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Sunday, February 26, 2017

Dismantling a liar: The bankruptcy of the Left

To be honest with you, I try to ignore people on Twitter who don't have a lot of followers. Normally, it's not worth the time or the exposure I give them to respond to them. But this one has gone too far.

I'd like to introduce you to one @JamesMArcher. Here's his bio - a panoply of causes of the extreme Left, with the Democratic party being too far to the right for him.

A short while ago, Mr. Archer tweeted this at me:
He seems to use this picture fairly regularly - it's not the only time it's in his timeline.

There's just one small problem. Like so many other symbols of the Left, the picture is a fake.
The Israeli boy in the yarmulke is Zvi Shapiro, the son of two secular American-Israelis. The Palestinian boy is Zemer Aloni, an Israeli Jew. The only real aspect of the photo is that the boys were indeed friends and that the picture was taken in their Jerusalem neighborhood of Abu Tor, which straddles the 1949 armistice line and contains both a Jewish and an Arab section. The boys grew up on the Jewish side of the neighborhood, and while they both recall interactions with Palestinians, neither counted close friends on the other side of the line.
The picture was taken by Ricki Rosen, an American photojournalist who has been covering the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for 26 years. Rosen snapped the photo on assignment for Maclean’s, the national news magazine of Canada, for a cover story about the Oslo Peace Accords. Rosen said that the magazine’s art director was so specific in what he wanted that he even drew her a picture — one boy in a yarmulke, the other in a keffiyeh shot from the back walking down a long road, which was supposed to symbolize the road to peace. He didn’t care whether the boys were actually Israelis or Palestinians, nor did it occur to him that the Palestinian’s keffiyeh would be styled in a way more typical for elderly Palestinian men than for young boys.
“It was a symbolic illustration,” said Rosen. “It was never supposed to be a documentary photo.” She also took other real-life photos for the same article.

Read it all.

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Friday, February 24, 2017

Eyeless in Gaza: How Hamas controls the media in Gaza

For those of you who are in London on Monday night, here's a film you don't want to miss. It's called Eyeless in Gaza, and as the title of this post indicates, it shows how Hamas controls what's reported out of Gaza through intimidation. But that's only half the story. Here's a preview.

Let's go to the videotape. More after the video.

But this isn't just about Hamas intimidating the media. As I have reported previously, the media are willing sheep.
“It’s something I call ‘group think’,” explains Himel.  “Group think isn’t a malicious attempt to lie or distort the truth, but there is a strong herd instinct of what is allowable and what is not.
“When you look at reporting on the Middle East in general, the same model is used. The Syrian conflict was described as a fight for human rights and the Arab Spring was hailed as a revolt against brutal dictators.
“What often happens is the group think will significantly distort what’s really going on when you are reporting something – and if you violate group think you can be in a lot of trouble.”
As a case in point, the film highlights the naval blockade and subsequent raid by Israeli forces on a Palestinian freighter named Karine A in 2007. The vessel was found to be carrying 50 tons of weapons, including short-range Katyusha rockets, anti-tank missiles and explosives.
But as the documentary notes: “Very little of the weapons found…made it to the media. Instead, the news focused on flotillas trying to break the naval blockade.”
Why, then, did journalists focus more on the flotillas than the success of the Karine A operation?
Himel explains: “The group think is that an unjustified blockade is causing hardship for the people of Gaza. They can’t get basic food, they can’t move around, they can’t get to family in other places. The media will be attracted to things that strengthen that assumption.
“So a flotilla coming in trying to save the besieged people of Gaza, like those besieged in Leningrad in 1942, is appropriate, whereas if you are talking about a naval blockade that’s stopping arms getting in, you are instantly making the picture more complex – and that doesn’t sit well with editors.”
The consequences for journalists who veered away from the accepted narrative can be extreme.
When RTV reporter Harry Fear tweeted that Gaza rockets had fired into Israel, he was immediately expelled from the area by Hamas officials, while Palestinian journalist Ayman al-Aloul was imprisoned and tortured for being critical about the governing authority in Gaza.
“You pay the price,” says Himel.
There is, however, also another element, which Himel believes underscores the very reasons why the Israel-Gaza conflict is reported in the way it is.
“The real story is there’s a really serious war of beliefs going on, that’s the basis for all of it.
“But editors don’t want to say it, because that means it’s a religious war and you begin to realise how sensitive and complex the whole issue is.”
That decision not to report the conflict as one based on religion has also effectively blocked out mention of Hamas and its anti-Semitic ethos.
I would say it's much more malicious than Himel thinks it is. Let's start with the Karine A. The Karine A happened in January 2002 before this blog existed, not in 2007 as Himel has it. But the 2007 date is convenient. The so-called 'blockade' of Gaza started after Hamas gained control of the Gaza Strip in the summer of 2007. In January 2002, Israel actually controlled Gaza. 

