“[The] best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry” (from the English interpretation of Robert Burns’ 1785 poem “To a Mouse, on turning her up in her nest with the plough”).
And so, despite the best of intentions, for personal reasons and necessary involvements in other matters of concern here, and despite several false starts, I was unable to send out TWTW, which had to be put on hold for a short bit. During that time, events in and around Israel continued and, at times, even seemed to accelerate. In many instances, the media seemed to be tripping over itself, to see who could copy what and from whom. Others, as usual, just filled up space to meet a word quota, jumping from one point to another, unrelated point and never quite completing the circle. Most of the articles followed lines of political affiliation, leftist or rightist, depending upon which tabloid they appeared in.
The “Peace Talks” are not peaceful.
The most consistent news event since the last posting was the so-called “peace talks”, the politics of it and the pressures flowing from it. The following are some of the events (summarized), in sequential order and appeared either as headlines or 2-page spreads immediately following the cover page:
Netanyahu said he would not dismantle the settlements, but would allow all settlers to remain in areas of Judea and Samaria that would become part of “Palestine”;
Naftali Bennett (the head of “Habayit Hayehudi” [The Jewish Home]) party said he would never agree to Netanyahu’s plan for the settlers and warned against “giving up our country”;
Representatives of the “Palestinians” said that they were willing to allow Jews to be in their state, but not settlers (having read that, I confess that my first thought was to encourage all of the leftist parties and their media compatriots to sell their residences in Jerusalem, Tel-Aviv, Haifa, Beer Sheva and, of course, Nazareth, and to move to Judea and Samaria. They would all then have to see each other and deal with each other on a daily basis, which will quickly show them the error of their ways. But, I was asked by persons close to me not to do that, but to have mercy on “the poor “‘Palestinians'”, for whom it would be too much to have to relate to the Israeli left as part of their daily life.);
Tzippi Livni, head of the leftist “HaTnuah” party, who is also the Minister of Justice and Israel’s chief negotiator with the “Palestinians”, accused Mahmoud Abbas (President of the “Palestinian” Authority) of having “unacceptable positions” (they must have been really outrageous if she found them to be “unacceptable”);
P.M. Netanyahu’s “settler plan” backfired, as right-wing anger preempted “Palestinian” insistence on “Judenrein” (a state free of Jews);
Naftali Bennett of said Jews in “Palestine” would be killed;
The Minister of Defense called the peace process a “fairy tale” (at last, a breath of reality and a ray of light in the midst of gross deception and the fog of illusion);
Knesset Member Yuval Steinitz accused Abbas of being the world’s No. 1 purveyor of anti-Semitism;
Israel was said to be ready to accept ‘s framework proposals, but “P.A.” negotiator Saeb Erekat rejected Israel as a Jewish state and claimed that his ancestors were living in Jericho 10,000 years ago, before Joshua “occupied” it (amazing – an “occupation” that was claimed to exist 3,500 years before Israel was even a State and almost 4,000 years before the world was created [according to the Hebrew calendar!] – just as an aside, Jericho was never “occupied”, it was destroyed and burned to the ground, and was rebuilt much later at the cost of fulfilling a curse to the sons of the builder [Joshua 6:21, 24, 26; 1 Kings 16:34] – maybe more on this in the next post);
Israelis accused U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry of being an “unfair” mediator, placing pressure only on Israel and not on the “Palestinians” and indicating that if the talks fail, Israel would suffer economically – the impression being given that the stage is already being set to blame Israel for the failure of the talks (an impression also given by President Obama in his discussions this past week with P.M. Netanyahu;
P.M. Netanyahu said that expecting Israel to recognize a nation state for the “Palestinian” people, without reciprocal recognition of Israel as the nation state for the Jewish people, would be “absurd”;
The U.S. condemned new, east Jerusalem construction plans and called on both Israel and the “Palestinians” to refrain from unilateral steps that could harm the ongoing “peace talks” (it is difficult to understand why the U.S. didn’t also condemn the rocket fire upon Israeli cities from the region of Gaza);
At the same time, John Kerry responded to his Israeli critics that he would not be intimidated by opponents of the “peace process” (this is not a “peace” process, but a “piece” process, with the goal of giving away one piece of the land of Israel after another, as has been done in the past;
According to an opinion poll, 61 percent of Jewish Israelis believed that Kerry threatened Israel when he said that Israel could face boycotts and further delegitimization, if the “peace talks” failed;
And then, in an unexpected twist, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman called for a cooling off of criticism against Kerry, referring to him as “a true friend of Israel” and was praised for it by the U.S.;
