Friday, March 14, 2014

A Purim Post: The Waze Conundrum

On a very serious note, Israel's Ministry of Religion has contracted the popular GPS application WAZE to create a special service for WAZE users in Israel -- the ability to find mikvaot in every Israeli city.

Ostensibly, this is a great idea - demonstrating how the religious establishment connects to the community by offering a well-intentioned  high-tech solution for discretely finding the closest mikva to your location.

Here in Israel, Waze isn't only used as a GPS program, but its connected directly to people's Facebook, Foursquare and Twitter feeds -- enabling your friends to see where you are going, and where you have "checked in.".  WAZE actually posts your location to your FaceBook page...and you are bound to even forget its being posted there.

Unfortunately, the following disaster scenarios are a very likely possibility...




And of course, this would propagate via the web on twitter and all the standard social media applications.

Maybe the religious ministry didn't think this through...



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Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Ukraine Drafts Yeshiva Students!

In preparation for a possible war with Russia, Yeshiva students in Kiev have received draft notices from the Ukrainian army.
Meir Pavlovsky (29), a Kiev yeshiva student said he and a number of his friends received draft notices. Pavlovsky said that if drafted, he would move to Israel.  Pavlovsky was first drafted in 2002 for 2 years and then became religiously observant.  "It is impossible to be religious in the Ukrainian army," he said.  "There is no kosher food and you cannot observe halacha. You must be clean shaven daily and work on Shabbat -- the day for cleaning the base.  Whoever tries to draft me -- I will flee to Israel." (translated freely from NRG) and reported in the JewishPress
Coming on the heels of the anti-draft rally 2 days ago, in which signs were seen that Yeshiva students in Israel would flee Israel if forced to be drafted -- what could be more ironic.

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Saturday, March 01, 2014

To Rally or Not, That is the Question

There were two blocks debating each other in many of the settlements this Shabbat, and both sides raised some very valid points.

On one side are the pro-rally settlers who plan to go join in the Haredi anti-draft protest.

Their positions are as follows:

1. Haredim are currently on target for the army's annual draft expectations from the Haredi community. At this growth rate, they'll definitely reach the army's goals in 2017.

So why in the world is the government suddenly introducing criminal sanctions onto the Haredi community, when, despite the difficulties, they're meeting their numbers?

2. If this were about all citizens sharing the burden, why are Lapid and friends ignoring the Arabs?

3. If this were really only about the draft, then why were Lapid and friends going after Hesder, until Bennett cut some sort of deal with him?

4. If we don't stand with the Haredim now, when Lapid and friends go after the settlements (and Hesder), we won't be able to count on the Haredim as allies.

5. If Lapid and friends succeed, in the next elections, they'll be big enough to not need Bennett and the restrictions he's placed on them, and then Hesder, the Settlements and the National-Religious community are really going to really be in trouble. 

The pro-rally groups raises some very important points, that seem to indicate that this bill and the attacks on the Haredi community are more about populism, elections, hurting the Torah and the religious sector as a whole.

On the anti-Rally side, the following arguments were put forth:
1. Everyone should do the army, and its not fair to everyone else that the Haredim aren't doing their share.

2. If the Haredi position was really only about Torah learning and how Torah learning protects the State and they're sharing in the burden by learning - and not based on an anti-Zionist ideology, then they aren't they at least saying the prayers for the State and IDF soldiers in their shuls.

Since they don't, it proves this protest is not about being drafted, but rather not wanting to be a partner in the State of Israel itself and not caring for anyone else outside their community.

3. Lapid won't be able to hurt the Hesder programs and the religious in the army, because we make up 50% of the combat units, so we don't need the Haredim as allies for that.

4. The Dati-Leumi and Settler communities simply can't count on the Haredim to stand by us. They didn't stand with us during Gush Katif, and they only care about their own communities and whoever pays them enough to support their lifestyles. They don't care about anyone else's Torah community besides their own (see Gafni's threats to destroy Hesder and the settlements).

We gain nothing by standing with them, and some people even said, they're getting what they deserve.

 The anti-Rally group also raises some extremely valid points - essentially the isolationist approach of the Haredi community has proven that Haredim are unreliable allies, and incapable of seeing themselves as part of the greater religious and Jewish community in Israel, and acting on that partnership, so why should we act for them, when we think they should be drafted anyway, just like we are.

What do I conclude from all this?
First of all, there's no doubt the Haredi community has shot itself in the foot, and the Dati-Leumi community may very well follow in their footsteps.