The 'flotillas' have nothing to do with the Karine A and everything to do with the anti-Semitic Europeans (who stand behind the flotillas), who promote the most pernicious lies about Israel and Jews. In fact, it is the Europeans who have done more to keep the dream of 'Palestine' replacing Israel God Forbid than even the Arab states. The Arab states have tired of the 'Palestinian' lies. 

But like the inconvenient fact that our war with Hamas is a religious war, the media also prefers to ignore the inconvenient fact that Europe still dreams of finishing what Hitler started. 

I would still go see Himel's movie, because it's important that someone is at least raising the issue (although Matti Friedman is the guy who really brought the issue up), but given his sloppy reporting on the Karine A, I have to wonder what the movie is really going to say.

To get you thinking, I want to show you the full video from 2014 by an Indian television crew - a video that is quite rare - of which you saw a small clip in the preview above. 

Let's go to the videotape.

My original post containing that video is here.

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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Report: IAF struck Hezbullah weapons convoy in Lebanon

Foreign reports indicate that Israel's air force struck a Hezbullah weapons convoy in Lebanon around 3:00 am local time today.
Of course, the IDF has refused comment.
A monitoring group also reported that a strike took place. Rami Abdel Rahman, the head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, told the German news agency DPA that Israeli warplanes fired at least six rockets on depots in the area of Qutaifa, north-east of Damascus.

It was not immediately clear if the targeted sites belong to the Syrian army or its allied Lebanese Hezbollah movement, he added.

The reports have not been officially confirmed.

The Israeli army said that the military does not respond to foreign reports.
Hezbullah chieftain Hassan Nasrallah has issued a number of threats against Israel recently, but he's been warned by Arab states not to try anything. Here's betting that this doesn't draw him out of his bunker either.

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This is going to be fun: US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley rips the Security Council's Israel obsession

Here's US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley telling the press about her first Security Council meeting - and she specifically mentions the shameful US abstention (and worse) on Security Council Resolution 2334 during the last days of the Obama administration.

Let's go to the videotape.

For those on the Left who are wondering why you lost the recent US election, you might want to start here.

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Who's trying to infiltrate my computer?

Well, isn't this interesting?

My anti-virus software has now blocked - at least five times this morning - someone with an IP address in Sweden attempting to infiltrate my computer.

Anyone know if there is a way to report this?

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Monday, February 20, 2017

How Donald Trump is bringing hope to the 'peace process'

After eight years in which most Israelis felt that they weren't getting a fair hearing at the White House, and in which Israel's Prime Minister looked more uncomfortable with each trip to the United States, times have changed. In a White House meeting earlier this week, President Trump allowed Netanyahu to say what nearly all Israelis believe and what former President Hussein Obama would never allow to be heard.
Despite his international protestations, Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority (like Yasir Arafat before him), has consistently denied that the Jews have a historic connection to the Temple Mount. Far more than arcane arguments over historical minutiae, the Arafat-Abbas tradition of denying a longstanding Jewish link to Jerusalem is the Palestinian’s inimitable way of saying that the Jews are simply the latest wave of Crusaders, that Israel is nothing but a colonialist presence in the Middle East. Just as the crusaders and colonialists of the past ultimately departed, the argument goes, so too will the Jews.
The belief that President Abbas sees the two-state solution as a steppingstone to a one – Arab – state solution leaves many Israelis cynical about the peace process and tiring of the rhetoric about two states. Mr. Trump may have shifted that momentum.
President Trump afforded Prime Minister Netanyahu an opportunity to assert – despite American denials – that Palestinian schools’ textbooks teach Palestinian children to hate Jews. Israelis wholeheartedly believe that accusation to be true. They know of the Fatah Party’s incendiary boast on Facebook that it had killed 11,000 Israelis and that the Palestinian Authority recently named its fourth school for Salah Khalaf, mastermind of the 1972 Munich Olympic massacre of Israeli athletes. While President Barack Obama obliquely acknowledged in his eulogy for Shimon Peres, the former Israeli president and prime minister, that “Arab youth are taught to hate Israel from an early age,” Mr. Trump gave Mr. Netanyahu a stage from which to make the accusation explicit.
Obama's eulogy for Shimon Peres - perhaps his first acknowledgment of mainstream 'Palestinian' hate for Israelis and Jews - came on September 30, 2016, nearly at the end of Obama's term, and at a point where it was likely designed to help Hillary Clinton's election prospects and not a sincere empathy with Israel's plight.

