or will have to come early.
Police, too, expect a very large turnout, and have therefore decided to block all traffic toward Jerusalem on Highway 1, from Latrun eastward, starting at 1:00 p.m. Sunday.
The Jerusalem Light Rail will stop running along its regular route at 12:00 noon, and will continue to operate only between Pisgat Ze'ev and the Damascus Gate, or Shaar Shechem.
Last week, a historic gathering was held at Bnei Berak in central Israel, with the participation of the Torah Sages Councils of all hareidi streams, against the compulsory enlistment law being prepared in the Knesset.
The Torah councils published a joint statement, in which they implored students at regular yeshivas and kollel-type yeshivas, not to cooperate with the military's plan for establishing a special recruitment center for hareidim. They called on the authorities “not to slow down the world of Torah but to assist in the flourishing of Torah institutions."
The IDF's hareidi combat battalion recently won a coveted IDF prize for excellence: the IDF Department of Technology and Logistics' Award. Rabbis of the Nahal Haredi Foundation said in reaction: “This is the best proof that when the haredi soldier is taken into account, suitable conditions are provided for him in the IDF, and things are done with dialogue and understanding, he will be better than any other soldier.”
In the fall, Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef zt"l passed away, and on five hours' notice, some 800,000 people showed up for his funeral. How many will show up this time? I can tell  you that every Haredi boys' high school (Yeshiva Ktana) in Jerusalem is showing up, and the last I heard they were debating bringing even younger boys.

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Video: European Parliament Vice President calls customs officials Nazis, shouts Heil Hitler at Frankfurt Airport

I would love to see video of the actual incident....

European Parliament Vice President Jacek Protasiewicz, who is Polish, made a drunken scene at Frankfurt's airport on Wednesday, calling customs officials Nazis and shouting at them "Heil Hitler," according to reports in the German media.

Let's go to the videotape. More after the video (which is a Polish news report).

According to German daily Bild, the Polish politician disembarked from a plane at the airport, visibly drunk, and then caught the attention of customs officials when he stole a man's baggage cart and sprinted toward the exit.
When the officials asked Protasiewicz for identification, he began to hurl insults at them, calling them names such as "Hitler" and "Nazi," asking them, "Were you ever in Auschwitz?" Bild reported.
The German daily quoted an eyewitness as saying "the man appeared to be very drunk when he shouted in English that he was from the EU."
Police were then called to the scene, forcibly removing Protasiewicz in handcuffs when he refused to accompany them peacefully.
The German daily noted that Protasiewicz enjoys immunity as a member of the European Parliament and is therefore unlikely to face prosecution.
Polish news portal RMF 24 quoted Protasiewicz as denying being drunk and explaining that he was responding to the rude behavior of a Frankfurt Airport official.
Protasiewicz said that he showed the official his documentation upon request. "When he saw my diplomatic passport, he was displeased that he could not demonstrate his power over me, a passenger from Eastern Europe. Giving me the passport he used the word "raus" [out]. This word worked on me a bit like a red rag to a bull. I'm still from the generation that remembers the atmosphere of post-war [Europe] and "raus" in Poland is associated with German arrogance, not with a polite civil servant.
According to Protasiewicz, he explained to the customs official that "raus" in Poland has associations like "Heil Hitler." He continued: "This upset the officer. He started to push me, so I said to him that before using force, let him consider Auschwitz. Auschwitz, because it is the best lesson in humility."
When asked about reports that he was drunkenly staggering and stammering, Protasiewicz claimed that he has only had one glass of wine on the plane.
Must have been an awfully big glass....

Those Europeans... they're so dignified.... 

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Video: Prince Charles does a sword dance in Saudi Arabia

Prince Charles has been showing off his dancing skills during a culture festival in Saudi Arabia. The Prince of Wales took part in the ceremony with members of the Saudi royal family during a visit to the Middle East The BBC's Jon Brain reports.

Let's go to the videotape (Hat Tip: Bare Naked Islam).

And no, this does not mean he will come to Israel and dance the hora any time soon.

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Stupidity unbridled

David Ze'ev Jablinowitz is an English-language correspondent for Israel Radio. He posted this story to his Facebook page on Wednesday night.
So I'm speaking on a US campus, and during the question time that followed my remarks, a student asks how it can be that Judaism is older than Islam if the State of Israel wasn't established until 1948.
Yes, this is what passes for being college-ready in the United States in 2014. Unbelievable.... No, not anti-Semitism. Just plain, old fashioned stupidity.

Picture at the top of the post has no relation to content.

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Who will care for Baby Adele?