This was followed by a source from Habayit Hayehudi party, who was quoted as saying that Lieberman was “zigzagging himself to death [and] veering to the left of Tzipi Livni” (wow, that is really far left!);
Kerry defended himself and said that his comments about boycotts were “taken out of context” (a usual comment by politicians when there is nothing else to fall back on);
European Parliament President, Martin Schulz, addressed the Israeli Parliament (Knesset) and among other things, called Israeli settlement policy an “obstacle” to a peace deal and said that Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip “may in fact undermine, rather than strengthen, Israel’s security” (I wonder whether he would make the same comment of the blockade today, in light of Israel’s capture this past Wednesday morning of Iranian missiles, intended for Gaza, that can travel up to 200 kilometers [125 miles] and can carry a payload of up to 170 kilograms [375 pounds]); Schulz’s speech was interrupted by Habayit Hayehudi MK Moti Yogev, who stood up and said: “How can a son of the German nation not be ashamed to quote lies he heard in Ramallah?…Israel has been out of Gaza for a long time now, and your support of the ‘Palestinians’, who are inciting for the destruction of Israel, on the Knesset podium 70 years after the Holocaust, is chutzpah.”;
There is a widespread consensus here that if Abbas wasn’t willing to sign an agreement with former P.M. Ehud Olmert (presently facing criminal charges related to a major construction project approved under his administration), who was willing to concede to almost everything that the “Palestinians” wanted, then he’ll never sign an agreement with Netanyahu, who is offering much less than Olmert;
The terrorist organization, Hamas, said that Abbas was “not authorized” to negotiate with Israel and the U.S. and that if foreign troops were to be stationed in either the Gaza Strip or the “West Bank” (Judea and Samaria), they would be be fair game;
P.M. Netanyahu responded to E.U. calls for boycott, saying: “I think the most eerie thing, the most disgraceful thing, is to have people on the soil of Europe talking about the boycott of Jews … I think that is an outrage. That is something we are re-encountering. In the past, anti-Semites boycotted Jewish businesses and today, they call for the boycott of the Jewish state…I think it’s important that the boycotters must be exposed for what they are — they’re classical anti-Semites in modern garb. And I think we have to fight them”;
Kerry met with Abbas in Paris and according to the U.S. State Department, the parties were narrowing the gaps. But, a member of the Executive Committee of the PLO (the “Palestinian” Liberation Organization) said that the “Palestinians” oppose the idea of a framework proposal that allows both sides to express their reservations, adding: “if the document is so far as we have seen … then it is not even a starting point”;
Government ministers and Members of Knesset proclaimed that “the Jordan Valley is Israeli … It is impossible to think that the border will not be in the valley. The alternative, that the border will be next to Kfar Saba and Netanya, is completely inconceivable” and Israel has the “inalienable right” to build in the Jordan Valley and “The Jordan Valley will remain a part of Israel forever”;
U.S. Congressman, Doug Lamborn chimed in: “With the region aflame and so many crises demanding attention, the U.S. has made a baffling decision to focus on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and make it the crux of its Middle East policy … We should be putting pressure where it belongs — on our enemies, not on our friends” (true words from one who has an understanding of the times);
German Chancellor Andrea Merkel visited Israel and said that Germany sees eye-to-eye with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on two key issues: the Israeli demand that the “Palestinians” recognize Israel as a Jewish State and opposition to an economic boycott of Israel, adding “We do not support the demands for a boycott … This is not an option for Germany” (it would have been great if she stopped there, or alternatively, if she had continued and had made positive contributions to Israel’s right exist “from Dan to Beer Sheva”, i.e., all of Israel, from north to south and from the Jordan to the Mediterranean, without an enemy state in our midst); Merkel was awarded the Israeli Presidential Medal for supporting Israel and for her tough stance against racism and anti-Semitism. She expressed strong support for Israel’s security, and expressed her thankfulness for the award, saying “Receiving the highest award bestowed by another country is a great honor for the recipient, but in light of Germany’s responsibility for the tremendous suffering of the Jewish people in the Holocaust, receiving this award today is something of a miracle”;
Just before Netanyahu’s trip to the U.S., Deputy Defense Minister, Danny Danon, sent him as letter, in which he stated, among other things: “I have no doubt that you will properly represent the values of the Likud, mainly the need to maintain Israel’s security, and that you will not buckler under the pressure of those who demand we divide Jerusalem and return to the 1967 lines.”
