Tag Archives: Jerusalem

You’ll have to forgive me Mr. President. I’m a Jew and I’ve been hurt before

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I know as a Jew and a Zionist I am supposed to feel all warm and fuzzy today.  After all the President of the United States did greet the Israeli Prime Minister with great respect and they expressed their long lasting friendship.  To make it even better, President Trump went as far as saying that he would move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem.  That’s never been said before. Oh wait. It has been said before. By just about everyone else to run or step into the office since at least the mid 90s.  So although I appreciate the nice words, right now they are nothing more than that, and as a Jew I am yet to be convinced.

For example, outgoing President Barack Obama, a disappointment to so much of the Jewish community started off by making the following comments.

“Let me be clear,“Israel’s security is sacrosanct. It is non-negotiable. … Any agreement with the Palestinian people must preserve Israel’s identity as a Jewish state with secure, recognized, defensible borders.”

“Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel and it must remain undivided.”

Go back to recently defeated candidate Hillary Clinton who wrote the following in a letter, dated July 2, 1999 to Dr. Mandell Ganchrow of the Orthodox Union in New York.

“If I am chosen by New Yorkers to be their senator, or in whatever position I find myself in the years to come, you can be sure that I will be an active, committed advocate for a strong and secure Israel, able to live in peace with its neighbors, with the United States Embassy located in its capital, Jerusalem.”

Her husband, former President Bill Clinton declared in February 1992, at the height of the Democratic primaries, that he supported recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, a step that would alter U.S. policy, but never signed the 1995 congressional mandate to move the embassy.

Senator John McCain pledged to move the U.S. embassy in Israel “right away” from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem as did Senator Robert Dole and George W. Bush who actually did become president.  Candidate Bush made the pledge to move the embassy on his first day in office. Once in office he said he went from doing it on the first day to saying he would begin the process on his first day.  Instead he signed a waiver every 6 months delaying the same 1995 congressional mandate and in the end never did it.

Enter President Donald J. Trump.  Yes he has said some very nice things. He too promised to move the embassy to Jerusalem.  But now he is looking into it. He promised to rip of the Iran deal on his first day.  We must have missed it. And he publicly stated the following at a press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

“I would like you to hold back on settlements for a little bit.”

Donald Trump may end up being the best friend Israel ever had in the Oval Office.  I certainly hope so.  But forgive me if I’m not ready to throw a party yet. I’ve heard this song before.

 

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Stop F*ing with Our Wall

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In what is one of the most disturbing developments in quite some time, 6 Arab nations are leading the charge in a proposal to the United Nations declaring the Western Wall part of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, subsequently labeling it a Muslim site.  Personally I could care less whether they think it is Muslim or not, what concerns me are the potential dangers this proposal creates, and what angers me is the immense disrespect this shows towards Jews all over the world.

Although it’s been far too many years since my last visit, I am fortunate to have been at the Western Wall, the “Kotel”, more times than I can count.  For these antagonists using the Western Wall as a political weapon, the Wall is nothing more than a place representing Jewish existence, something appalling to them.  For Jews the Kotel is more than just a wall.  It is home.  It’s the only place I’ve ever been where it felt to me as though everyone felt the same intensity and deep meaning.  It’s just a wall to some, but to a Jew who believes in God, it’s a portal to the heavens.

The Kotel can never be taken from the Jewish people, of that we must be certain. My more immediate concern is the violence this political maneuver will incite.  If this causes nearby Palestinians to feel empowered to possess the wall, serious violence will threaten the holiest place in the world for the Jewish people.  But who do they think they are kidding? Violence is their goal.  Incitement their intention. To Israel’s opponents this feels like checkmate.  Well it’s not. It is most certainly check, but for those who play chess, one of the most certain ways to lose is through over confidence.  It is my hope that this wakes up the Jewish people worldwide and that the Israeli government makes very clear that the Western Wall is not open for discussion.  Otherwise we may not be far from checkmate.

With all the land and all the so-called holy places the Muslim people have, for any one of their leaders to suddenly at this time make a move for Israel’s holiest site is not about devotion to God or religious practice. What this is about is blatant disrespect for the Jewish people, and anyone in power who remains quiet, certainly anyone who supports it, is an accomplice to this unconscionable slap in the face to all Jews worldwide, and for anyone to tolerate it would be to open the door to a greater tragedy.

Let it be known, when you F**k with our wall, you F**k with us.