I am sure that many of you remember Baby Adele, the 3-year old who was critically wounded in a 'Palestinian' terror attack about a year ago. Adele is about to be released from the Levenstein Rehabilitation Hospital. But she has not made the progress that was hoped for, and her family does not have the equipment needed to care for her.
Sadly, the expected improvement in her condition did not come to pass. Now, staff at Loewenstein Hospital Rehabilitation Center in Ra’anana say there is nothing more they can do for the badly handicapped young girl – and have told her parents to take her home, Yediot Aharonot reports.
Adelle’s parents say they do not have the equipment to take care of their young daughter.
Relatives who spoke to Yediot said the Health Ministry had failed to follow through on promises of help.
“We didn’t choose for [Adelle] to be in this situation. It’s hard enough for us already. We expect the government to help us,” a relative said.
“The family’s home in Yakir is not set up for Adelle yet, not in terms of access, and more importantly, not in terms of the necessary medical equipment,” they warned.
The family turned to MK Shuli Muallem (Jewish Home), who has helped them get support from the Health Ministry.
Muallem sent a letter to the Health Ministry warning that Adelle faces immediate release from the hospital “despite agreements,” and that the family does not have what it needs to help her.
Health Ministry officials issued a statement saying that ministry staff will work to help the Biton family prepare to care for Adelle, “and to promote understanding between the hospital and the family regarding the date of release.”
Parents Rafi and Adva Biton declined to be interviewed for the report.
Levenstein kept former Prime Minister Arik Sharon in his vegetative state for seven years. Why can't they keep one 3-year old terror victim until she recovers enough that her family can care for her? Haven't they suffered enough?

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Bennett misses the point

Naftali Bennett made a nice sound byte by cynically suggesting that we replace the IDF with an early warning system for the entire country.
In a Facebook posting Thursday, Economics Minister Naftali Bennett questioned the wisdom of relying on technology to ensure Israel's defense, as supporters of an Israeli withdrawal from the Jordan Valley are suggesting. With cameras, electronic alarms, and other gadgets “protecting” Israelis, asked Bennett cynically, “who needs the IDF”?
If those defenses will work in the Jordan Valley, how about in the rest of the country, Bennett asked facetiously. “They want us to trade in the IDF for 'smart' defense systems in the Jordan Valley.
“Here is another idea: Let's first install these systems on the Gaza border, and see how effective these systems are in halting the ongoing barrage of rocket attacks on southern Israel that we have experienced since we gave up Gaza to the Palestinians. It would be like a pilot program for the Jordan Valley surrender,” Bennett said.
And if it works in Gaza, would Bennett suggest that we withdraw from the Jordan Valley, which is topographically different?

The point is that the Jordan Valley is a stalking horse for what's really most problematic: Turning the high ground in Samaria over to the 'Palestinians.' That would be dangerous the day it God forbid happens. Turning over the Jordan Valley would be relatively less dangerous so long as Abdullah of Jordan remains in power. But Netanyahu is afraid to say that we can't turn over the populated areas of Samaria, so he's hiding behind the thinly populated Jordan Valley.

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Obama 'personally' pressuring Netanyahu to accept Kerry proposal

The New York Times reports that US President Hussein Obama is 'personally' pressuring Prime Minister Netanyahu to accept US Secretary of State John FN Kerry's 'framework' proposal.
“Now is a very timely opportunity for him to get involved,” a senior official said of Mr. Obama, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the delicacy of the issue. If the two sides agree to the framework, which would set out general terms on issues like Israel’s security and the borders of a future Palestinian state, the negotiations could be extended, with a new target of completing a treaty by the end of 2014.
That's because those are areas where only Israel can make concessions. Left unresolved would be keeping 'Palestinian refugees' out of Israel and 'Palestinian' recognition of Israel as the Jewish state. If the 'framework' only resolves these points, what incentive do the 'Palestinians' have to make any concessions?
The challenge for the White House has been to redeploy the president only when it is believed he can make a critical difference. With Mr. Kerry’s self-imposed deadline nearing, and with little indication that Mr. Netanyahu and Mr. Abbas have resolved key differences, that moment is now, the officials said. “The president wouldn’t want to run any risk that it was the lack of his involvement that would make the difference between success and failure,” a senior official said.
They don't really think anyone in Israel trusts Obama, do they?
It is far from clear, however, that Mr. Obama can pull off what has so far eluded his secretary of state — not to mention several of his Oval Office predecessors. While Mr. Kerry and his special envoy, Martin S. Indyk, have held intensive meetings with Israelis and Palestinians in recent days, the two sides have not met face to face for weeks. That suggests, analysts say, that there has been scant progress in closing some of the core differences, like the status of Jerusalem or the contours of a new Palestinian state. It is difficult to know the exact status of the talks because the participants have largely kept a promise not to air the details publicly.
Skeptics say Mr. Kerry’s decision to opt for a framework is itself a sort of concession — or at best, a way to buy time. Some worry that if Mr. Obama puts his prestige on the line to coax approval for an interim step, he will have less leverage to push through a final deal.

Administration officials said the framework will cover all the major final-status issues, though Mr. Netanyahu and Mr. Abbas will be able to express reservations about individual provisions, so long, an official said, “as they don’t vitiate the framework.”
Israel Radio reported this morning that the US is pressuring Netanyahu not to state his reservations, and that Netanyahu might just say he has reservations about the entire framework. That would accomplish nothing for either the framework or for Israel. Even Hanan Ashrawi agrees.
A framework that allowed each side to voice reservations, she said, would be “self-negating,” adding, “It will be a nondocument.” Any document not based firmly on international law, she said, “will become a box of chocolates: You can pick and choose what you want.”
Ms. Ashrawi did not say the Palestinian Authority would actually reject the framework, if it came to that. But she asked: “Why have it? Is it just to maintain a semblance of progress? Is it meant to buy more time? Or is it not to admit we have failed?”
All of the above. The fear here is that once Kerry's useless effort officially fails, Israel will pay the price in violence and murder from the 'Palestinians.'