P.M. Netanyahu’s trip to the U.S. this past week produced predictable results: President Obama tried to put him down, while AIPAC applauded him; Obama tried to pressure Israel to move the dead “peace process” along and finish the matter, while alluding to international sanctions that could come against Israel if the talks fail; Netanyahu’s response, in short: “In the Middle East, the most turbulent and violent part of the Earth, the only peace that will endure is a peace we can defend” (Kol HaKavod [“Way to go”], Bibi), adding that the Israeli people expected him “to stand strong against criticism, against pressure, stand strong to secure the future of the one and only Jewish state”. But he continued: “I know this flies in the face of conventional wisdom, but it’s the truth. What we all want fervently is peace. Not a piece [of] paper … but a real peace; a peace that is anchored in mutual recognition of two nation states that recognise and respect one another, and solid security arrangements on the ground.” (Oy, Bibi, if you had only stopped with the last three words “a real peace”);
Netanyahu also stated: “Mr. President, you rightly said that Israel, the Jewish state, is the realization of the Jewish people’s self-determination in our ancestral homeland. So the “Palestinians” expect us to recognize a “Palestinian” state for the “Palestinian” people, a nation state for the “Palestinian” people. I think it’s about time they recognize a nation state for the Jewish people. We’ve only been there for 4,000 years…The 20 years that have passed since Israel entered the peace process have been marked by unprecedented steps that Israel has taken to advance peace. I mean, we vacated cities in Judea and Samaria. We left entirely Gaza. We’ve not only frozen settlements, we’ve uprooted entire settlements. We’ve released hundreds of terrorist prisoners, including dozens in recent months. And when you look at what we got in return, it’s been scores of suicide bombings, thousands of rockets on our cities fired from the areas we vacated, and just incessant “Palestinian” incitement against Israel. So Israel has been doing its part, and I regret to say that the “Palestinians” haven’t.”
In an interview with Bloomberg’s Jeffrey Goldberg, which took place a little before the meeting of the two international leaders, Obama exploded a political bomb, threatening that if Israel were to become internationally isolated, he would not stand up for Israel. It was with the knowledge of this statement that Netanyahu met with Obama and stood his ground against the pressure to be more yielding regarding the dead, but not yet buried, peace negotiations.
The day after his meeting with Obama, P.M. Netanyahu addressed a more receptive audience at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) annual conference, where he stated that the ball of the peace deal is in the court of P.A. President Mahmoud Abbas. He opened his speech to a standing ovation, following his statement: “Greetings from Jerusalem – the eternal, undivided capital of the State of Israel”.
In his speech before AIPAC, Netanyahu called on “P.A.” President, Mahmoud Abbas, to “recognize the Jewish state. No excuses, no delays, it’s time. … Telling your people, the Palestinians, that while we might have a territorial dispute, the right of the Jewish people to a state of their own is beyond dispute.”
The rest of his speech was broken down into three topics: the “Palestinians”, the anti-Israel boycott threat and, of course, Iran. Regarding Iran, Netanyahu warned that if not stopped, Iran’s long-range missiles would ultimately reach as far as California.