Because the Haredim are still beating that dead horse and fighting battles that ended long ago between the Tziyoinim and the Dosim, they've backed themselves into a corner, and have made their natural allies - the Dati-Leumi community, wary, unsympathetic and even angry at them.

The Haredim have taken their isolationist ideology too far and are incapable of participating in the wider community in a healthy manner, which certainly makes it completely impossible to trust them in the political realm - unless you're the one signing the check.

It's about lip service.

If the Haredi community wants to see the Dati-Leumi community standing beside them, then they need to make changes in their lip service - their prayers and statements.

It's not enough to say your learning protects Israel, when you refuse to say a prayer for the Jewish country you live in, or for the Jewish soldiers who die for you. Or when a Haredi soldier comes home, how he's forced to hide his uniform so that his neighbors don't bad mouth him or his family.

That change in lip service would show the Dati-Leumi community that the Haredi community has matured and is prepared to view its fellow Jewish communities as their brothers in Israel.

The Haredim need to openly say they will support Hesder and the Settlements (where Haredi communities live too, by the way), no matter what political pressure or incentives are placed in front of them - it can't be that the only Torah communities and the only Yeshivas that Hareidim care about are their own.

On the other side, the Settlers and Dati-Leumi community needs to realize that Lapid and friends are the enemies of Torah life in Israel and of settlements. The Haredim are easy targets right now, but their recent slip of targeting Hesder proves it won't quietly end with just Haredim.

The fact that Haredi draft goals are being met, and don't require spurious criminal sanctions added onto the bill, indicate that this is a populist and dangerous attack, unconnected to the draft.

It doesn't matter that, right now, we can't count on the Haredim in the political realm. We need to trust that if we do the right thing here, the Haredim will mature and begin start acting as responsible and reliable allies, just as they've been quietly sending more and more young men to the army.

If they don't act properly, the onus is on them - but letting Lapid win and take back all the progress that was made in expanding Haredi draft numbers - just so he'll win more seats in the next election - that onus will be on us.

Both sides, Haredi and Dati-Leumi, have some serious thinking to do about who are real allies are and should be, and how we interact with one another.

I hope the right conclusions are reached before it is too late.

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Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Why is US Ambassador Dan Shapiro's Boss Such a Moron?

The USA's Ambassador to Israel, Dan Shapiro is a nice guy.  It may be a bit challenging for him to swallow all the lies and hypocrisy of dealing with the Palestinian Authority, but he is loyal to his job.

Unfortunately for Shapiro, his boss, the US Secretary of State, John Kerry, is a moron.

“Last year, not one Israeli was killed by a Palestinian from the West Bank,” U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told guests at a Munich conference on Saturday, according the official U.S. State Department transcript.

I guess Kerry doesn't follow news from Israel very closely since he's too busy drawing up plans for Israel's return to Auschwitz borders.

Only days earlier, the Shin Bet's report on "last year's terror" (that's 2013 for the calendar-challenged Mr. Kerry), noted that terror in the "West Bank" had doubled...and that "not one Israeli was killed by a Palestinian from the West Bank"...but actually MANY ISRAELIS were killed by "West Bank" Arabs and over 44 wounded in West Bank Arab terror attacks.
In April, Shin Bet said, “One Israeli was killed (April 30) in a stabbing attack at Tapuah Junction (Samaria). The perpetrator, a Palestinian, resident of Shuka, Tul Karem, stabbed the Israeli, and then kidnapped his weapon and opened fire on IDF solders; there were no other casualties.”
In September, Shin Bet said, “This month, two Israelis were killed: an IDF soldier who was lured by a Palestinian illegal alien who had worked with the soldier in Bat Yam, to travel with the Palestinian to Beit Amin / Qalqiliyah, where he was murdered (September 21), and an IDF soldier who was shot dead near Hebron’s Cave of the Patriarchs (September 22).”
In October: “This month’s attacks recorded an Israeli citizen (October 10) who was stabbed to death in Brosh / Jordan Valley, and four casualties which included the wife of the stabbed man, another stabbing attack of a nine year old girl in Psagot near Ramallah (October 5), and a run-over attack against two soldiers near Bzaria / Nablus (October 5).”
In November, Shin Bet said, “Two stabbing attacks were noted this month. Both had occurred within the Green Line area. They resulted in the death of an Israeli soldier who was stabbed in Afula (November 13), and a female Israeli soldier lightly injured in Jaffa (November 22). Additionally, 3 Israeli citizens were injured this month: a female baby aged circa two sitting in a vehicle sustained moderate injuries caused by Palestinian stone-throwers near Armon Hanatziv neighborhood in Jerusalem (November 28); and a couple sustained light injuries as a result of firebomb thrown at their vehicle which caught fire near Teqoa (Judea).” (Algemeiner)
Yet Kerry's run-in with poor fact checking doesn't start with Israel.  Just a few months ago Kerry said it was unacceptable for North Korea to get nuclear weapons, even though they have had them for years.

