Sunday, April 30, 2006

English Ain't Hebrew and vice versa

Here's one of the cabinet decisions made by Ehud Olmert's old government:-

The Cabinet discussed the issue of security responsibility for the 'Jerusalem envelope' and for the seam zone.

(Quoted from: Cabinet Communique - Apr 30, 2006 12:43:57 Information Department, Israel Foreign Ministry - Jerusalem)

Envelope is their translation for the Hebrew word "otefet" or "ma'atefet" which I would claim should be translation better as "wraparound" which has as a definition: shaped to follow a contour and that is what the fence does.

It is not an envelope even though the verb, to envelop means: to enclose or enfold completely with or as if with a covering.

Most people might visualize placing Jerusalem in an envelope and that wouldn't be the impression we'd like to convey.

Come one guys and gals in the Foreign Ministry, let's use better language. At least that if everything else isn't going that well on the diplomatic front.

Wanna Sign an Anti-Neturei Karta Petition?

Go here then.

You're not sure?

Here's how the petition starts:-

To: Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations, London

We, the undersigned, are shocked and dismayed by your financial dealings with the Neturei Karta sect both as a principle and by reference to the scale of funds and period of years this has been going on.

We regard this conduct as offensive to the Jewish community at large, and a gross betrayal of the trust of Adass synagogue members and the legacy of the movement’s founder, Rabbi Dr Solomon Schonfeld of blessed memory.

We, the undersigned, request that the UOHC issues a public apology for this conduct, to appear in a suitable community newspaper, confirming that they dissociate themselves and the Adass movement from the ethos and activities of the Neturei Karta sect and to pledge that they will have no further dealings with the NK or its followers.

Segev on Barenboim

Well, seems Haaretz's Tom Segev was there in the audience at YMCA to listen to Daniel Barenboim, almost like I (but I got to ask a question).

Here's his impressions:-

The grand piano standing on the YMCA stage in Jerusalem seemed to promise much, but Daniel Barenboim came here mostly to talk. The BBC invited him to give five radio lectures about music and life and Barenboim, as is his wont, also spoke repeatedly about Israelis and Palestinians. In contrast to the scandals that usually accompany his visits to Israel, this time he sounded almost conciliatory; the carefully selected audience loved him. Apparently, most Israelis have internalized his main message: The occupation hasn't brought Israel anything good and has to end. But the most acclaimed Israeli in the world today also turned out to be quite detached from what's going on now in Israel.

He speaks with great charm; he has nice ideas about the relationship between ear and eye, between language and music, and between silence and sound. He tosses in a joke here and there. He doesn't know that many child prodigies, he said, but he does know all their parents. No, there is no big difference between the audiences who come to his concerts in different countries: They all forget to turn off their cell phones. He has an opinion about the Oslo Accords: They failed because of the faulty relationship between content and time. The negotiations began suddenly, without preparation, and dragged on for too long, with too many interruptions. Barenboim comprehended this on the basis of his musical understanding, he said.

What happened in Oslo is this, said Barenboim - and he played the sonata's opening passage at a dizzying speed, skipped to the allegro, but just played one note and stopped. That's what the Oslo negotiations were like, he said. It was nice, but it didn't really explain Oslo, or the "Pathetique" for that matter, and who even knows if Beethoven would have supported the return of territories.

Barenboim told the BBC listeners that he is worried about Israel's future; the state won't survive long if it doesn't know how to integrate into the culture of the Middle East, he said, since Zionism is a European phenomenon and, in the eyes of the Arabs, Israel is a colonialist entity. To illustrate the European nature of Israeli society, he told this anecdote: When the violinist Jascha Heifetz came to play in Israel, the taxi driver asked him which cadenza he would include in a certain Beethoven concerto.

But that was in the 1950s. Today a man like Heifetz wouldn't take a taxi and the driver wouldn't be able to talk to him about cadenzas. Because in the years after Barenboim's childhood in Haifa and Tel Aviv, Israel has taken on a clearly Middle Eastern character: Mizrahiyut has become a part of its identity. Evidently, citizen of the world Barenboim isn't aware of this. He rightly calls for more teaching of the Arabic language, but very many Israelis are currently fluent in Arabic. Many of them learned the language during their army service in the territories, and their knowledge of the language didn't do much to give them more of an affinity for the Palestinians. Similarly, the Hebrew that Palestinians learn as prisoners in Israeli jails doesn't endear Israel to them that much, either.