What could go wrong?

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'Israeli hasbara is a joke'

Here's British columnist and writer Melanie Phillips, telling Israel Television about Israeli hasbara. This is especially interesting to me because I have met Melanie Phillips at various blogger activities in Israel. After the first 45 seconds or so, it's all in English.

Let's go to the videotape (Hat Tip: Gershon D).

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'Jews were in Israel long before Britons were in Britain'

Jewish Home party leader Naftali Bennett does a pretty good job in this interview on BBC's Hardtalk program.

Let's go to the videotape (Hat Tip: Zvi S).

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The sweetness of Torah

Here's Yisroel Werdyger with Mesikus HaTorah (The Sweetness of Torah).

As someone who studies Torah every day for several hours, I can tell you that every word of this song is true.

Let's go to the videotape.

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Peace Now forced to apologize after slandering rights activist

Peace Now was forced to apologize and to take down a Facebook campaign against the human rights group (note - no scare quotes this time) Honenu, after it called one of the people Honenu assisted a terrorist. The person in question was acquitted on all charges ten years ago.
Extreme leftist group Peace Now was forced to delete its Facebook page campaigning against rights group Honenu Wednesday, after it falsely accused a man of being a "terrorist."  
Honenu is a legal rights group which campaigns for the legal rights of Jews from Judea and Samaria, including the right to see a lawyer and the right not to face punishment without trial under “administrative orders.” On several occasions, the NGO has represented young men accused of so-called “price tag” vandalism in court.
Peace Now founder Yariv Oppenheimer accused the group of defending "murderers and 'Price Tag' criminals" Tuesday. An attached advertisement accused Honenu of assisting “terrorists.”
The list of “terrorists” Honenu was alleged to have helped included Yossi Ben-Baruch.
According to the ad, Ben-Baruch was part of the Bat Ayin Underground group; in fact, he was found innocent of any involvement with the group over a decade ago.
Channel 2 journalist Amnon Abramovich also slammed the rights group on the weekly program "Friday News" on Friday evening, prompting the organization to submit a complaint.
"In the 'Friday News' program which aired last Friday night, Mr. Abramovich used the title 'Breaking the Law and Receiving Benefits' in his broadcast and on the internet about our organization," Attorney Doron Nir Zvi, legal representative for Honenu, noted in the letter to both Abramovich and the Channel 2 news corporation. "This header is not only false, but as indicated from the final words of Abramovich in the article, portray our group as participating in illegal activities." 
"This organization has proper administrative approval and has never acted without the full accordance of the law," the letter stressed. The attorney then asked in the name of Honenu to issue an official apology and change the false headline.
For the record, the picture at the top of this post is not Peace Now director general Yariv Oppenheimer,  but rather LATMA's Yariv Googleheimer, a caricature of Oppenheimer.

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IDF bans WhatsApp

The IDF has banned the use of WhatsApp, the popular messaging application for smartphones that was purchased by Facebook last week, in all operational contexts. The reason: Fear that it will cause information to fall into the wrong hands.
The IDF Information Security Department issued tough guidelines Wednesday night prohibiting soldiers from using popular messaging application Whatsapp on their smartphones to convey IDF-related information, according to Army Radio. WhatsApp is a cross-platform mobile app which allows users to exchange messages without having to pay telecom charges.
According to the broadcast, the IDF has agonized over whether or not to allow smartphones on base, over concerns about the potential for serious security leaks.
The branch notes that seemingly innocuous chatter over a WhatsApp group can easily reveal enough intelligence information to prove dangerous if it falls into the wrong hands. The Office of the Chief of Staff finalized the new guidelines, which prohibit using the app in any operational context. 
"Out of concern that information revealed in a WhatsApp group could reveal critical information about the IDF and its operations, assessments were carried out to determine the security risks of the situation by the Information Security Department, and new guidelines were issued," the IDF stated. "In accordance with Information Security Department policy, there is a ban on using WhatsApp for operational needs."
I won't tell you what I think of WhatsApp except to say that I don't use it.

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MK's apologize to Shapiro for recording and leaking meeting contents

A group of MK's had an 'off the record' meeting with US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro on Tuesday. There were two small problems. First, at least one MK recorded the meeting. And second, several MK's leaked the contents of the meeting to the media.
Knesset Land of Israel caucus chair-people Yariv Levin (Likud Beytenu) and Orit Struck (Bayit Yehudi) expressed regret on Wednesday that a recording of the parliamentary group's closed meeting with US Ambassador Dan Shapiro was leaked to the press.
The meeting, which took place on Tuesday, was closed to the press and was described by attendees as "charged," after MKs used harsh language in discussions of Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard's treatment and accused the US of bias against Israel in talks with Palestinians.
Shapiro spoke to Levin and Struck, saying that he was upset that the meeting was recorded.
Levin and Struck apologized and said that the participant did not realize the meeting was closed before recording it.
However, sources in the meeting were made aware that it was meant to be closed to press by The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday, but still agreed to divulge extensive information about it.
Struck and Levin thanked Shapiro for taking part in the meeting.
Shapiro accepted their apology and said that, in his opinion, it was a successful and beneficial discussion.
 But it's not likely to happen again anytime soon. Only in Israel....