John "good judge of character" Kerry's budding friendship with Syrian dictator Bashar Assad enabled him to refer to Assad as his "dear friend"...and he wined and dined with him as well.

It's not surprising that videos like this are popping up everywhere -- John Kerry Solutions, Ltd.



Moron.

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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Lies, Damn Lies, and MK Dr. Ahmed Tibi

The other day Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper spoke at Israel's parliament.  Rarely does Israel hear such an impassioned, pro-Israel speech on the floor of the Knesset, let alone from the leader of a foreign country.
The first speech in the Knesset by a Canadian prime minister was peppered with standing ovations, the enthusiastic likes of which may not have been seen since Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu addressed the US Congress in 2011.
Statements like “through fire and water, Canada will stand with you” were met with rousing rounds of applause, and though clapping is against Knesset protocol, even Speaker Yuli Edelstein joined in.
The Canadian premier said he believes “it is right to support Israel because, after generations of persecution, the Jewish people deserve their own homeland and deserve to live safely and peacefully in that homeland. 
“Let me repeat that: Canada supports Israel because it is right to do so,” he emphasized. “It is... a Canadian tradition to stand for what is principled and just, regardless of whether it is convenient or popular.” (JPost)
Unable to control himself at such a passionate outpouring of Zionist ethos, MK Ahmed Tibi from the Ra'am (United Arab List) - Ta'al party interrupted Harper's speech spewing protected-freedom-of-speech lies: Israel's is an apartheid state and the like...culminating that his fellow Arab MK, Taleb Abu Arar doesn't even have water or electricity in his village.

Its unfortunate that the world takes every word from MK Tibi's mouth as sacred.

Not only does MK Taleb Abu Arar's village (and personal home) have water, sewage, electricity, gas delivery, garbage removal, telephone/high speed internet infrastructure and free State sponsored education, but MK Taleb Abu Arar's impoverished and apartheid home also has Satellite TV.

Satellite TV Dish on MK Taleb Abu Arar's home  -- taken 22/1/2014
Photo by Meir Deutch, Regavim
Here's an easy tip to know when MK Dr. Ahmed Tibi is lying.

His lips are moving.


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Thursday, January 02, 2014

Israel and PA Negotiations 2014

One of the more intriguing aspects of the ongoing coerced negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority is the issue of "land swaps."  Since Tzippy Livni has accepted the notion that Israel captured the "West Bank" from the "Palestinians" in 1967, therefore Israel is required to part with 100% of the land area. 

Livni's largess towards the settlers provides for 3 or 4 settlement ghetto-blocs and in return, Israel will have to part with the equivalent land mass from pre-1967 Israel to placate the Palestinian Authority.

The intrigue revolves around an idea that to further the "2 States for 2 People" idea, and to keep Israel "Jewish and Democratic" (Livni and the USA's principles), that there must be a division of Israel's Jewish population and the "Palestinian Arab" population for their to be peace -- and to resolve the issue, there must be a (Jew-free) "Palestinian State."

Yesterday, the idea was leaked to the press that the land swaps could include the "Triangle" area within pre-1967 Israel which is predominantly comprised of Israeli Arabs (or as Israeli MK Ahmed Tibi prefers to call himself, a Palestinian Arab).  The borders would be redrawn and hundreds of thousands of Israeli Arabs would change their citizenship status -- and become citizens of the Palestinian Authority.

This would be a great idea for many reasons.

1. Currently, the Israeli Arab political parties, such as anti-Zionist Raam Taal party, do no want to see a "Jewish State" of Israel; they want Israel to be a "State of all its citizens" with no Jewish character at all. If they are already at odds with Israel as a "Jewish" State, they can be part of the "2 State solution" and live in the second state they so fervently advocate.  MK Tibi was Arafat's chief adviser, MK Hanin Zuabi was a on the Marmara terror ship to Gaza, and none of the Israeli Arab MKs signed the petition calling for Jonathan Pollard's release.   The Arab political parties simply have no common denominator with the rest of Israel.