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UN calls on the Maccabees to avoid hostilities

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In response to the recent increase of hostilities between King Antiochus’ Seleucids and the Jewish population led by Judah Maccabee, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon released the following statement:

“We call on the Jewish population to immediately stop its attacks against the Seleucid government in Jerusalem.  We intend to form a committee to investigate the alleged banning of circumcision imposed by the Seleucids as well as the Maccabean claim of inappropriate actions within the Temple, but maintain in theory that the government is within its rights to impose a ban of this nature in order to protect religious sovereignty.  Despite the claims by Maccabean leadership claiming the installation of idolatrous figures being placed in the Holy Temple, it is the belief of this organization that this is a tremendous opportunity for the coexistence of all religions within Jerusalem’s holiest places.  What will be critical in making this work will be Jewish cooperation and subjugation to King Antiochus and his leadership of Jerusalem and outlying areas.  Any resistance by Judah and his fellow Maccabees will be seen as hostility bordering on criminal activity.  We have already begun the groundwork for further investigations of Judah Maccabee for war crimes that may have already taken place and in anticipation and expectation of further actions.”

U.S. President Barack Obama commented on the increasing tension in the area as well.

“We call on both parties to show restraint”, said President Obama.  “I have spoken directly to Judah Maccabee and I am confident that he is aware of my continuing support and commitment to the safety and well-being of his people.  That being said, I have emphasized in our discussions my belief in a peaceful solution.  King Antiochus has assured me  that his intentions are peaceful and I believe him to be sincere.”

A State Department spokesman denied claims that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is “annoyed” by Judah Maccabees aggressive approach.

Judah Maccabee issued the following statement in response to the comments:

“My number one responsibility is to my people.  We do not answer to the United Nations or to any world leader.  One day we will look back at this moment and realize that we were at a crossroads.  Our choices in leadership will determine whether or not we survive as a people and will celebrate our existence,  or succumb to the pressure and lament our losses. It is my intention to see to it that rather than allowing an enemy to drive us into extinction, we will lead the people to a thriving and secure future. When we regain control of our holiest of sites, the Temple in Jerusalem, we will celebrate as we light the candelabra in continuing dedication to God.  We wish to live in peace, but as long as we have an enemy that wants to see us dead we will defend ourselves by any mean necessary.”

One programming note.  CNN will be continuing its ongoing documentary “Hellenism as opposed to Judaism.  Why it works in Jerusalem.”

 

Chanukah Sameach!!

Happy Hanukkah!!

 

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Muslim Stop and Frisk Video:Hoax to “Create Awareness”

hoaxTwo bloggers in New York posted a video  showing a New York City Police Officer stopping and frisking 2 Muslim men in what appears to be a blatant example of racial profiling.  One problem.  It never happened.  (CLICK HERE TO SEE VIDEO) The 2 men fabricated the whole thing to, as they put it, “create awareness”.   Naturally The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) ran with this and tweeted the video without verification so they too could of course help “create awareness”.  Far too often we see the Muslim community more focused on creating a comfortable environment for everyone, including those who commit acts of violence than on stopping the perpetrators.  This result may not always be the intention, but in attempting to curtail the actions of law enforcement at this point in time, that is exactly what it is doing.

This once again speaks to the major problem existing within elements of the Muslim community.  Within days of terrorist attacks in Jerusalem, Ottawa, and New York City, killing a 3 month old baby, a 25-year-old Canadian soldier, and seriously wounding a NY City police officer, these men are focusing on what they call unfair treatment of their fellow Muslims.  Although I personally am very pro-police, live a day without them and then come talk to me, I am also aware they are far from perfect.  I realize that like any other established group there are bad people within their ranks.  However, if these 2 bloggers were really concerned about the common good they would work harder on creating awareness within their own community.  Maybe then they could help create an environment more pleasant for everyone, not only Muslims.

If they want to help their community, they should organize a rally against terrorism.  They should help the police identify radicals and terrorists.  They should speak out against anti-Americanism anti-Semitism.  For them to make their focus today be on how police treat Muslims is not only missing the point, it’s making a negative statement.  It’s a statement that the comfort of their community take precedence over the safety and well-being of the overall community.

 

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A Shaken World needs to Wake up Fast

ap_canada_shooting_1_kb_141021_4x3_992As someone who has recently experienced his first case of writer’s block in almost 4 months, it would stand to reason that today’s tragic events would have gotten my creative juices flowing. However, maybe it is because a terrorist attack in Jerusalem killing a 3 month old baby and a shooting spree by gunmen in Ottawa is so overwhelming that I found myself unsure where I should even begin.  After all, you start to ask yourself if the people who can make a difference are even listening. Or even worse, they’re listening but don’t care.