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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

"To pretend that this is anything other than vile, spiteful Jew hatred is a lie!"

One of the reasons that BDS resolution failed at UCLA on Tuesday night was that alumnus Ben Shapiro, a prominent conservative commentator, showed up and spoke.

Let's go to the videotape (Hat Tip: Truth Revolt).

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#BDS_Fail: UCLA student melts down after BDS resolution fails

In a surprise, the UCLA student council defeated a motion to call for a divestment from Israel by a 7-5 margin. After the vote, someone who was taking notes for the council had a meltdown.

Let's go to the videotape.

Boo. Hoo.


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Is that the dog Obama ate?

You probably need to be over 55 to really get this....

Heh (Hat Tip: Stephen D).

By the way, is that the dog Obama ate?

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Elbit completes test of anti-missile system for passenger jets

Elbit Systems has completed a test of an anti-missile system for commercial passenger jets. Here's a simulation of how the system works.

Let's go to the videotape.

The system had its final test on Wednesday (that video is actually about two and a half years old).
The Defense Ministry and Elbit Systems announced a successful completion of a trial program to test a missile defense system for commercial airlines.

The C-Music system is designed to protect passenger aircraft from the threat of shoulder-launched missiles.

After detecting incoming missiles with an infrared censor, it fires a laser that disrupts the missile's navigation system and throws it off course, away from its intended target.

C-Music was chosen by the Transportation Ministry to protect Israeli airliners.

The Defense Ministry's Administration for the Development of Weapons and Technological Infrastructure, the Israel Airports Authority, and Elbit Systems jointly developed the system.

"The experiments, carried out in southern Israel, were some of the most complex and sophisticated ever carried out in Israel," the Defense Ministry said. "They simulated a range of threats that the C-Music system will have to deal with," it added.

"C-Music is considered the most advanced system of its kind in the world, and will provide ultimate defense to planes," the ministry continued. "It combined advanced detection and disruption technologies, and meets the stringent requirements of commercial flight."

Brig.-Gen. (res.) Ophir Shoham, head of the Administration, said hundreds of engineers took part in the development stage, and that the product is at the "end limit of detection and disruption technology."
 Let's see if any non-Israeli airlines are willing to pay the price to install it.

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Video: Who is behind Israeli Apartheid Week?

This week is Israeli Apartheid Week on many college campuses (including the Hebrew University here in Jerusalem).

But who is behind Israeli Apartheid Week?

Let's go to the videotape.


Israel Electric: The 'Palestinian Authority' is too big to fail

The 'Palestinian Authority' owes the State-owned Israel Electric Corporation a whopping NIS 1.4 billion (about $400 million at today's rates), which you and I and everyone else who pays an electric bill in Israel are covering. But the 'Palestinian Authority' - unlike Mrs. Cohen who can't pay her bill - isn't worried about its electricity being cut off. That's because Israel Electric Corporation has apparently decided that the 'Palestinian Authority' is too big to fail, and is therefore being offered better rates and more credit.
"The electric company hasn't threatened to cut off the PA from electric supply," said the senior official to Arabic news source Ma'an.
According to the official, the IEC offered the PA was to sign a new agreement by which it would be given the status of a country, with an accompanying reduced rate.
IEC Director Yiftah Ron-Tal on Tuesday spoke in the Knesset’s Finance Committee, where he said that if IEC were privately owned, it would have cut off the PA long ago.
"Despite the immense financial debt that we have accumulated, we are obligated to continue to provide electricity to the PA. The State of Israel owns our company and it has to make a decision on the matter. We must collect this debt,” Ron-Tal added, noting that the PA has ignored repeated requests to pay its debts.
The PA acquires 95% of its electricity in Judea and Samaria and 75% of its electricity in Gaza from Israel.
In response to Ron-Tal's appeals, Finance Committee head MK Nissan Slomiansky (Jewish Home) said, "if the state does not assist the IEC in collecting the debt from the PA, the Finance Committee will consider an appeal to the High Court, so that [the court] obligates the state to address the problem."
I don't know whether to laugh or to cry. Why would anyone think that the 'Supreme Court' - which is made up of Leftists - would issue such an order? Who would obey it? And even with the  best of intentions, what makes anyone think that the government of Israel could collect a debt from the 'Palestinian Authority'?
Making the idea that the PA will come clean on its debts less likely is the fact that it is in the midst of a financial crisis; as of last July the entity owed $4.2 billion in internal and external debts.
PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas signed a $1 billion energy deal in Russia during January. Russian state news agency ITAR-TASS reported that Russia's natural gas giant Gazprom intends to produce 30 billion cubic meters of natural gas off the Gaza coast, in addition to talk of an oil development project near Ramallah.
The only way to collect this debt is (a) to cut off the electricity until it is paid (unlikely because the 'international community' would go ballistic) and (b) to withhold the transfer payments that the government of Israel makes to the 'Palestinian Authority' (unlikely because the 'international community' would go ballistic).