2. The larger the areas of the Israeli Arab regions / Triangle given to the Palestinian Authority -- the larger the settlement blocs could be, thereby reducing the painful Livni plan of throwing tens of thousands of Jews out of their homes. 

3. The reduction of Israel's overall population would free-up huge monthly payouts from Israel's social security as well as reduce the burden on Israel's medical services and HMOs.

4. Israel would actually become "more Jewish and Democratic" (Livni's mantra).

5. Not one Israeli Arab would be relocated or transferred or thrown out of their home.  Rather their nationality would change to the one they already associate with.

6. And now the real reason I favor the idea: Not one Israeli Arab in their right mind would want to be part of the Palestinian Authority instead of being a citizen of the State of Israel -- every single Israeli Arab will vote AGAINST the plan in the "national referendum."   MK Tibi has gone insane against the plan which is exactly the reason I will fully support it.

Unfortunately, the USA and Livni will most probably leave out the land swaps idea with Israei Arab citizens because they want their plan to pass the national referendum....exposing Livni's hypocricy to all; the "peace" deal has absolutely nothing to do with securing Israel's future as "Jewish and Democratic."



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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

US Betrayal Opens Great Opportunity for Israeli Saudi Alliance

Ask yourself, what would happen if Saudi Arabia were to change its buying habits?

Here at the Muqata think tank, we've been analyzing the changes happening around us, and envisioning what a new Middle East could look like, or turn into, if given the chance—based on the real state of affairs in our region. Obviously, we're looking to develop the best possible realistic scenario for Israel, based on current parameters.

America's betrayal of long time allies, and its shifting of alliances to the worst of the worst of the Islamic fundamentalist governments, has encouraged a sea change for the entire region.

After U.S. failure to turn Egypt into a fundamentalist Islamic state, it's now turning to firmly prop up the Islamic Republic of Iran. The end result is that any hope for a popular uprising that would throw out the Ayatollahs is now lost.

A revitalized, aggressive, fundamentalist, and obviously nuclear Iran constitutes a clear and present danger to all the countries in the region, not just Israel.

The recent U.S. betrayal of its long time allies has taught Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and the Gulf States the lesson of an exaggerated reliance on the world's biggest super power.

America's Middle East policy has always relied on the three legged stool of Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Iran. When America lost Iran, it tried to replace it with Iraq, then with Libya, and then Egypt, but each attempt resulted in unexpected consequences.

For the U.S., the Iran deal represents a much sought after return to an old and familiar Mid-East policy, never mind the fact that this time Iran and Turkey are very much Islamic, and have developed an imperialistic appetite that threaten their neighbors, most emphatically the Foggy Bottom stool's third leg, Saudi Arabia, which isn't buying any of it.

It's no accident that there has been noise about the Saudis preparing to assist Israel in a strike against Iran's nuclear facilities. The Gulf States, too, save for Bahrain, are in Israel's corner, having had thriving business relations with Israel for years. They all view Iran as a radical menace (a rabid dog?) and Israel as its stabilizing antidote.

At the Muqata think tank, we've come up with what could be a very realistic alignment, and a plan for a truly new Middle East (Tom Friedman, NIF, eat your heart out).

Saudi Arabia has money. Lots of money. Lots of oil too. And of course, lots of desert.

Yet they lack innovation, technology, and no longer enjoy that sense of security they used to have.

Israel has innovation. Israel has technology. Israel knows how to make deserts bloom. Israel has security. But Israel, while becoming energy independent, doesn't have oil or money (on the Saudi scale), or the production capability to stand alone.

Actually, both states could use better production capabilities.

Both also have had the same reliance on the U.S. to supply them with military platforms.

It's also no secret that Israel's military technology and know-how is superior to that of the U.S., but the latter is making sure that the former not be allowed to compete with industries in the American military industrial complex.

And don't get us started on Israel being forced to take the less than wonderful but shockingly expensive F-35.

Ask yourself, what would happen if Saudi Arabia were to change its buying habits?

Let's say they decided to buy an Israeli designed advanced fighter jet. Let's say Saudi Arabia invested in Israeli green tech, to make their deserts bloom.

Let's say that Saudi Arabia made a new alliance with Israel, based on mutual defense and mutual interests.

It would require the hyper conservative Saudis to do something brand new, something they wouldn't have dreamed of doing only five years ago when their ambassador to the U.S. was considered an adjunct member of the Bush cabinet. But those days are gone, and the Saudis, perhaps more so than Israel, are fearing for their lives.