Daniel Gordis believes that Trump's openness to hear the Israeli point of view can only help the 'peace process.'
Outward appearances of confidence notwithstanding, Palestinian leaders undoubtedly understand that the jig is up – gone (for now) are the days in which they can tell the world one story and their people another. That actually gives Israelis hope that – if the Palestinians want political sovereignty – the Palestinian Authority will have to lay the groundwork by forging an entirely different narrative about Israel and Jews.
There is still no reason to assume that President Trump and Prime Minister Netanyahu can forge a deal. Mr. Trump’s White House is in disarray, Mr. Netanyahu is under investigation for corruption and politically weakened, Mr. Kushner has not a day of diplomatic experience, the other Arab countries that Mr. Trump and Mr. Netanyahu hope will be part of an agreement may or may not cooperate and Palestinian hatred of Jews may be too deeply entrenched.
Yet there is at least cause for a glimmer of hope. On Wednesday, whatever ambivalences about Mr. Trump many Israelis have, they heard from a United States president sympathetic to their story, sensitive to their fears of Iran and committed to their safety. That may matter a great deal. For Israelis who feel safe and protected are infinitely more likely to make accommodations for peace.
Gordis is right that it's highly unlikely (to say the least) that Trump and Netanyahu can forge a deal. Not now and not in the next eight years. But that has nothing to do with investigations, disarray or weak political positions. Rather, it's because the 'Palestinians' have yet to give any indication that they are ready to accept a Jewish state of any size, shape or form, and that creating a 'Palestinian' state (God Forbid) will not be the end of the conflict, but rather moving on to a new stage against a much weakened Israel.

Don't expect it to happen in your lifetime or mine.

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Breaking: Rockets fired from Sinai at Israel

Within the past hour, two rockets have been fired on Israel from an area of the Sinai desert controlled by the Islamic State terror group. Both rockets fell in open areas.
The rockets landed in the Eshkol Regional Council, according to an initial statement released by the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit. No injuries or damages were caused.

A Red Alert was not sounded, the statement said, due to the fact that the rockets were fired into open space. 
It was reported on Sunday that an Israeli drone killed five ISIS terrorists in the Sinai near Rafah (the border between Egypt and the Gaza Strip).

Nothing else could do a better job of making the world forget about the 'Palestinians.'


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Sunday, February 19, 2017

Trump effect: Arabs warn Hezbullah not to attack Israel (with a song you'll remember fondly)

What a difference a month makes.

An 'Arab official' has warned Hezbullah warlord Hassan Nasrallah not to attack Israel in light of President Donald Trump's support for the Jewish state.

According to a report in Al Hayat, published in London, an Arab official warned Hezbollah that Israel would forcefully strike back against any military attack the organization carries out and severely damage Lebanon.

According to the report, the official said that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's ability to recruit "regional assistance" against Hezbollah is high due to the era of US President Donald Trump. The official further urged Hezbollah to behave cautiously and prudently.
Let's go to the videotape.

I wonder which Arab official warned Nasrallah not to attack....

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Must see: Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fl) comments at David Friedman confirmation hearing

Several people have sent me this video and it really is a must see. This is Republican Senator Marco Rubio (Fl) speaking at the confirmation hearings for David Friedman as US Ambassador to Israel. He's awesome. This will be the best five minutes you will spend today.

Let's go to the videotape.

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Friday, February 17, 2017

Special Sabbath music video from @BennysMusic

It's been a while since I posted a music video (in fact, I haven't been posting much of anything lately, but it's too close to the Sabbath to start telling you why), but last night my 17-year old son came home from yeshiva and said 'Abba, this video is great - you have to post it on the blog,' and showed me this video, not knowing that Benny Friedman has been one of my Twitter followers for a while.