What could go wrong?

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Dairy prices to finally come down?

I am sure that not a single Israeli will be surprised to hear that there are two reasons we are paying NIS 5 for a liter of milk (with NIS 3.5 to the dollar). One is the fact that our dairy is monopolized by Tnuva, with the government's blessings. The other is that tariffs are so high as to keep all imports out. Now, that might be changing a bit. Economics and Trade Minister Naftali Bennett has announced that tariffs will be dropping by as much as 80% on dairy products. Wait until you hear how much the tariffs are before you rejoice....
Economy and Trade Minister Naftali Bennett on Wednesday announced that he was planning on lowering import taxes on a basket of dairy products including butter and yogurt by 80%.
"We are continuing to open up the economy and bring down prices," Bennett said. Currently, customs on some dairy imports stands at over 100%, he said. The reduced customs rates will have quotas, which Bennett says will help the small companies increase their grip in the import market and increase competition.
"I expect the reduction in customs will be passed on to consumers," he said.
The full list of reduced quotas, which will apply to retail-packaged butter, concentrated and non-concentrated milk and cream, buttermilk and yogurt, will be published in the coming days.
The dairy market in Israel is a complex trap of protectionism and regulation. The government regulates the price of dairy and outlines quotas for small dairy farms, who typically sell their product to one of three large manufacturers: Tnuva, Strauss, and Tara.
Tnuva on its own controls some 70% of the dairy market, and is considered a legal monopoly by the Israel anti-trust authority, which also has regulatory power to try and prevent it from price gouging.
Although Israeli agricultural technology has made its cows the most efficient dairy producers in the world, the combination of high tariffs, quotas, price regulation and Israel's geographical isolation from other dairy producers has led to a situation in which its dairy prices are higher than most OECD countries.
Is this any way to run an economy?  In the long run, Tnuva should be broken up - should have been broken up 20 years ago (they also dominate fruit and vegetable marketing and are on the verge of being bought by a Chinese state company). But don't hold your breath waiting for that to happen.


Minister hints Israel behind attack on Hezbullah missiles

Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz hinted in a Facebook posting on Wednesday morning that Israel was behind Monday night's attack on a Hezbullah weapons transport in the Bekaa Valley. This is from the first link.
"Hezbollah missiles went up in smoke and (Hezbollah leader Hassan) Nasrallah is silent."
Katz added "may those engaging in the work (of stopping Hezbollah) be blessed."
Meanwhile, Beirut's Daily Star reported that four Hezbullah terrorists were killed in the attack, which targeted two trucks carrying missiles and a missile launcher to Hezbollah warehouses from Syria.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, the sources told The Daily Star that the airstrike, which took place late Monday evening, was aimed at two trucks, one transferring missiles and the other carrying a missile launcher. The sources said the trucks were heading to Hezbollah’s missile warehouses in Lebanon.
They said the Israeli attack killed four Hezbollah members, but gave no further information.
And while Hezbullah is making noises about targeting 'Israeli officials' (a report whose origin was apparently from Haaretz), here in Israel it's believed that Hezbullah has a much greater interest in keeping Bashar al-Assad in power than in exacting revenge from the IDF, and that therefore there will be no response.
Hezbollah is so deeply involved in Syria that it has set up a special training camp to train the Syrian army, called the 881 barracks, a Hezbollah brigade commander told Now Lebanon in an interview.
Hezbollah did not directly refer to the attack, but made statements referring to the “Palestinian cause.”
“All that is occurring [in] our arenas will not accomplish our enemies’ goal of diverting our interest and concern from the Palestinian Cause,” said a Hezbollah statement released on Tuesday, according to Lebanon’s National News Agency.
The group condemned Israeli action after clashes broke out on Tuesday between police and Palestinians at the al-Aksa Mosque on the Temple Mount.
Such rhetoric is typical for the group and seems to indicate that it wants to avoid any escalation with Israel.
I doubt that Hezbullah will respond. Any response would likely bring a full-scale attack on Lebanon and put Hezbullah's base there at risk. They cannot take that chance.

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A story of a great nation

A powerful video from the Ukraine, which really doesn't need any comment....

Let's go to the videotape.


Dear Abby...

Jack W has obtained a copy of a letter written to Dear Abby along with Abby's response:
Dear Abby,

My husband has a long record of money problems. He runs up huge credit card bills, and at the end of the month, if I try to pay them off, he shouts at me, saying I am stealing his money. He says pay the minimum…let our kids worry about the rest, but we can hardly keep up with the interest.

Also, he has been so arrogant and abusive toward our neighbors that most of them no longer speak to us. The few that do are an odd bunch to whom he has been giving a lot of expensive gifts, running up our bills even more. He has also gotten religious.

One week he hangs out with Catholics, the next with people who say the Pope is the Anti-Christ, and the next he’s with Muslims.

Finally, he’s demanding that before anyone can be in the same room with him, they must sign a loyalty oath. It’s just so horribly creepy! Can you help?

Signed, Lost . . . .

Dear Lost,

Suck it up, and stop whining, Michelle! You’re getting to live in the White House for free, travel the world, and have others pay for everything. You can divorce the jerk anytime.