Barenboim is bringing European culture to the Palestinians, though. This week, he conducted a Haydn symphony in Ramallah and also called on Israel to prefer Europe to America. In three months, Barenboim will complete his work with the Chicago Symphony. He's tired of hearing everywhere he go es that George Bush is no good; after all, Bush is only a product of American culture, said Barenboim, as if this was the worst possible thing that could be said about Bush, and about America. The people at the YMCA applauded. Not that they necessarily have something against America or Bush, but most of them were Israelis who affiliate themselves with the culture of Europe and not of the Middle East, like Barenboim.

I didn't applaud at the end. I did at the beginning. That's because the only thing, it seems, that Barenboim and I now share is a bit of 'Old World' charm and manners. Wait, just the manners.

Satmar Media Manipulation - So Grand

OrthoMom pointed me in this direction:

A press release to come and take pictures on the Shabbat of the upstart 'other' son.

Aron Teitelbaum Gathering in Williamsburg

Grand Rabbi Aron, the oldest son of Rabbi Moses Teitelbaum obm, arrived in Williamsburg, Wednesday (April 26) and, as the new Grand Rabbi, plans to reside there. Grand Rabbi Aaron's highly skilled qualifications and credentials as a speaker and charismatic person and as a dean and a rabbi who served Satmar in many positions for so many years make him well-qualified to serve as Grand Rabbi.
Full release after the jump.

Allen Cappelli (917) 355-2720
Corey Bearak (718) 343-6779/ (516) 343-6207



Grand Rabbi Aron Teitelbaum will lead many thousands of followers from around the world gathering under a huge tent (approximately 20,000 square feet) erected on Lee Avenue corner Taylor Street in Williamsburg for Shabbos (the Jewish Sabbath) starting this evening. Worship services will commence tonight (Friday, April 28) at 8:00 p.m., on Saturday morning (April 29) at 9:30 a.m. and Saturday evening at 7:00 p.m.

Grand Rabbi Aron, the oldest son of Rabbi Moses Teitelbaum obm, arrived in Williamsburg, Wednesday (April 26) and, as the new Grand Rabbi, plans to reside there. Grand Rabbi Aaron's highly skilled qualifications and credentials as a speaker and charismatic person and as a dean and a rabbi who served Satmar in many positions for so many years make him well-qualified to serve as Grand Rabbi. Grand Rabbi Aron presided as rabbi of Siget in Williamsburg until 1982, when he was promoted Chief Dean of Satmar College in Kiryas Joel; after three years he was promoted to be Rabbi of the (village) Shtetel Kiryas Joel where he has since lived. In 1999 the Satmar Congregation's lawful board selected him as Rabbi for the entire Satmar congregations and institutions around the world. that same lawful board selected Aron as Grand Rabbi.

If you plan to make a visit to Grand Rabbi Aron during the Shiva, or thereafter, please contact Rabbi Leib Glantz at (917) 647-7770.


WHO: Satmar community members from around the world
WHAT: Attend Shabbos worship services led by Grand Rabbi Aron Teitelbaum
WHEN: Friday, April 28 at 8:00 p.m. and Saturday, April 29 at 9:30 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.
WHERE: Lee Avenue corner Taylor Street in Williamsburg (Look for the Huge - approx. 20,000 sq. ft. - Tent)
SPECIAL NOTE: Please be respectful of the religious observances and practices.

"Stills" and "Prints" Only. Contact if any question. Thank you.

Government & Public Affairs
Community & Media Relations
P.O. Box 135
Glen Oaks, NY 11004
(718) 343-6779 facsimile (718) 831-1627

All I can add is:

Isn't this all so "Grand"?

Boom-Boom Barenboim

Gee, had I been aware of this interview I would have been, perhaps, a bit more aggressive with Daniel Barenboim:-

Stuart Wavell talks to Daniel Barenboim

Daniel Barenboim is a Jewish conductor who attracts lightning, most recently when an Israeli minister called him “a real Jew-hater, a real anti-semite”.

He has been accused of worse and it makes him angry...

...Barenboim has condemned as “abhorrent” the film Hilary and Jackie, about the cellist’s relationship with her sister, which depicted a sexually ravenous du Pré. It also brought into the open the fact that while she was ill Barenboim was conducting an affair with the Russian pianist Elena Bashkirova, now his wife. It was an open secret that they were living together in Paris during the last eight years of du Pré’s life, and had two sons, although he continued to care for du Pré in London.