Anyway, it's really a great video, and when I looked last night, it had garnered over 155,000 hits in about ten days. That's quite an impressive number, and if I can increase that I'm happy. Really worth watching.

Let's go to the videotape.

Shabbat Shalom everyone!

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JINO's protest David Friedman's nomination to be US Ambaassador to Israel

Several 'as a Jews' protested David Friedman's nomination as US Ambassador to Israel in a Senate hearing on Thursday.

Let's go to the videotape.

One of the things that upsets the JINO's is David's connection to the yeshiva in Beit El (a connection that is likely the result of one of his children studying there - that's usually how these connections are formed).
As the Senate holds a confirmation hearing Thursday on the nomination of David Friedman, he could face grilling about his ties to Beit El, a community north of Jerusalem located in the heart of the occupied territory Palestinians demand for an independent state.
A bankruptcy attorney from the Five Towns area of Long Island, Friedman is a major donor to Beit El and serves as the president of the American Friends of Beit El Yeshiva, the U.S. fundraising arm of the settlement’s Jewish seminary and affiliated institutions, including high schools, an Israeli military prep academy, a newspaper for the religious Jewish settler community and the right-wing news site Arutz Sheva.
They make the entire town sound like shnorrers (beggars). In fact, the 'American Friends' setup is entirely legal - nearly every school in Israel that raises money in the US has one in order for donors to qualify for 501(c)(3) deductions. Each of the other institutions likely has its own 'American Friends' with the likely exception of Arutz Sheva, which the last time I checked was a commercial venture.
But even by Trump’s new standards, Friedman appears to be extreme. Friedman is a fervent supporter of the settlements and an outspoken opponent of Palestinian statehood.
“I have expressed my skepticism about two-state state solutions because of what I perceive as the Palestinians inability to denounce terrorism and recognize Israel as a legitimate state,” Friedman said.
If that's 'extreme,' I don't many Orthodox Jews in the United States or Israel who aren't extremists.
In Beit El, the Friedman Faculty House, which bears his and his wife’s names on the facade, is built on private Palestinian land without permission from its Palestinian landowners, according to the anti-settlement watchdog Kerem Navot.
And now CBS is accepting claims by Israel's Hebrew 'Palestinian' daily as 'facts.' Prove it.

PS Almost forgot to mention that David prayed at the Lubavitcher Rebbe's grave on Sunday. David is not a Lubavitcher chassid.

Here's David's full opening statement. Let's go to the videotape.

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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Israel's Leftist youth do something good, but would they do it for 'settlers'?

The Jerusalem Post reports that a conglomeration of 'Zionist' youth groups has been collecting winter clothes and blankets for Syrian refugees.
The items have been taken to a collection point, a representative confirmed to JTA. From there, a partner aid organization is facilitating the delivery of the goods to the refugees, who won’t know their country of origin. The representative said the delivery date and method could not be revealed due to the sensitive nature of the situation.
Because if the Syrians found out they were coming from the 'Zionist entity,' they'd probably burn them, even if they didn't really want to turn them away, because... 'Palestine uber alles.'
 “I thought people would be reluctant to support an effort they would not get credit for,” Gilad Perry, Dror Israel’s international collaborations director, said in a statement. “I was amazed to see how wrong I was. The generosity of people just caring for those who suffer from the cold winter on the other side of the border, in an ‘enemy country,’ overwhelmed me.”
Amazing. Leftist Israelis willing to do something for which they won't get any credit except in an article in the JPost.... Oh wait, how do you know they're Leftist? Well, if you're an Israeli, you recognize two of the three names of the groups involved, and there's a hint at the end of the article.
HaNoar HaOved VeHaLomed (Youth Who Work and Learn) is a sister movement of Habonim Dror, long affiliated with the Labor Zionist movement.
So please forgive my cynicism. I'm all in favor of helping out Syrian refugees with clothes and blankets (but not with letting them unvetted into Israel, the US or any other western country). And there ought to be a lesson from the fact that Israelis are helping these poor people while they get nothing from any of the oil-rich Gulf countries.

But I have to ask another question. Suppose - just suppose - that there were Jewish revenants (known in the international media as 'settlers') who were expelled from their homes in Judea and Samaria and Gaza, who were out in the cold and the rain today who had no warm clothing and no blankets. Would the Leftist Zionist movements be willing to take up collections for them too? They'd even say thank you. You wouldn't have to cut out all the Israeli labels for them. And you could even get credit for helping them. So would the Labor Zionist movements help them?