Regarding the “Palestinians” and the potential positive consequences of entering into a real peace with them, he stated:
“I’m prepared to make a historic peace with our Palestinian neighbors — a peace that would end a century of conflict and bloodshed … peace [that] would also open up the possibility of establishing formal ties between Israel and leading countries in the Arab world,” Netanyahu said. “Many Arab leaders today already realize that Israel is not their enemy, that peace with the Palestinians would turn our relations with them and with many Arab countries into open and thriving relationships. The combination of Israeli innovation and Gulf entrepreneurship, to take one example — I think this combination could catapult the entire region forward … but it’s time the Palestinians stopped denying history. Just as Israel is prepared to recognize a Palestinian state, the Palestinians must be prepared to recognize a Jewish state.”
Regarding the matter of the anti-Israel boycotts, Netanyahu accused the proponents of such boycotts of being anti-Semitic, saying: “Those who wear — those who wear the [boycott, divestment and sanctions] label should be treated exactly as we treat any anti-Semite or bigot…They should be exposed and condemned. The boycotters should be boycotted” and added that the BDS movement would eventually fail. He gave a different label to the BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions), calling them “Bigotry, Dishonesty and Shame”, adding “those ‘gullible fellow travellers’ who believe BDS helps the cause of peace were actually pushing peace further away by helping to harden ‘Palestinian’ positions.”
He expressed gratitude to actress Scarlett Johansson, who became a brand ambassador for SodaStream, an Israeli drink manufacturing company that operates in Judea and Samaria. She refused to yield to pressure from anti-Israel activists and Netanyahu said she and others like her, who refused to give into BDS efforts “should be applauded.” He ended his comment about her with a modification of Clark Gable’s closing line in the Hollywood movie classic, “Gone with the Wind” and said: “Scarlett, I have one thing to say to you: Frankly, my dear I do give a damn.”
As expected, the “Palestinians” were not enthusiastic about Netanyahu’s speech before AIPAC. Some officials close to Abbas indicated that the “P.A.” is not planning to extend the present “peace talks” beyond the deadline set to end in April, unless (now get this!) Israel would agree to release more prisoners and freeze settlement construction.
Nabil Shaath, a senior official in the “Palestinian” political picture, accused Netanyahu of making a “de facto official declaration terminating the negotiations between us and Israel. Netanyahu is not interested in solving the refugees problem, and he is demanding our recognition of Israel as a Jewish state. We find this unacceptable”. Then, this past Thursday, Mohammed Ishtayeh, an aide to Abbas, was clearly pessimistic about the continuation of the “peace talks”, saying: “What we have seen in the talks is that the gap is growing, rather than narrowing”, adding that Abbas cannot “under any circumstances” recognize Israel as a Jewish state.
In the meantime, both sides received a copy of Secretary of State John Kerry’s framework proposal and most of the Israeli politicos are of the opinion that it will be rejected by the “Palestinians”.
And, finally, to bring us up to date on this issue, P.M. Netanyahu, in his first television interview here in over a year, said this past Friday that not all of the settlements would remain under Israeli sovereignty, once “the deal” is made with the “Palestinians”. Nevertheless, he said that he would “make sure that [number] is as limited as possible, if we get there”. He pledged that no Israeli would be “abandoned” and was firm in his statement that “there will be no act of evacuation”. This comment brought a momentary sigh of relief to those who envisioned a repetition of the forced evacuation of Gaza’s settlements, which took place in 2005 under the late prime minister Ariel Sharon. He repeated his position that the “Palestinians” needed to (1) recognize Israel as a Jewish state, (2) give up their claim to a “right of return” for the millions of descendants of the refugees who left Israel immediately prior to the War of Independence and, of similar, critical importance, (3) agree to an “end of the conflict”. Regarding the “framework agreement” drafter by Secretary of State John Kerry, he made it clear that the content of that agreement stated the position of the U.S. and that both sides could object to its terms: “We don’t have to agree to everything they write.”