After breaking the Israeli cultural taboo of giving a performance in Jerusalem of Richard Wagner, whose music sometimes accompanied Jews to the gas chambers, he was accused of “cultural rape”. “Someone had to explain to me the meaning of that expression,” he says wryly. While acknowledging Wagner was a virulent anti-semite, Barenboim contends that he was not responsible for Auschwitz.

Last summer his West-Eastern Divan Orchestra of young Israeli and Arab musicians set the Proms alight before playing Ramallah, the Palestinian town under virtual occupation on the West Bank. He feels less at ease in Israel, where he lived briefly as a child, than in Germany, where he runs the Berlin State Opera and is a champion of German music.


The reverberations of Barenboim’s tragic marriage to du Pré have faded, due largely to his candour about his seemingly callous affair with Bashkirova. Last year he broke his silence about du Pré to say: “I took care of Jackie. But I also had to make a living. And then in France I met Elena. I knew her father. One thing led to another. It wasn’t planned.”

Bashkirova was 19 and married to a mentor figure, the Latvian violinist Gidon Kremer, when she defected from the Soviet Union in 1979. In Barenboim she found “somebody who goes into a room and eats up all the light”.

Barenboim’s Divan orchestra of young musicians, which he co-founded in 1999 to “overcome the barrier of ignorance”, has won him many friends. Do they outnumber the enemies he has acquired in Israel? “I don’t think I have lost friends in Israel,” he says.

“The people who have become my enemies there, who are the political nomenklatura, never were my friends. The politicians use very offensive language and call me persona non grata.”

Heatedly, he recalls the “scandal” of his Wagner concert in Jerusalem. The only scandal was the politicians’ reaction, he retorts. “I had a 45-minute discussion with the public before we played it. I said I understood perfectly well if people couldn’t hear this music and they could leave if they wanted. Out of 3,000 people, maybe 100 left the hall.”

Then there was the fuss two years ago when, invited to accept an arts prize in the Knesset, he read out the Israeli declaration of independence to contrast the altruistic motives of the country’s founding fathers with the oppressive policy of the government towards Palestinians.

That earned him an accusation of being anti-semitic, which incenses him. “It is for me totally unacceptable from the point of view of Jewish history to be in a situation where we occupy land and another people for 39 years. I’m sorry, but you can’t call that anti-semitic. Exactly the opposite.”

He was called a “Jew-hater” by Limor Livnat, Israel’s education minister, last September after he refused to grant an interview to an Israel army radio reporter because she was wearing a military uniform at the launch of a book he co-wrote with a Palestinian.

“There were many people who came from Ramallah for the presentation and I thought it was in poor taste to come and ask for an interview in military uniform when for them the uniform is the symbol of the occupation.”

He despairs of the fantasy shared by Israelis and Palestinians that each will wake up one day and find the other has disappeared. “I have no problem with either of those dreams. The problem comes when people are not able any more to differentiate between dreams and reality.” Both sides deserve each other, he implies. “It suits both parties very well not to have a dialogue. But it is not a long-term solution because it ignores the most important fact for me, which is that the destinies of the two peoples are inextricably linked.”

“This horrible stamp of the Nazi period does not have to affect the way Germany perceives itself,” he declares. It’s a strange thing for an Argentinian Jew to say, but Barenboim the musical purist has never been averse to striking discordant notes

Arab Refugees

Well, seems we have another Arab refugee problem but this time, it's not Israel's fault.

AP is reporting that Violence Uproots 100,000 Iraq Families

But notice, they can't get their numbers right.

Funny, 58 years after Israel's War of Independence, we still can't get the proper numbers of Arab refugees either.

Here's part of the story.

Sectarian violence has forced about 100,000 families across Iraq to flee their homes, a top Iraqi official said. At least 17 people, including an American soldier, were killed Saturday in fighting [that] estimate was higher than any offered so far by Iraqi officials, who have placed the figure at about 15,000 families, or about 90,000 people.

Dr. Salah Abdul-Razzaq, spokesman of a government body that runs Shiite religious institutions, put the number of displaced Shiite families at 13,750 nationwide, or about 90,000 people.

That includes 25,000 Shiites who have fled since the bombing of a Shiite mosque in Samarra on Feb. 22 triggered a wave of attacks on Sunni mosques and clerics.

The hardline Sunni clerical Association of Muslim Scholars said about 980 Sunni families, or about 5,000 people, have left five mixed areas of Baghdad in recent weeks and moved in with relatives in Sunni-dominated communities outside the capital.