Sadly, I think we already know the answer to that question. This is from a post I did in May 2012, citing statistics from the summer of 2011 - six years after the Jews of Gush Katif in Gaza were expelled from their homes. Hint: There were no Labor Zionists lining up to help the Jews of Gush Katif, with or without credit.
Perhaps this is the time to look at some statistics regarding the Jewish refugees from Gaza, who were expelled from their homes seven years ago this summer. This is from a United Nations report(!) from June 2011.
About 230 of the 1,450 families from Gush Katif (16 percent) have moved into permanent homes, according to a December 2010 report released by the Gush Katif “committee”.

Unemployment among former Gush Katif residents is running at about 18 percent, while under-employment is 20 percent, said the “committee”. Before the withdrawal, unemployment was 5 percent, with 85 percent working in Gush Katif, according to JobKatif, an NGO created to help former residents rebuild their livelihoods.

While unemployment is much worse in Gaza, the unemployment rate among the evacuees is about double the rate of the general Israeli population. Children have faced adjustment issues and the divorce rate increased, along with financial problems, say former residents. Government compensation that was received, was lower than the value of the land and did not allow farmers to re-establish their farms, according to the “committee”.

Shilat Kahalani, spokesperson for the Mateh Binyamin Regional Council which covers 42 Israeli settlements in the West Bank (known as Judea and Samaria to Israelis), told IRIN that many former Gush Katif residents wanted to rebuild their homes and lives in the West Bank, but were prevented from doing so by a building moratorium which was only lifted in September 2010, having been in force for 10 months.

About 380 farms existed in Gushi Katif (of which 240 were operational), but only 28 percent of the owners of agricultural land have resumed farming. Most business owners, too, have not returned to their trade and were not appropriately compensated, according to the “committee”.

“Disengaging a community is not something that can be rebuilt easily, and many families never received promised full financial support,” Kahalani said.

A June 2010 report on the findings of the Israeli “State Commission of Inquiry into the Handling of the Evacuees from Gush Katif and Northern Samaria by the Authorized Authorities”, placed blame on the state of Israel.

“The State of Israel failed in its handling of the evacuees,” it said. “Five years after, most of the evacuees are still living in temporary caravan sites; the construction of most of the permanent housing has not yet commenced; and the decisive majority of the public structures in the evacuees’ new settlements have not yet been built.”

“It was a mission of the government to settle people in Gaza,” said former Gush Katif resident Debbie Rosen, and “there must be a solution for every settler”. She received half the value of her home in Gush Katif, and she and her six children are still waiting for their new house to be built, she added.
And for those who think that the Ulpana neighborhood is going to be 'evacuated' quietly with the soldiers called in to do the job embracing the residents in tears, consider this.
“People in my community are unwilling to be evacuated because on a personal level they witnessed the awful outcomes of such a disengagement on the lives of the Gush Katif evacuees,” Binyamin council spokesperson Kahalani said.
That might have something to do with the violence in Amona during my last trip to the US a couple of weeks ago (violence that I did not have time to cover).

If only the Labor Zionists cared as much for their own as they do for the other.... 

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Sunday, February 12, 2017

Democrats' 'alternate facts' on mistreatment of Muslims

Talk about 'alternate facts.' A Rasmussen poll finds that most Democrats believe that Muslims in the United States are worse off than Christians in Muslim countries.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 62% of Likely U.S. Voters believe most Christians living in the Islamic world are treated unfairly because of their religion. Just 17% disagree, while 21% more are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.) 
By comparison, 39% feel most Muslims living in the United States are treated unfairly because of their religion. That’s up from 31% last year and is the highest finding in surveys to date.  A plurality (46%) still believes Muslims are not treated unfairly because of their faith, while 15% more are not sure.
Fifty-six percent (56%) of Democrats, however, believe most Muslims in this country are mistreated, a view shared by only 22% of Republicans and 39% of voters not affiliated with either major party. Fewer Democrats (47%) think most Christians are mistreated in the Islamic world, compared to 76% of GOP voters and 64% of unaffiliateds.
And for those who think women are smarter... they're not - at least when they're Democrats.
Women are more likely than men to think most American Muslims are mistreated here but less likely to believe Christians are mistreated in the Islamic world.

By the way, note that no one talks about mistreatment of Jews despite study after study that shows that attacks on Jews due to their religion far exceed attacks on persons of any other religion.