The rest of us are stuck with him for 3 more years!


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Ten men

Here's Yaakov Shwekey with Asara Bnei Adam (Ten men).

Let's go to the videotape.

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The truth behind the 'Palestinian' water supplies

It's been nearly two weeks since Dumkopf Schulz came to the Knesset and repeated as fact 'Palestinian' lies about Israel stealing 'Palestinian' water. Since then, there has been very little authoritative written about the water situation. Now, there is a report out that explains why the 'Palestinians' have less water than Israelis.
Water shortages in the Palestinian Authority are the result of Palestinian policies that deliberately waste water and destroy the regional water ecology. The Palestinians refuse to develop their own significant underground water resources, build a seawater desalination plant, fix massive leakage from their municipal water pipes,build sewage treatment plants, irrigate land with treated sewage effluents or modern water-saving devices,or bill their own citizens for consumer water usage, leading to enormous waste. At the same time, they drill illegally into Israel's water resources, and send their sewage flowing into the valleys and streams of central Israel. In short, the Palestinian Authority is using water as a weapon against the State of Israel. It is not interested in practical solutions to solve the Palestinian people's water shortages,but rather perpetuation of the shortages and the besmirching of Israel.
There's much more. Read the whole thing

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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Anti-Zionism = Anti-Semitism

For those who still think that there is a difference between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism, please consider the picture below.
And for those who still don't get it.... These are BDS'ers calling for a boycott of Israel in honor of 'Israel Apartheid Week.' And yes, that's the reverse Nazi salute.

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New Danny Ayalon video: The truth about the United Nations

Former Deputy Foreign Minister and Ambassador to the United States Danny Ayalon has made another video. This one tells us the truth about the United Nations.

Ambassador Danny Ayalon spreads the truth about the UN. Hypocrisy and cynicism have taken over the United Nations, the delegitimization perpetrators and Israel boycotters take advantage of the UN's image as an advocate of human rights in order to pass anti-Israeli resolutions which attempt to isolate Israel. It is important to spread the truth that the UN has been transformed into a political arena by undemocratic states who trample on human rights, and UN resolutions must be treated accordingly".

Let's go to the videotape.

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Yair Lapid does what no one else could

Give Yair Lapid credit. He managed to do what no one else has managed to do. He managed to get together the three rabbinic councils of the Israeli Haredi world - the Lithuanian Degel HaTorah, the Hassidic Agudath Yisrael, and the Sephardic Shas - all in the same room to work together to defeat the new law intended to draft Haredim into the IDF.
The new conscription bill being drafted in the government Shaked committee is slated to be a historic move on the issue of drafting the ultra-Orthodox. But the controversy surrounding the bill has already caused history to be made: on Monday, the leading rabbis of the three ultra-Orthodox factions -- Shas, the hassidic Agudat Yisrael and the Lithuanian Degel Hatorah -- gathered for the first time to discuss how to defeat the new law.
Senior rabbis attended the historic event, including Rabbi Aharon Leib Shteinman, leader of the Lithuanian sect; Shas Council of Torah Sages member Rabbi Shalom Cohen; and senior hassidic leaders. Rabbi Shmuel Auerbach, the extremist leader of the Lithuanian-Jerusalem stream, who is in a dispute with rivals from centrist factions, also took part in the meeting. The rabbis said they planned to hold a mass prayer rally the Sunday after next and decided to "immediately cancel the [government] committee's decision to force military service." 
Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to attend the demonstration.
"This is a bad law, never before seen," said MK Moshe Gafni (United Torah Judaism.)
Meanwhile, the Knesset committee for equating the military burden was slated to vote on Tuesday that the new draft law applied only to yeshiva students who studied in ultra-Orthodox institutions, meaning that more ultra-Orthodox students will need to enlist to meet the law's draft targets.
Let's go to the videotape.

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How convenient: Hezbullah denies Israeli attack

Hezbullah is denying that Israel attacked one of its weapons facilities in the Bekaa Valley on Monday night, while Israel's Prime Minister is following the country's usual practice of not commenting. How convenient.
Asked during a joint press conference with visiting German Chancellor Angela Merkel whether IAF jets were behind the strike, Netanyahu stated, "Our policy is clear - we will not speak about reports of what we did or didn't do - but we do all that is necessary in order to defend our citizens."
Hezbollah denied the airstrike on their television network al-Manar. They said there had been "no raid on Lebanese territory," reporting only the "strong presence of enemy planes over the area north of Bekaa" in eastern Lebanon.
Thus far, the Israeli army has refused to comment on the reports.
Netanyahu has said repeatedly that Israel would not allow the Syrian regime to transfer chemical weapons or "game-changing" weapons to Hezbollah in Lebanon.
Gee, ya think the IAF hit another weapons facility?  Maybe the Obama administration will tell us.

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Video: Obama endorses Karl Marx for President

Obama Supporters Sign Fake Petition Supporting Karl Marx For President in 2016 as the Candidate for the Democrat Party After Being Told "Obama Has Endorsed Him." Filmed in San Diego,

Let's go to the videotape (Hat Tip: Asher G).