Unfortunately, we continue to talk in terms of reaching an agreement with the “Palestinians”, despite the fact that to most of the players and participants, the “handwriting on the wall” is becoming clearer by the day – this round of negotiations is not going to lead to an agreement to “end the conflict”. Nor can it. The world focuses attention on one faction of the “Palestinian” entity, that faction headed up by Mahmoud Abbas. But, he does not speak for that branch of the “Palestinian” entity that has taken up residence in Gaza and is ruled by the terrorist organization “Hamas”. There will be no peace with Hamas until that organization ceases to exist.
The discussions with the so-called “Palestinians” have become an international spectacle that has taken on the uncertainties of the former T.V. program “Let’s make a deal”. No ones knows what lies behind this closed door or that one, but whatever is behind any of those doors, Israel will not end up winning the prize. Former government leaders and many left-wing politicians and media were and still are willing to “give it all away”, so that another meaningless piece of paper can possibly be signed, another document that will have zero significance and which, in any event, will not be honored by the so-called “Palestinians” and will only delay the inevitable bursting of the bubble. We’ve been through this scenario before, more than once. Yet, in our constant desire to end a conflict with our “cousins” that has lasted since the time that Isaac was chosen over Ishmael, we were willing to accept it. Fool us once, fool us twice, fool us even three times – shame on you. Fool us a fourth time, shame on us! Enough is enough.
Abbas has given us his “never, never” list, over and over again, as he persists in seeking his goal in dreams of “fantasy island”. According to him and/or his spokespeople: (1) He will NEVER recognize Israel as a Jewish state; (2) He will NEVER give up the claimed right of return (an expression taken from Israel’s Law of Return for Jewish people) for purported “Palestinian” refugees; (3) He will NEVER accept Israeli sovereignty in any part of East Jerusalem; (4) He will NEVER allow Jews to live in Judea or Samaria (referred to as “the West Bank”); (5) He will NEVER agree to Israeli security control over various ground and air locations, including the Jordan Valley. So, since he is not willing to negotiate on these matters, and since negotiation is supposed to be a two-way give and take, we are left wondering what it is that he is willing to give. We certainly know what he wants to take. Maybe the answer is behind Door Number 3?
Notwithstanding his list, the negotiators still meet, additional terrorists are slated to be released very soon and the gap between the parties is becoming a wedge that divides them further and further. Everyone will go through the motions, because that is what everyone else expects them to do. The “Palestinians” don’t want to end the conflict. They want to put an end to Israel, if not by war then by international de-legitimization. The threat to take the “Palestinian” case back to the great un-organization, the U.N., has been in the thoughts of the PLO long before “peace talks” were resumed. The threat of international isolation should also not sway Israel to yield to Washington’s demand and to commit national suicide in the process.
As for the possibility of causing these threats against Israel to become a reality if the talks fail, we’ll make it through. We survived Haman and Pharaoh, we’ll survive Obama, Abbas, the European Union and Iran (modern-day Persia). If only they knew how much they would be blessed if they would bless Israel and the consequences of aligning themselves against us (Gen. 12:3).
Well, enough for the moment about the negotiations. All of us need a break from it, but none of us should be broken by it.
Iran’s arms shipment to Gaza was intercepted by Israeli commandos.
The politicians did their thing, while Iran continued to do its thing. Iranian weapons intended for Gaza were captured by Israeli commandos this past Wednesday morning about a mile off of the coastline of the Red Sea. The ship was towed to Eilat, where it will undergo a thorough examination.
The arms shipment was originally flown from Syria to Iran, where they were then shipped by boat to Iraq and was on its way to Gaza when it was intercepted by Israel. The vessel, “Klos-C”, a Panamanian ship, was carrying dozens of M-302 missiles, which have a range of 100-200 kilometers (60-125 miles) and could have been “game changers” in the region. The ship was boarded by Israeli naval commandos around off the coast of Eritrea and Sudan, around 1,500 kilometers (930) miles south of Israel. P.M. Netanyahu referred to the capture of the lethal weapon systems, while speaking with Israeli reporters in Los Angeles, saying that the “over-arching objective of this mission was to thwart the delivery of lethal weapon systems to the Gaza Strip via Iran; the second objective was to expose Iran’s true face. Even as it holds talks with the world’s powers, it brazenly flouts international law and arms the Palestinian terrorists with game-changing weapons. We have been outing this activity on the world stage in a systematic way and without much fanfare. Israel has the right to defend itself, by itself, against any threat, and let me add this — anywhere in the world.” It should be noted that the M-302 missiles have a far greater range than any of the weaponry presently in use by the terrorist groups in Gaza.