One could think of worse reasons than the will to live for cooperation between historic enemies.

If such a pact—which could be denied ad nauseam by both sides—were to happen, we would definitely see Egypt and Jordan joining in. Secretly.

The new Middle East would include Israel, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, and the Gulf states, vs. Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Turkey and Gaza.

The "Palestinians" of Judea and Samaria would have to sit this one out for a while. Without the U.S. to dominate the process, Israel will be taking its time giving them anything other than their human and civil rights – no national rights for now, thank you very much.

Production facilities remain an issue. Who will be able to take Saudi money and Israeli innovation and offer the enormous industrial facilities required for building the fighter planes, anti-missile systems, and desert blooming technologies of the near future?

The Chinese.

They're already deeply interested in the Middle East. They're already involved in major Israeli projects. They will not pass up an opportunity to both become an equal player in the global manufacturing of innovation technology, and push the U.S. down several pegs in the process.

This enormous endeavor will require educating millions of Arabs across the region, forging an affluent middle class to replace tribal societies. Driven by economic opportunity, the masses will soon enough come to expect political freedom as part of the pie – within the scope of their traditions, much the way it's taking place in Arab communities in New Jersey and Michigan—to name but two states—nowadays.

What about the United States?

Israel and Saudi Arabia would of course still remain friends with the U.S. But no longer client states locked into an unequal relationship.

Perhaps by then Sharia law will have replaced the Constitution, and the next president be even more familiar with the way we do business between the Euphrates and the Mediterranean Sea…

And don’t bother lecturing us on the “evil” of Israeli alignment with the less-than-stellar human rights records of China or Saudi Arabia. The USA has zero problem imposing immoral and unethical demands on Israel to release murderous Arab terrorists “for the sake of the peace talks” and no problem throwing Israel under the bus to further diplomacy with Iran. If Israel needs to align itself for a better and more secure tomorrow with China and Saudi Arabia – it is no worse than its previous Oslo capitulation to Arab terror.

Actually, it’s far better because it could provide Israel with better economic and military security against the real threat of a Nuclear Iran.



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Monday, November 04, 2013

Return to the 1187 lines - a look at Crusader history

The Arabs in Israel love to compare the Israelis to the Crusaders.  They want to see us as a temporary invader, who will disappear from this land.

As MK Zahalka said a few months ago: "We were here before you, and we will be here after you."

To which Prime Minister Netanyahu replied: "The first part isn't true, and the second part won't happen", thereby earning himself a place in meme history.



But this view of Crusader history is also a very narrow one.  Though I generally focus on Jewish history in Israel, it's also important to be aware of the other people who lived in this land, if only because history repeats itself, and not always in the way the Arabs think it does.

The Crusaders conquered Israel in 1099.  They managed to hold the country for 100 years, but then in 1187, the Kurdish warrior Saladin conquered Jerusalem and Israel and expelled the Crusaders.  

End of story, right?

Well, not exactly.

The West immediately declared another Crusade to reconquer Jerusalem.  The Crusaders, led by Richard the Lionheart, started off by laying siege to Acre (Akko).  The Muslims vowed to fight till the last man, but after two years, they surrendered.  Saladin paid 200,000 gold dinars in return for the residents of the city.  He also freed 2,500 POWs and returned the remnants of the "True Cross" to the Christians.

The Crusaders continued conquering along the coast, and Saladin, who found himself retreating, responded by destroying the fortresses, in order to prevent them from falling into Christian hands.

In September of 1192, a peace agreement was signed in Jaffa (Yaffo), in which the Muslims recognized the new Crusader state that stretched from Tyre (Tzor) to Jaffa, with the addition of the Ramle-Lod enclave.  The Christians got permission to make free, unarmed pilgrimage to Jerusalem.

Over the next 100 years, the Crusader state spread out over the coast.  Spanning from Armenia, through Syria and along the Israeli coast down to Ashkelon, and included Ramle, Jerusalem and Bethlehem.  At times it also controlled Judea, the Galilee and Lake Kinneret.  Western influence on the coastal area continued almost unabated from the Crusader Era down to today.

As part of the on-going wars: in the spring of 1219, the Ayyubian rulers, Saladin's successors, destroyed the walls of Jerusalem.