However, the U.S. military insists that even the lower estimates appear exaggerated.

U.S. command spokesman Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch said this week that American troops investigate all reports of displaced people and have found no evidence of "widespread movement" away from religiously mixed areas.

Accurate counts are difficult because many people simply move in with relatives. Despite U.S. claims, it is clear that substantial numbers of people have relocated to areas where their communities form the majority.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Polish Women in NY in Satmar Homes

Looking around, I found this from 2001 on day workers in New York.

It's a section of a longer piece entitled:
On the Corner
New York’s Undocumented Day Laborers Fight for Their Piece of the Big Apple
by Michael


Wordlessly, the negotiation has already begun. The Jewish woman, a member of the ultra-orthodox Satmar sect, looks tentatively at the Polish woman, approaches her uncertainly. The Polish woman ignores her, but monitors her advance out of the corner of her eye. The Polish woman has mouths to feed in her country. The Satmar woman needs her house cleaned. They come to do business on Williamsburg's south side, on the corner of Hooper and Lee.

"You busy, busy? You want to work?" asks the Satmar woman, looking a bit forlorn in her housedress, slippers, and wig.

The question begets a question: "How many hours?" asks Teresa, the Polish woman.

"Four, maybe five."

"How much you pay?"


"No, I charge eight."

"I pay seven, my regular woman is sick today."

"Bye," says Teresa, turning her back.

The Satmar woman works her way through the crowd of Polish women, but other potential employers are arriving: housewives, husbands in long black coats, even young girls—children, really—proffering scraps of paper with their grandmother's address. Demand is high today—the Sabbath begins at sundown; the local housewives have shopping to do, dinner to cook, numerous young children to care for, and a house that needs to be cleaned. Those who wait too long will have to settle for one of the brown-skinned women who stand near the light pole, speaking Spanish, or even Marie, the Haitian woman who sits by herself on a milk crate and is always the last one chosen.

The Jewish woman works her way back to Teresa, "OK. Eight," she says. "I pay eight." "No, I change my mind," says Teresa, and turns her back again, leaving the woman staring at her platinum-blond dye job, a stunned look on her face. Loud enough for the Satmar woman to hear, Teresa says, "She tell me four to five hours, that means three and a half. And she's a liar; I see it. I finish and she pays me seven, then we fight. You like the Jewish people? I hate them. When I see them on the street, I feel nauseous. She like a witch."

Teresa's attitude is not unique. Resentment is high between the Satmar Jews of Williamsburg and a hundred or so Polish day laborers who clean for them. A half-century after the war, the slaughter of their brethren burns the Jews like a live wire. Ask nearly any Satmar to define the neighborhood and he or she will tell you, "We're a community of Holocaust survivors." They're keenly aware that Poland's large Jewish population was annihilated during the war. Ask the Polish women how they like their work, and many ignore the question: "The Jews blame us for the death camps in Poland," they say. Echoing the Polish government's longtime position, they add, "It was the Nazis that killed the Jews. Not the Polish people."

"We want to be respected," the Polish women say, fairly seething as they talk about standing on the corner like prostitutes, about scrubbing someone else's floor, about the good jobs they had in Poland before the end of Communism. ("How can they say they are so religious? God doesn't want you to be so cheap about money," says one disgruntled woman.) Now the Poles are on the street corner, asking the Jews for a job, Jews with numbers tattooed on their arms, Jews for whom the names of Polish towns — Auschwitz, Treblinka, Sobibor — are etched in memory. The irony is lost on no one.

Many of the cleaning women are divorced or widowed. They come to New York on tourist visas and so do not have green cards. The corner supplies work, friendship, and referrals — where to find an apartment, a doctor, or a cheap meal — and it keeps them off the government's radar screen. Most are of a certain age; some, like Kaya, are elderly. Her hair is thin and her teeth are bad. "I wouldn't be here if the Communists were still in power—everybody worked, we had free health care," she says, speaking through a translator. She first came to New York two years ago on a tourist visa. "The work was so hard, and I missed my family. I cried every night. I lost 20 pounds. They give everyone a false view of how life is in America," she says. A nervous breakdown sent her back to Poland.