We know that Israel and the rest of the Western World wants to stop terrorism.  There is little doubt about that.  But while the world crumbles around it, the United Nations makes settlements in the West Bank its priority.  While bombs explode in Iraq, women get raped and murdered in ISIS controlled territory, babies get run over by terrorists in Israel, and the Canadian parliament gets attacked, people make excuses for all of this bad behavior.  Secretary of State John Kerry implies that Israel’s behavior somehow fuels Islamic extremism and when a woman gets beheaded in Oklahoma by a radicalized Muslim, U.S. government officials prefer to call it workplace violence.

We are either headed towards or already in the midst of a global catastrophe. It all depends on your perspective.  But one things is certain, we are headed in the wrong direction fast.  I hesitated to write something that could be construed as negative and pessimistic, but I believe I would be doing a far bigger injustice if I ignored the reality.  That reality is that the world is in big trouble, and as long as those in power refuse to openly face the facts that Islamic extremism is destroying the planet, it will only get worse.

It’s time the world woke up before it is too late.  Keep in mind that the fact that I am willing to consider the possibility that it might not be too late already is the only optimism I am willing to provide on what has been another very tragic day in a very dangerous world.

 

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A Day of Sadness

Temple-Destruction (1)The 9th Day of the Jewish month of Av, known in Hebrew as Tisha B’Av, is the day commemorating the destruction of the first and second Temples that once stood in Jerusalem.  It is a day of tragedy and commemorates some of the worst moments in Jewish history.  Simply put, it is the saddest day of the year, and it begins tonight.

On this Tisha B’Av let’s pray that all the tragedy and sadness stops, and that we see a world of peace and kindness.  We have seen so many days of sadness recently but lets stay hopeful for a brighter future. I know it sounds unrealistic at this moment, but if it was easy we wouldn’t need to pray for it.  To all those fasting I wish you an easy fast.

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A Missing Plane and a Frightening Scenario

Swiftair_-_Boeing_737-301(SF)In some ways it feels like we are watching the first 45 minutes of an epic disaster movie.  Of course we all know about the war in Gaza.  Israel, a free and democratic country fighting a government controlled by the terrorist organization Hamas.  That in itself is bad enough.  But my friends, when you look at today’s events, and what tomorrow is on the Muslim calendar, it could get a lot worse.  It is not in my nature to be alarmist or sensationalist, but we also live in a time when all things need to be considered, no matter how frightening they may be.

Earlier today we get word that Ali Hosseini Khamenei, the spiritual leader of Iran made the following comments regarding Israel:  “As said by Imam Khomeini [the founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran] Israel must be destroyed…However, until that time with the help of God for this cruel and murderous regime to be destroyed, strong confrontation with steadfast armed resistance is the only solution against this destructive regime.”  He also stated, regarding the United States: “The anti-American and anti-West view in Iran is a logical view based on experience and a righteous calculation.”

His sentiments are not news.  We know he feels this way, as do millions of his followers.  What is different is the timing, and hopefully not, but possibly another difference is the biggest news story of the day.

First the timing.  Tomorrow is “Quds Day”.  Quds, Arabic for Jerusalem, is a day created by Iran since its revolution in 1979, celebrated on the last day of Ramadan, as a day to express solidarity for the Palestinians against the State of Israel.  Comments made by any Muslim leader today are at least partially designed to motivate and instigate the people into not only protesting and demonstrating, but to do so as violently as possible.  There is no question that Khameini is looking to incite as much violence against Jews as possible,  not only in Israel, but throughout the world.

And then there is the biggest news story of today.  A plane taking off from Algeria has gone missing.  Yes, you  read correctly, gone missing.  Algeria, a North African Muslim nation that donated money made in the World Cup to Hamas and a people who make up the majority of France’s Muslim population committing brutal acts of anti-Semitism.  It is from that country that a plane has gone missing on the eve of Quds Day.  It’s an awful day in world history when one must say, let’s hope the plane only crashed.

It is possible that tomorrow comes and goes and is a repeat of many of the days of the past few weeks.  Awful, but not catastrophic.  But the days of underestimating the enemy’s brutality and capabilities are behind us now.  We no longer have that luxury.