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Thursday, February 09, 2017

Family of 'Palestinian' terror victim were Bob Kraft's guests of honor at the Super Bowl

I am sure that many of you recall Ezra Schwartz, the American yeshiva student (who studied at the same high school I did) who was murdered in a 'Palestinian' terror attack here in Israel a bit more than a year ago. More of you may recall that Patriots' owner Robert Kraft ordered a moment of silence to honor Ezra before a Monday night football game in Foxboro during the shiva, after Kraft himself had shown up at the family's home to pay a condolence call (and embarrassed then President Hussein Obama into calling the family).

On Sunday, the Schwartz family got to see one heck of a football game - as Kraft's VIP guests. That's right, the Schwartz's (pictured above) were Patriots' owner Robert Kraft's VIP guests at Super Bowl LI in Houston.

Oh, and this is far from the only not-so-random act of kindness on Bob Kraft's list. Remember Max Steinberg, the IDF lone soldier (who was killed in Operation Protective Edge in Gaza in the summer of 2014) whose mother was asked by buffoon John Kerry how her day is going? Here's what Bob Kraft sent Steinberg's parents in Los Angeles.

In fact, many of Kraft's acts of kindness seem to connect football to Israel. This is from the third link above.
Kraft is also a huge supporter of Israel and routinely takes football players to goodwill trips to Israel, even during the height of the Second Intifada.

Kraft took Patriots players on the tours, including star quarterback Tom Brady in 2006 – who, though not Jewish, keeps a menorah that Kraft gave him in his Brookline home. These players in turn share stories and photos of Israel to their millions of fans with counterbalance all the negative press and opinions about Israel.
One of Kraft’s most distinctive philanthropic  projects is supporting American Football Israel, including Kraft Family Stadium in Jerusalem and the Kraft Family Israel Football League.
Another project is an annual reception that Kraft continues to hold after his wife Myra's death (they used to do it together) for all of the kids from Boston who are in Israel on one-year programs. That one should be happening in the next month or two.

There's more too:
He takes time out of his busy schedule to write letters to the families of fallen IDF soldiers and personally doing the huge mitzvah of nichum aveilim (visiting the bereaved) Kraft is nosei b’ol chaveiro ( carrying the burden of your people) by helping these bereaved parents find some comfort with his condolence visit and remembering them over a year later and flying them down to the Super Bowl to be his personal VIP guests at the Super Bowl.
As Ezra Schwartz’s aunt Rachel said, he has a “good neshoma” and is a true “mentch” in every sense of the word, it is not for us to say that her theory of the last minute miraculous turn-around in the Super Bowl is not somehow ordained from above, although quarterback Tom Brady did famously say “God, [there’s] got to be more than this” on “60 Minutes” in reference to winning his third Super Bowl. Kraft indeed deserves  credit where credit is due. (Hakaras Hatov.) we just shared it with you, now share this story and the inspiration. G-d Bless you, Mr. Kraft!
For those of you who root for other teams who find the Patriots' constant success frustrating and annoying, now you know why he merits it. Go out and perform acts of kindness for others like Kraft does, and maybe your time will succeed too. 

Oh yeah, in case you missed, the Patriots came from down 28-3 with two minutes left in the third quarter to beat the Falcons 34-28 on Sunday night. Watching here in Israel at 5:30 am was quite sweet.

Go Pats!

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Monday, February 06, 2017

Kuwaiti journalist to Trump on embassy move: 'Be brave, move it to Jerusalem and trust in God'

Congratulations to Israel's football team on pulling off the greatest #SuperBowl comeback of all time. It's a lot of fun watching the libtards go ballistic over this.