She arrived home to find her children unemployed, her grandchildren unable to afford college. She remembers thinking, "My life is over, but my family still has their life ahead of them." She returned to Williamsburg, where she lives in a single room with three other women. Her share of the rent is $130. She makes about $1200 a month, never eats out. Worn-out dresses hang off her bony frame. Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 2:30, she waits with the alcoholics and the infirm at the Williamsburg Christian Church for the free lunch. Every available dollar is sent home.

Her grandchildren are back in college. She pays for their education with 60 hours a week, scrubbing and dusting and wiping. She cleans the refrigerator gaskets with a matchstick, as she is asked, but won't scrub the floors on her hands and knees with a shmatte (rag), as the Jews request. She insists on using a mop. This costs her work and is a major source of tension between the Poles and the Jews. The Polish women speak almost no English. On a recent morning, a street corner argument went like this:

"No shmatte—mopo, yes," says the Polish woman.

"Yes shmatte, shmatte, no mopo," replies the Jewish woman.

"Yes, mopo, yes mopo. No shmatte," The Polish woman makes a face and points to her knees.

The Jewish woman makes a circular wiping motion. One last "Yes, shmatte," and the Polish woman folds, following her new boss sullenly down Lee Avenue.

The Satmars seem genuinely bewildered, even wounded by the Polish women's complaints. "We clean our own floors on our hands and knees; it's cleaner that way," says Sarah Stern, a local resident who has used Polish cleaning women for years. As for the wages: "They get off the boat and the next day they are making more than minimum wage. We usually pay them seven dollars an hour. We are poor people; the average family here has 12 children; many of the husbands make less than they're paying the cleaning woman. How can we pay them more?" A prominent local rabbi asks simply, "If they can make more elsewhere, why are they here working for us?"

They can't make more. In Greenpoint, home to New York's Polish community, "Everyone says, 'Don't go to Williamsburg. You'll make the least money there, you'll get stuck there, you'll never learn English,' " explains Tomasz Lubas, a social worker at the Polish & Slavic Center. House cleaning is the standard route into the economy for Polish women—they are scrubbing homes all over New York City. The younger women—and those who speak some English—work through agencies or word of mouth. They make $10 to $12 an hour cleaning homes on the Upper East Side or in Park Slope. Hooper and Lee is the corner of last resort.

All through the day the Polish women come and go from the corner, finishing one job and returning to find another. An hour before sunset, the sidewalks are filled with men in black coats, and the Sabbath warning siren blows, sounding out across the rooftops. The Polish women work more quickly now, finishing the last of their cleaning. If the sun has already set, and the Jews are proscribed from touching switches or machinery, they ask the cleaning women to turn on the lights and stove before they leave. The Polish women oblige, and then, with throbbing hands, pocket their money and head back to rented rooms.

Friday, April 28, 2006

There is Just Too Much Hate

This I find hard to believe, even after all the Pals. have been engaged in.

Here, read:-

Sri Lankan Bomber Was Pregnant After All

The Tamil suicide bomber who targeted Sri Lanka's top general used her pregnancy to meticulously plan the attack, an investigator said. Officials previously said the bomber had only pretended to be pregnant, but the investigator said hospital records showed she actually was.

Her attack Tuesday killed 11 people and wounded army commander Lt. Gen. Sarath Fonseka and 25 others. It unleashed fighting between government troops and Tamil Tiger rebels that has posed the most serious threat yet to a four-year cease fire.

The military launched two days of air strikes against the rebels on Tuesday and Wednesday in apparent retaliation for the suicide bombing. The rebels say the strikes killed 12 and sent thousands fleeing their homes.

The bomber identified as 21-year-old Anoja Kugenthirasah used her pregnancy to conceal explosives and get inside a maternity clinic in the army's heavily fortified headquarters where she attacked the commander, said the investigator, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

The woman is believed to have been a member of the dreaded Black Tigers suicide squad.

Fonseka, a battle-hardened soldier with 35 years in the infantry, was appointed to the military's top post after President Mahinda Rajapakse took office in November. He became a formidable enemy of the Tamil Tigers.

The investigator said Kugenthirasah had fake identification showing she was the wife of a clerk working for the Sri Lankan army and indicating she was pregnant.

Every Tuesday, the military hospital inside army headquarters in the capital Colombo holds a maternity clinic, and Kugenthirasah had visited three times, getting to know the guards and learning Fonseka's routine, the investigator said. The general went home for lunch around 1:30 p.m.

On Tuesday, Kugenthirasah arrived a half-hour ahead of the clinic opening and stood in front of the hospital, which is beside the road that Fonseka took when he left the headquarters.