During this period the Crusaders focused on trying to conquer Egypt, which they saw as the key to conquering all of Israel.  In the fall of 1219 the Crusaders conquered a major port city on the Nile, Damietta.  The Ayyubian Sultan Al-Kamil started peace negotiations even before the city fell to Christian hands.  He offered to return the Crusaders to the 1187 lines - everything West of the Jordan - and to sign a 30-year peace treaty.

The various Crusader groups split on the offer.  Some wanted to go back to the pre-1187 lines, which included the areas East of the Jordan.  The Sultan then offered the two biggest forts on the eastern side of the Jordan, and agreed to finance the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem and three other cities.

The Christians rejected the offer.

Saladin - the great conqueror whose successors
were willing to give it all away

In the summer of 1221, the Muslims reconquered Damietta, and the deal was off anyway.  But the Crusaders continued making gains in Israel.

In early 1229, following political manipulations, Emperor Frederick II signed a ten-year treaty with Al-Kamil: The Tell El-Ajjul-Jaffa Treaty.  This treaty gave the Christians Jerusalem (except for the Temple Mount), and recognized Crusader rule of Sidon, the Nazareth enclave, and several other areas in the Galilee.The Jerusalem enclave included Ramle-Lod and Bethlehem.

This treaty was roundly criticized by various Crusaders, as it was signed without the agreement of the local ruler of the Galilee, and was therefore somewhat theoretical.  But the Crusaders now held Jerusalem.

In 1239, after the treaty expired, the Crusaders sent another force to Israel.  But the Muslim forces attacked their camp and killed them off while they were dining.

In 1240 a new Ayyubian ruler took over, precipitating civil war on the Muslim side.  As the Ayyubians in Egypt and Syria geared up for battle, both sides turned to the Crusaders and offered a land-for-support deal.  Some of the Crusaders sided with the Syrians, and some with the Egyptians.  The Syrians offered the Crusaders the Galilee and Southern Lebanon.  In a treaty signed by the Egyptians in 1241, the Egyptians recognized Crusader rule of the Galilee and added the coastal areas up to Beirut, and down towards Gaza (not included).  The southern border now stretched from Gaza towards Hebron.

But the wars between the Ayyubians were not good for the Crusaders, and the Muslim mercenary forces that came into Israel reconquered almost everything.

The Mongolians attacked in 1260, and were soon followed by a new force - the Mamaluks, the Central-Asian slave-soldiers of Egypt.  The Mamaluks set about to reconquer Israel.  In 1291 Christian Acre fell to the Mamaluks, and so came an end to the story of the Crusaders in Israel.

Bottom line: History is not always so simple, and it did not end in 1187.  The Muslims did reconquer Israel, but quite soon were willing to give it all away.  The successors to the Great Saladin didn't manage to hold Israel for longer than the hated Crusaders.  On the other hand, the Crusaders were offered peace deal after peace deal.  They missed opportunities and always demanded more, until they were finally kicked out and lost everything.

See here for an archive of articles about our history in Israel.  


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Sunday, October 27, 2013

Analysis: What's Behind MK Amir Peretz's Venomous Attacks on the Bayit Yehudi?

From today’s Times of Israel:
MK Amir Peretz -- Defense Minister
during Israel's Second Lebanon War
Environmental Protection Minister Amir Peretz, from the center-left Hatnua [The Movement] party, decried the nationalist Jewish Home party’s attacks on the impending Palestinian prisoner release and especially the verbal assault on Hatnua’s leader Tzipi Livni, in which they blamed her for the release.
Releasing terrorists will lead to violence? What an absurd idea...and how dare you even suggest it will lead to attacks on Israelis.

Yet here's some background the Times of Israel neglected to mention: When MK Amir Peretz slams the “Bayit Yehudi” party for “incitement against his party” the primary reason for his venom is because last week on Tuesday, his wife Achlama Peretz, who was the #2 of David Buskila the incumbent mayor of Sderot -- LOST the election to Mayoral Candidate Alon Davidi – supported by...Bayit Yehudi. Not only did Buskila lose the mayoral election but Peretz’s wife didn’t even make it onto the Sderot city council.

Adding insult to injury, on the very same election day last week, Amir Peretz’s sister, Flora Shushan lost the mayoral election in Mitzpe Ramon to Roni Marom...also supported by...Bayit Yehudi.

So when Peretz says “It is forbidden to allow Bayit Yehudi people to sow seeds of calamity”….he isn’t talking about the Bayit Yehudi’s opposition to freeing convicted murders, rather he's referring to the freeing of Sderot and Mitzpe Ramon from the clutches of his nepotistic fiefdom.

h/t: Elyashiv Raichner


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