Israeli Defense Minister Ya’alon placed the blame squarely on Iran, saying: “It has once again become clear that Iran continues to be the greatest exporter of terror in the world, with the express purpose of destabilizing the Middle East. This, while in complete violation of international law and abuse of open maritime trading routes…Iran supplies financial support, arms and training to terror organizations in the region and around the world, and its failed effort to transfer the weapons discovered this morning, is additional evidence. The Iranian regime continues to deceive the world; while it shows its smiling face it continues to be the biggest threat to world peace. This Iranian attempt to transfer weapons to the Gaza Strip is additional evidence that Gaza is a terrorist entity under Iranian auspices preparing to strike deep inside Israel.” Ya’alon couldn’t avoid making a jabbing comment towards those who are willing to trust Iran on the nuclear front, saying that this same regime, which is responsible for this arms shipment is “ostensibly smiling Iran that has tried to reach agreements with the West”, adding that he hoped “the world learns its lesson.” I have my doubts that it did.
In line with Ya’alon’s comments, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said: “Iran is still a terrorist state, all of it. Of course one can hold talks with the Iranians but any diplomatic engagement Iran partakes in is designed to obscure its affiliation with terrorism, because Iran has not changed — it is, at it core, a terrorist state whose goal is to boost terrorism all over the world.”
This is the fourth time that Israel has intercepted weapons on the high seas bound for Gaza. The first time was in May, 2001, when it captured the vessel Santorini off the Israeli coastline, loaded with explosives from the Hizb’allah and intended for “Palestinian” groups in the Gaza Strip. In January, 2002, Israeli forces boarded the Karine A freighter and confiscated 50 tons of missiles, mortars, rifles and ammunition intended for militants in Gaza. The same took place in November, 2009, when Israel commandeered the Iranian vessel MV Francop off the coast of Cyprus, capturing hundreds of tons of weaponry headed for the Hizb’allah in Lebanon.
What else made the news – besides the “peace talks”?
An estimated 170,000 rockets are presently aimed at Israel (a thought that’s enough to make one paranoid. Duh!);
Syria stepped up missile production, with a little help from its friend, Iran;
Israel is re-evaluating its official, neutral stance regarding the civil war in Syria, due to al-Qaeda-linked jihadis there;
Another missile site in Syria was bombed and Israel is accused of it;
Iran moves closer to becoming a nuclear country and is visited by an official of the P.A., as well as the Turkish P.M. (remember him?);
The U.S. says that Iran already has the capacity to build and deliver nuclear weapons (that’s not a thought that warms the cockles of my heart); Obama said he would veto new Iran sanctions bill, even while a recent poll indicates that most Americans would prefer a military strike to a nuclear Iran (I guess he’s too busy trying to come up with another go-no-where, threatening speech, while Russia blatantly annexed the Crimea);
The IDF established a field hospital in the Golan heights and treated over 700 Syrians, young and old, as the death toll in Syria passes 136,000 (one of the best ways to make friends from enemies is to medically treat them like friends – the same is true for Iraqi refugees);
Netanyahu’s son was reported to have a Norwegian girlfriend, from an evangelical background no less. This created a stir on a national level and prompted a denial from the Prime Minister, saying that they were not dating, but the two were only studying together in Tel Aviv – but photos taken in Norway would lead one to conclude that they are more than just study buddies;
Scarlett Johansson defended her involvement with SodaStream, saying that this Israeli, settlement-based company is actually a “bridge to peace”, but her Super Bowl commercial was nixed and she later stepped down as the global “ambassador” of Oxfam, after serving in such capacity for eight years, due to the disagreement with Oxfam over her endorsement of SodaStream (In an photo of the SodaStream Factory, in Mishor Adumim, the caption reads “If a European company would build a factory in the West Bank that employed a thousand Palestinian workers, paid them double the average wage and even built a mosque on-site, it would win worldwide praise and awards for humanitarianism. When a Jewish-owned Israeli company does it, it is called a ‘war crime’.” [see site of ElderOfZiyon.com] – tried to attach the photo, but after several unsuccessful tries, decided to let you check it at the above site);