Two Saudi journalists and a Kuwaiti have called on US President Donald Trump to move his embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. All three journalists also make clear that the 'Palestinians' are no longer at the head of the Arab world's agenda.
In a January 25, 2017 article in the London-based daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, prominent Saudi journalist 'Abd Al-Rahman Al-Rashed, the daily's former editor and the former director of Al-Arabiya TV, discussed the issue of the U.S. moving its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. He stated that the Israeli sovereignty over West Jerusalem is a settled matter, and that moving the U.S. embassy there, or any other embassy, would not lend legitimacy to the occupation. Rather, if U.S. President Donald Trump moved the embassy to Jerusalem as part of an overall peace agreement, this measure could actually mark the end of the occupation and the conflict.
Al-Rashed also noted that, in the 2000 Camp David talks, Yasser Arafat sadly missed an opportunity to restore East Jerusalem to the Palestinians as part of then-U.S. president Bill Clinton's unprecedented proposal for resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He added that today, due to the crises plaguing the Middle East, "the Palestinian cause is no longer central," although extremists exploit the Palestinian tragedy to further their own interests.
It should be noted that one day before Al-Rashed's article was published, Saudi columnist Muhammad Aal Al-Sheikh published an article in the official Saudi daily Al-Jazirah titled "The Palestinians Have No [Choice] But Peace." Like Al-Rashed, he argued that the Arab world, currently preoccupied with civil wars and with fighting home-grown terrorism, no longer regards the Palestinian cause as its foremost concern, and called on the Palestinians to forgo armed resistance and embrace the two-state solution – for that is the only solution that is feasible and supported by the international community.[1]
Kuwaiti journalist 'Abdallah Al-Hadlaq also expressed support for relocating the embassy, in a January 28, 2017 article in the Al-Watan daily titled "Be Brave [Trump] – Move [The Embassy] to Jerusalem and Trust in God." Quoting extensively from an article by Robert Satloff, executive director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, which presents arguments in favor of the embassy move,[2] Al-Hadlaq argued the move could involve extensive benefits and not only dangers and drawbacks. He concluded by saying: "Wise and intelligent diplomats, politicians and pundits are telling Trump, who is reluctant to move the embassy to Jerusalem: 'Be brave, move it to Jerusalem and trust in God."[3]
Satloff's piece is here. While it makes reference to 'west' Jerusalem, the facility in which the US consulate is currently located (pictured above) is practically on the line, although the US government likes to characterize it as 'west' Jerusalem, and it still serves (at least for now) as the US embassy to 'Palestine.'

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Sunday, February 05, 2017

Trump to Israel: 'Just do it (and stop talking about it)'!

On Thursday night, it was reported by Michael Wilner in the Jerusalem Post that Donald Trump believes in a 'two-state solution' and that Israel should stop making announcements that destroy that possibility.
The White House warned Israel on Thursday to cease settlement announcements that are “unilateral” and “undermining” of President Donald Trump’s effort to forge Middle East peace, a senior administration official told The Jerusalem Post.

For the first time, the administration confirmed that Trump is committed to a comprehensive two-state solution to the Israeli- Palestinian conflict negotiated between the parties.

The official told the Post that the White House was not consulted on Israel’s unprecedented announcement of 5,500 new settlement housing units over the course of his first two weeks in office.

“As President Trump has made clear, he is very interested in reaching a deal that would end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and is currently exploring the best means of making progress toward that goal,” the official said.

"With that in mind, we urge all parties to refrain from taking unilateral actions that could undermine our ability to make progress, including settlement announcements,” the official added. “The administration needs to have the chance to fully consult with all parties on the way forward.”

Trump plans to bring up the peace process in his meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House scheduled for February 15.
The JINO (Jewish In Name Only) Left was overjoyed. But that joy was apparently premature. Trump is apparently as pro-Israel as he has always been
Trump says, shut up and build. That sounds more like Trump who is asking Israel to play smart and to move only when the table is in your favor.
“Not helpful in promoting peace,” said his White House spokesman today – and where have we heard that before?
Never from Trump. So something’s gone wrong and I don’t think it’s entirely Trump’s fault, nor do I think here we go again. He’s Obama all over again.
That won’t happen. But over the years some of us have noticed Israel’s habit of going public each time it hires an architect. As for me, it’s been an astonishment how Israel telegraphs every move, particularly when it comes to housing in Judea and Samaria.
Who asked? 
What other country does this? What other country stops the presses to announce -- Hello World, We’re Building More Homes.
Got a problem with that? – and in unison the world says yes.
That IS the wisdom of Chelm if you expect any other outcome, and that has to be the cause of Trump’s annoyance. Immediately Israel’s High Court gets into the act along with the “peace groups” and Haaretz and The New York Times and a day later France invites 70 countries for a Paris summit to denounce the Jewish State.
That leaves Trump boxed in and he says so himself, that it cramps his style and his space to maneuver.
How many times a day can he take on the entire world, as he’s been doing, and now must carry Israel on his back – as he has it figured. 
All for no good reason except that Israeli leaders do not know when to keep quiet. Instead they keep rubbing it in and keep asking for trouble.
The trouble comes when they speak loudly and then expect the United States to carry the big stick…like stopping the UN from another 2334.
Have we forgotten that personally Trump owes us nothing? The overwhelming majority of American Jews voted against him. He knows this.
The same majority protests his partial travel restrictions, which means that while he wants to keep anti-Semites out, we want them in.
Even pockets of Israelis were shown on television protesting Trump’s immigration pause. That hurt and it sure wasn’t “helpful” in terms of friendship.
Now we hear that Trump favors a two-state solution and where did he get that if not from Benjamin Netanyahu who keeps promoting that dangerous nonsense.
We can’t ask Trump to be more Jewish than the Jews or more Israeli than the Israelis.
Our only claim on Trump is that we are family. The United States and Israel share the same values.
Only Israel can be counted on through thick or thin throughout the region and he needs Israel as much as Israel needs him.
Trump knows this. But he’s asking Israel to play by new rules, which is to shut up and deal only when the time is right.
Wise advice indeed. 