As the general's car approached, she moved closer. One of Fonseka's motorcycle escorts shouted at her to get away, but she detonated the bomb shortly afterward. Five of Fonseka's escorts were among those killed in the blast.

To kill your own unborn?

Faith Can Work

I live at Shiloh (in case you haven't been reading my blog postings or my profile).

Shiloh, of course, is where Channah prayed for a son and where she was blessed to become pregnant and a year later, she gave birth to one who became Samuel the Prophet, "The Seer".

Lisa Rubin, who previously managed the Tel, began a custom of celebrating a women's day at Shiloh including a session devoted to those women who have been having difficulty become pregnant. Many women over the years have come to pray here at the Tel, Jewish and non-Jewish. And there's a site devoted to the issue which the woman below mentions.

Lisa just sent me this which I am quoting in its entirety:-


You might be wondering how I came across this Tefilos Chana card, printed in the very place where Chana davened for her son Shmuel, in Tel Shiloh. And why I decided to offer it to A Time to be included in their pregnancy loss packet...

When my first child was stillborn late in pregnancy, I searched for comfort wherever I could find it. The pain was unimaginable. In my haze of exhaustion (physical and emotional), I looked for answers. Why did this happen to me? Where was Hashem? Why was my child taken from me? Why was I being punished? But the more I searched, the more I questioned, and the dread grew deeper and deeper. I was suffocating. Nobody understood the depth of my pain. People were hurtful and insensitive. The result: I alienated myself from family and friends.

But one day, I found understanding, in the place I'd least expect it. I found it in Chana. I happened upon a website, called Chana's prayer, where I read briefly about Chana’s struggle with infertility. I related to her. Peninah picked on her. She was so distraught, she had no appetite. Her grief was so real and so human. And in all her sorrow, she could find no solace, so she turned to the only place she could - Hashem. She cried bitter tears, laying the foundation for prayer for future generations.

It made me realize how the affect of infertility and pregnancy loss has never changed. Perhaps psychologists have found new ways to classify our grief, or new methods for us to deal with our pain. But if we go back thousands of years, we find Chana, struggling with the same emotions. The world has changed drastically, yet the reality of this particular loss (be it the loss of the dream of motherhood, or the physical loss of a child in pregnancy) has carried through generations.

The next day I went straight to the bookstore and purchased the Book of Shmuel. I read Chana's prayer, pouring my heart out as Chana had, asking Hashem for comfort. And I found it. Not because the pain was lessened or the loss was any different, but because I realized, there are no answers, but there is always prayer. There is prayer wherever there is Chana. Chana stands for the 3 Mitzvos of a women. "Chet" for "Challah", "Nun" for "Niddah", and "Hey" for "Hadlakot Haneirot". Right there, in Chana's name, she shows us the 3 auspicious times for a women to pray. When she takes Challah, when she goes to the Mikvah, and when she lights the Shabbos candles.

The loss of a child, be it early on or late in pregnancy, is something so beyond our understanding. The pain is so real, yet there is little to ease it. When all the hurt, anger, bitterness and despair, fill me - that is precisely when I feel there is no where to turn but Hashem. The loss is beyond the comfort of friends or anything physical. And that's what made me realize, I need to turn to something greater than myself, greater than this world, because that is the only place I can find comfort. No-one, not even our parents, or our spouses, know the pain in our hearts. But Hashem, our creator, knows it all.

And so, with this awakening, I got in touch with a wonderful women, whose family lives in Shiloh, the place where the Mishkan was built and where Chana prayed for Shmuel. She sent me this lovely card, with the words of Chana, and I keep it close to me. When I make Challah, when I go to the Mikvah, and when I light Shabbos candles, I turn to Chana's Prayer, and say it from the depths of my heart. When I feel like I'm drowning and I have no where to turn, I turned to Chana's Tefillah and I ask Hashem for comfort.

And that is why I want to give it to you. Find comfort in Chana's understanding. Find comfort in prayer. Find comfort in Hashem.

For me, Chana's Tefillah bridged the gap of generations, and I imagine myself standing in prayer, just as she did, hoping that Hashem bestow upon me the blessing of children, as He did for her.

You may wonder why I felt so connected to Chana. It's the understanding in my mind, the comfort in my soul, but it's more than that. My name, is Chana.

A Member of A Time

(Please feel free to put my letter in the packet with the Tefillas Chana Card).

May we all merit the miracle of fertility.