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The most inadvertently funny political picture of the decade


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Criminal sanctions for Haredi draft avoiders... in exchange for Tzachi HaNegbi

Arutz Sheva blows the lid off what ought to be a huge scandal: The Likud voted in favor of criminal sanctions against Haredi draft avoiders in return for Yair Lapid and Yesh Atid agreeing that Netanyahu protege Tzachi HaNegbi (left) would be named chair of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.

Exclusive sources revealed the deal to Arutz Sheva Tuesday afternoon, explaining that the move allowed the criminal sanctions - a clause Yesh Atid insists must be included in the Equal Burden of Service Law - to pass in the Shaked Committee, and for Hanegbi, who is a member of Netanyahu's own party, to be placed in a government position strategically important for the Prime Minister. 
MK Ofer Shelah (Yesh Atid) was also due to serve as head of the key committee, but only toward the end of the current Knesset term. A rotation agreement was worked out after Netanyahu refused to immediately promote Shelah to the position, when it was vacated by Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman.
Last week, Prime Minister Netanyahu spontaneously ordered the vote over sanctions to be frozen after conflict erupted between the hareidi parties and the rest of the Committee board.
That conflict, over hesder yeshiva service, was in direct response to the criminal sanctions bid. As a United Torah Judaism MK explained to Arutz Sheva, the hareidi community views the clause as a threat. "You push us, we push back," he declared. 
Opponents to the move to enact criminal sanctions warn that the proposal has already alienated the hareidi community, noting that the Shas party quit the Shaked Committee over the move.
There's something else implied here: That Yesh Atid and the Likud combined to sell out hesder (whose soldiers saw their active service increased from 16 months to 24). I'm sure Jewish Home party leader Naftali Bennett is pleased with his brilliance.... Sara Netanyahu is probably pleased too.

And by the way, remember how Netanyahu spontaneously ordered the vote frozen? Sure you do: He told Tzachi HaNegbi to walk out....

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Does the IDF want Haredim?

I am sure that many of you who have read one post after another on this blog about the ongoing controversy surrounding the potential drafting of Haredim might be wondering why the simplest solution isn't being implemented. If, as even I have admitted, there are Haredim who are 'on the list' in the yeshivoth, but aren't really learning, why aren't they drafted while those who are serious about their studies remain in the study hall? The short answer, as exposed by Tzippy Yarom, is that the army in its current make-up is hostile to Haredim. Tzippy Yaron lists thirteen incidents over recent months that at least give the impression that the army's goal is to force the Haredi soldiers to become secular, rather than allowing them 'just to serve' and then return to their yeshivoth or join the work force. That link is in Hebrew, but I will give you a list of some of the incidents, including links to many of them which I have covered on this blog.

1. Three weeks ago, members of the Nachal Haredi brigade (reminder - the IDF's largest combat unit) were forced to be present at a baptism. Jews are forbidden from attending Christian religious ceremonies, which are considered idol worship under Jewish law.

2. Haredi soldiers in another unit that is meant for Haredim were forced to attend an all-day educational seminar... in a church. Jews are forbidden from entering churches (some hold only churches that are in active use) because they are considered a place of idol worship under Jewish law.

3. On Christmas Day, Haredi soldiers received a lecture about the 'significance of the day' instead of their mandated Torah study sessions.

4. The IDF's chief rabbi - who was brought in from the outside after Leftists in the government complained that the previous rabbi was too religious - 'ruled' that all soldiers have to attend events at which female soldiers sing, including Haredi soldiers whose terms of service include a commitment that they will not serve with women. The day after this 'ruling' was issued, the rabbi who was coordinating service for Haredim in the Air Force resigned. Subsequently, the IDF chief rabbi forced him to leave earlier than planned.

5. Haredi soldiers - whose terms of service 'guarantee' no contact with women - were forced to take courses with women and to clean women's rest rooms.

6-7. At the IDF's Sirkin base, where many Haredi soldiers were stationed, there was no Kosher supervision, representatives of the unit were not allowed to inspect the Kashruth of the kitchen, meat was cooked in a dairy kitchen (by mistake...), or soldiers were told to make the kitchen Kosher at the expense of their sleep hours.

8. Haredi IDF soldiers being held in the brig at Prison 4 were forced to carry out work that violated the Sabbath in the absence of any operational need.

9. A Haredi IDF soldier was forced by his direct commander to shave off his beard despite two higher ranking officers having approved his keeping it. The soldier was a cancer survivor who had fought to be accepted into the army. His commanding officer had him sent to the brig week after week because he refused to shave off his beard.

10. The army barber shaved the sidecurls of Haredi soldiers with "blade 0" (the closest possible shave, which violates a Torah prohibition of shaving the sidecurls off completely).

11. Haredi soldiers at the Sde Dov base (near Tel Aviv!) were forced to subsist on bread and chocolate for two weeks after the base did not provide Kosher supervision for their food.

12-13. At the Tzrifin base, Haredi soldiers - whose terms of service include no contact with women - were forced to sit in courses with women, to be taught by female instructors and to share their dining room with women.

For those who read Hebrew, there are links documenting each incident above here.