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Thursday, February 02, 2017

How Israeli high tech gets sold to countries that have no diplomatic relations with Israel

Greetings from home - I returned to Israel this evening after an 18-day business trip.

This evening I was told about a company in Israel that is white labeling (which means removing all signs of who the real manufacturer is) for sale to a hostile (i.e. Muslim) country. This is not uncommon. On the very first initial public offering on which I worked when I made aliya, one of the items we had to get permission not to disclose was the fact that the company was about to make a large sale in Malaysia. How does it happen? Jonathan Ferziger and Peter Waldman explain
Trade and collaboration in technology and intelligence are flourishing between Israel and a host of Arab states, even if the people and companies involved rarely talk about it publicly. When a London think tank recently disinvited Bar from speaking on a panel, explaining that a senior Saudi official was also coming and it wasn’t possible to have them appear together, Bar told the organizers that he and the Saudi gentleman had in fact been planning to have lunch together at a Moroccan restaurant nearby before walking over to the event together. “They were out-Saudi-ing the Saudis,” he says.
Peace hasn’t come to the Middle East. This isn’t beating swords into plowshares but a logical coalescence of interests based on shared fears: of an Iranian bomb, jihadi terror, popular insurgency, and an American retreat from the region. IntuView has Israeli export licenses and the full support of its government to help any country facing threats from Iran and militant Islamic groups. “If it’s a country which is not hostile to Israel that we can help, we’ll do it,” Bar says. Only Syria, Lebanon, Iran, and Iraq are off-limits.
Interesting. Three of those four countries are also on the list of countries whose nationals are currently barred (or not barred depending upon whom you ask) from entering the United States under Donald Trump's executive order. 
The Saudis and other oil-rich Arab states are only too happy to pay for the help. “The Arab boycott?” Bar says. “It doesn’t exist.”
Hey - don't tell the Democrats that. They think the Arab boycott exists and will continue to exist until we have 'peace' with the 'Palestinians.' Reality says otherwise.

On the other hand, the Saudis like to hide reality:
Saudi officials declined to speak on the record about possible ties to Israel. Questions e-mailed to the kingdom’s interior ministry and its embassy in Washington for this article were unanswered. A source in Riyadh, insisting on anonymity, e-mailed a statement denying any trade links between Israel and Saudi Arabia:
“In regard to defense systems technology, Saudi Arabia has never dealt with Israel in this field or any other field. Moreover, common sense tells us that in order for Saudi Arabia to get any weapon systems, they have to be bought under trade agreements made with friendly countries that manufacture those systems with official and approved export trade certificates from their governments. It is also certain that Israel is not among the countries that have commercial relations with the Kingdom.”
The Arab embargo of Israel, nominally in force since the Jewish state’s founding in 1948, necessitates that all business between Israel and most Arab states remain strictly off the books, cloaked by intermediaries in other countries. But the volume and range of Israeli activity in at least six Gulf countries is getting hard to hide. One Israeli entrepreneur set up companies in Europe and the U.S. that installed more than $6 billion in security infrastructure for the United Arab Emirates, using Israeli engineers. The same companies then pitched Saudi Arabia to manage overcrowding in Mecca. Other Israeli businesses are working in the Gulf, through front companies, on desalination, infrastructure protection, cybersecurity, and intelligence gathering.
Read the whole thing. It's fascinating. 

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