Israeli same-sex couples are allowed to bring Thai surrogate babies into Israel;
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told attendees at the Davos economic conference that a complete IDF pullout from all “Palestinian areas” is necessary for peace, adding his comments of the benefits of successful peace talks and the dangers of their failure;
Finance Minister Yair Lapid said that Israel would face an economic crisis if the peace talks fail;
Rival groups in Gaza defy Hamas’ efforts to maintain calm;
Egypt marked the third anniversary of the Arab Spring turned Winter Frost, while El-Sissi acts to solidly his position;
NY Times columnist says peace proposal will be “the last train to a negotiated two-state solution” (I wanted to devote a full comment to this, but decided to hold off – if this columnist writes another anti-Israel article, I will reconsider and post it);
The Curator of the British Museum claimed that Noah’s Ark was round;
International Holocaust Remembrance Day reminded us, once again, of the depths of depravity to which evil can reach, while there is an increase in anti-Semitic acts in Europe, particularly in France and Italy;
Medical groups in Sweden and Denmark oppose ritual circumcision, but are willing to allow consensual circumcision at age 12; Denmark’s Agriculture and Food Minister signed a regulation effectively banning religious slaughter of animals, saying that “Animal rights come before religion”;
An attempt to impose a ban on “shechita” (Jewish ritual slaughter) and Islamic “halal” slaughter in England was opposed by Britain’s Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, who said that preventing this type of religious slaughter of animals would “remove the right of Jewish communities in this country, Muslim communities in this country, to stick to their religious beliefs about how they prepared food and how animals are slaughtered” adding, in a Jewish tabloid: “no government of which I’m part” would ban “shechita“;
German President apologized for the Nazi massacre of dozens of villagers in Greece;
Maximillian Schell, who won an Oscar for “Judgment at Nuremberg”, died at age 83;
We’ll close with this:
Israeli President Shimon Peres had an on-line Facebook session this past week and answered questions from people from around the world. It was a challenging task. Probably the most interesting question was posed by an Israeli, who asked: “For once and for all, which came first – the chicken or the egg?” Peres promptly responded: “the egg, without a doubt.” The President did not give an explanation for his definitive response, but one of those who gave feedback on the ensuing thread of comments about the chicken and the egg stated: “He’s old enough that he was probably there when they were created.” We’ll end with that.
Tried to catch up. There really was much more than just the dilly, dally, delay and stall tactics (hey, that could be a good name for a law firm!).
And THOSE were the weeks that were.
“‘Peace, peace,’ they say, when there is no peace.” (Jeremiah 8:11)
“‘I shall also grant peace in the land, so that you may lie down with no one making you tremble. I shall also eliminate harmful beasts from the land, and no sword will pass through your land’.” (Leviticus 26:6)
“In days to come Jacob will take root, Israel will bud and blossom and fill all the world with fruit.” (Isaiah 27:6)
“But you, Israel, My servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, Descendant of Abraham My friend, You whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, And called from its remotest parts And said to you, ‘You are My servant, I have chosen you and not rejected you. ‘Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’ “Behold, all those who are angered at you will be shamed and dishonored ; Those who contend with you will be as nothing and will perish. “You will seek those who quarrel with you, but will not find them, Those who war with you will be as nothing and non-existent. “For I am the LORD your God, who upholds your right hand, Who says to you, ‘Do not fear, I will help you’.” (Isaiah 41:8-13)
Bless, be blessed and be a blessing.
Have a simply great week.