I am sure that someone is going to write in and comment that the Haredi soldiers should not be so 'backward,' that an army is an army and sometimes must do things differently, and that the Haredi soldiers have no 'right' to different terms of service. But the facts remain that not one incident above was dictated by an operational necessity, that the terms of service were promised to the Haredi soldiers as an inducement to enlist, that the broken promises are now playing a major role in the wall-to-wall opposition in the Haredi world to sending anyone to the army, and that if you draft people who aren't willing to go, you are likely to end up with a lot more Gilad Shalit's, God forbid.

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Maybe they'd like to borrow from Israel instead

As an Israeli who earns a substantial portion of his income in dollars, I can tell you that the strength of the Israeli Shekel and the dollar's weakness has been killing me financially. We're now around NIS 3.50 to the dollar - we probably would be around NIS 4 to the dollar if the US economy weren't in such lousy shape (we've been as high as NIS 4.20 in the last few years).

Now, there's hope. You see, one of the reasons that the dollar and the US economy has been so weak is that the US Federal Reserve has been subsidizing the European banking system - and with it their bloated social welfare states - with virtually interest-free loans for the last six years. (Did you know that? I didn't). Now, that's going to stop. That means that some of the trillions of dollars floating around the world will find their way back to the US, US interest rates will hopefully drop, and the dollar will be strengthened.
By delaying foreign bank compliance with the stringent capital and borrowing requirements of section 165 of the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank) imposed on American banks, the Fed was engaging in the moral hazard of allowing Europe to borrow at virtually zero interest from the Fed to fund its bloated social welfare states. Chair Yellen’s actions mean the Fed is cutting off Europe and providing greater support for U.S. borrowing.
People around the world often complain about the “exorbitant privilege” America enjoys from sponsoring the U.S. dollar as the world’s reserve currency. Of the $1.25 trillion in circulation, about $700 billion is held outside the United States. Foreign holdings of the dollar essentially act as a perpetual, interest-free loan to the U.S. government and force foreign businesses to lose money exchanging their foreign currency into dollars. The privilege also reduces the interest costs the American government pays on the $5.8 trillion of U.S. Treasury debt held by foreigners by one half percent. This privilege adds more than $120 billion to U.S. consumption each year.
However, with the privilege of sponsoring the dollar as the world’s reserve currency, America also bears “extraordinary risk” in times of financial crisis. The Fed is morally expected to provide liquidity at virtually zero interest rates to foreign banks as the lender of last resort.
According to Fed data, at the peak of the financial meltdown on Oct. 29, 2008, almost half of the $111 billion in central bank emergency “discount window” loans went to the U.S. subsidiaries of France/Belgium-based Dexia Bank and German-based Depfa Bank. Although the parent banks of both of these institutions were grossly insolvent, money borrowed from America’s Fed was quickly wired off-shore to prevent imminent bankruptcy filings of the institutions’ European parent banks.
The 2008-2009 financial meltdown was caused by what economists refer to as “moral hazard,” a situation in which one party takes undue risks if it knows the potential costs of the risk will be born by others. U.S. and European banks knew the moral hazard of using risky valuation models to profit from mortgage securitization was inappropriate, but they expected that America’s Fed would bail them out of potential losses. 
From Nov. 2008 through Jan. 2014 the Fed flooded the world with liquidity by engaging in three rounds of “quantitative easing” to buy $2.8 trillion in bank debt, mortgage-backed securities, and Treasury notes. During the same period, the European Central Bank and the Bank of England also engaged in another $1.4 trillion of quantitative easing.
Almost none of this liquidity was loaned to U.S. operating businesses, as private non-residential investment in America fell by 80% as a percentage of the total GDP of the U.S. between 2007 and 2009. Although capital spending has somewhat recovered, American business investment is still at its lowest level as a share of GDP since 1947.

Most of the Fed’s cash appears to have gone to European Union (EU) banks to cover loan losses and buy sovereign debt of EU countries. Bank balance sheets in the EU are still leveraged at 25 to 35 times equity. Despite the GDP of the EU nations since 2008 falling by .4%, their debt outstanding rose by 34%, from $10.3 trillion to $14.5 trillion.
Congress and financial regulators sought to avoid future moral hazard by passing Dodd-Frank’s Section 165 “Stress Testing” requirements in 2012 to impose strict leverage limits on U.S financial institutions with “consolidated assets of more than $10 billion.” Large banks, brokers, and insurance companies were forced to raise $450 billion in capital and their leverage was cut from 18 times to less than nine times, a 50% reduction.
Just 16 day after her confirmation, Chairman Yellen seems determined to root out the expectation that the U.S. Federal Reserve will continue the moral hazard of allowing excess risk taking in the expectation the Fed will provide bail-outs as the sponsor of the dollar. President Teddy Roosevelt said, “Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far.” New Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen on February 18th picked up her big stick and softly announced the Fed is about to cut off its massive cash lifeline keeping Europe afloat and will now concentrate on supporting the credit needs of Americans.
The question remains: Where will the Europeans borrow money to avoid their own meltdown? I would like to suggest that they borrow money from Israel. After all, our economy has been the strongest in the world for the last 6-7 years. And we also have a bloated welfare state, although it's not quite as pricey as Europe's.

What's that, you say? Europe doesn't want to borrow money from us because our banks all operate in Judea and Samaria. Well good. Let them eat cake.

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