Demotional Demography

Interim PM Olmert met with participants in the International Bible Contest for
Jewish Youth on Wednesday and said :-

The State of Israel is strong but there are still those who want to destroy it. The proof of our strength is in maintaining our independence in the
present and the assurance of our future. We will be unable to assure our future if we do not recall our past, the base of which is in the Bible. The Bible is not just a book that reflects, and gives expression to, our faith but also describes what are our foundations, where we came from and where we need to go, while giving deep expression to the Jewish People together with its Land. Our future is the connection between the Land and our historical base, and this people which you are a part of.

He then responded to participants' questions and, in reply to one, stated:-

On the diplomatic issue, Interim Prime Minister Olmert said: "It is impossible to achieve peace merely by returning territory but without returning territory it is also impossible to achieve peace. The question is not whether the
territories are part of the Land of Israel, because they are. All territory between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea is, in my view, an inseparable part of
our Land and it cannot take them from us in the historical sense. The Land has always been ours. All of the places mentioned in the Bible are deeply tied to our people, our yearnings and our prayers.

Sometimes reality is complicated and another people lives in parts of our Land. Therefore, we must decide whether to lose Israel's identity as a Jewish state or to give up part of the territory so that Israel will remain a Jewish state. The decisive majority of the people prefer to maintain the Jewish identity of the State of Israel and in order to preserve its Jewish character we must compromise over territories.

That last bit about decisive majority - a bit of BS.

Not only is he obfuscating about numbers and history but he's fibbing about what type of majoity he has. He is exploiting the fact that no one really knows what are the absolute demographics, the trends, the forecasts, the movement, the birth rates, etc. And on this shakey basis, he throws away the Land of Israel.

The Kindest Cut

Circumcision is still a good thing, even for goyim.

That's what they think in Africa as reported in the NYTimes.

For well over a decade, southern Africans have battled the spread of H.I.V. with everything from condoms and abstinence campaigns to doses of antiretroviral drugs for pregnant women — and yet the epidemic continues unabated.

Now a growing number of clinicians and policy makers in the region are pointing to a simple and possibly potent weapon against new infections: circumcision for men.

Armed with new studies suggesting that male circumcision can reduce the chance of H.I.V. infection in men, and perhaps in women, health workers in two southern African nations are pressing to make circumcisions broadly available to meet what they call a burgeoning demand.

Dr. Kasonde Bowa, a urologist at the hospital, says about 400 patients a month request the procedure — eight times as many as the surgeons can accommodate. "One reason we decided to set up this service was the increasing evidence in the research in relation to reducing H.I.V.," the virus that causes AIDS, he said. "The evidence is very strong."

In Swaziland, the Health Ministry backed a workshop in January to train 60 doctors in circumcision, responding to what it called a surge in demand. Studies indicate that circumcision may protect against H.I.V., the ministry said, adding that the service should be more available.

...Data from earlier studies is "excitingly tantalizing, and the potential effectiveness looks pretty good," said Kevin O'Reilly, who is in charge of H.I.V. prevention for the health organization. But it must be confirmed, he said, "before we officially declare that circumcision is a policy that should be adopted by countries."

"We don't want to steer countries wrong," he said.

...An analysis of data in 2002 cited by the Agency for International Development found that 38 studies, mostly in Africa, appeared to show that uncircumcised men were more than twice as likely to be infected than circumcised men.

Funny, though, not a word about Jews, Judaism and brit milah.

Arabs and the Holocaust and 'The Palestine Question'

One Nicholas Jacobs has published a letter in the Times Literary Supplement (known as the TLS) and has touched on a subject I have always included in my reasonings about who was right and who was wrong during the Mandate days.

First, the letter:-

Palestine and Israel

Sir, – In his review of Jacqueline Rose’s The Question of Zion (April 21), Walter Laqueur fails to address one of Rose’s most interesting and original suggestions – namely that the venom with which some Israeli Jews attack and demonize Palestinians is empowered by suppressed and unmastered Jewish shame at the Holocaust having been allowed to happen. Such ideas surely have to be addressed, and with them the consequences of the real historical linkage between the Holocaust and the Palestine–Israel conflict since at least 1945. That one side in the conflict understandably feels itself empowered by a charge stored up as a result of millions of dead, which seems to justify almost any action, constitutes a lethal danger not only to itself and its perceived enemies, but also to the wider world.

26 Lady Margaret Road, London NW5.

I am not quite sure what Mr. Jacobs intent was but for me, I have always said that due to Arab riots in Mandate Palestine, the British gave up on the Jews of Europe and collaborated with Hitler in their destruction. In some case, as Bernard Wasserstein has documented, they actually and directly participated in the killing of thousands of Jews by preventing their exit from European ports.

Diplomats and others actively and knowlingly doomed Jews to their deaths and the reason was to placate the Arabs.

Of course, the Mufti was in league with Hitler as is well documented. (and here and here, too).

So, what we have is an under-studied aspect of the Arab-Israel/Zionist conflict. Were not the Arans responsible, in some way, for the results of the Holocaust?

Beaming Out The Truth

The father of Todd Beamer (*), a passenger on the ill-fated United 93 flight - the third plane on September 11, 2001 - the one that was forced down by the passengers published an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal.

It has some relevance for one of Israel's problems: the weakness of the spirit.


We need to be mindful that this enemy, who made those holes in our landscape and caused the deaths of some 3,000 of our fellow free people, has a vision to personally kill or convert each and every one of us. This film reminds us that this war is personal. This enemy is on a fanatical mission to take away our lives and liberty--the liberty that has been secured for us by those whose names are on those walls in Battery Park and so many other walls and stones throughout this nation. This enemy seeks to take away the free will that our Creator has endowed in us. Patrick Henry got it right some 231 years ago. Living without liberty is not living at all.

The passengers and crew of United 93 had the blessed opportunity to understand the nature of the attack and to launch a counterattack against the enemy. This was our first successful counterattack in our homeland in this new global war--World War III.

This film further reminds us of the nature of the enemy we face. An enemy who will stop at nothing to achieve world domination and force a life devoid of freedom upon all. Their methods are inhumane and their targets are the innocent and unsuspecting. We call this conflict the "War on Terror." This film is a wake-up call. And although we abhor terrorism as a tactic, we are at war with a real enemy and it is personal.

There are those who would hope to escape the pain of war. Can't we just live and let live and pretend every thing is OK? Let's discuss, negotiate, reason together. The film accurately shows an enemy who will stop at nothing in a quest for control. This enemy does not seek our resources, our land or our materials, but rather to alter our very way of life.

I encourage my fellow Americans and free people everywhere to see "United 93."

Be reminded of our very real enemy. Be inspired by a true story of heroic actions taken by ordinary people with victorious consequences. Be thankful for each precious day of life with a loved one and make the most of it. Resolve to take the right action in the situations of life, whatever they may be. Resolve to give thanks and support to those men, women, leaders and commanders who to this day (1,687 days since Sept. 11, 2001) continue the counterattacks on our enemy and in so doing keep us safe and our freedoms intact.

Don't you agree that many people in Israel could benefit from the words of Todd's father, David Beamer?


Remember Todd?

At first Mr Beamer thought it was going down. But then the aircraft evened out and seemed to veer north.

"As a result of that and maybe some information he was getting from other passengers who were on cell phones, he started to get an understanding of the gravity of the situation as far as what the end result was going to be and he told the operator that," Lisa Beamer said.

Her husband asked the operator to call his family to tell his wife and children that he loved them.

Then the two of them said the Lord's Prayer together.

"Soon after that he told her that he and some other passengers had plans to jump on the hijacker with the bomb and take him down," Mrs Beamer said.

The last words the operator heard him say were directed at someone else in the background: "Are you ready? Let's roll".

Mrs Beamer said news of her husband's final words almost brought a smile to her face.

"That was a phrase that was very Todd," she said.

It was something he normally said to his sons as the family prepared to leave the house.

The telephone connection remained open after that, allowing the operator to eavesdrop on the general commotion.

She was still on the line when the plane crashed.

Mrs Beamer said the news of her husband's remarkable courage was "a blessing" that would help her family through the years ahead.

"People live their lives and don't leave a legacy of faith and hope and love that Todd has left," said Mrs Beamer

(Kippah Tip: CK)

Please, All the Important News

As a media critic columnist (Jerusalem Post; Besheva) and radio presenter (Arutz 7), I need to mention this.

I checked both the Hebrew and English news sites of INN and Arutz 7 and there was no mention as of this writing of two stories that appeared in today's newspapers.

First, in Maariv, page 3, the appointing of Arik Sharon and Ehud Olmert's media advisor, Eyal Arad, by the Gush Etzion Regional Council to help them in the matter of relocating the security barrier being constructed there. Eyal Arad?

Eyal Arad??????

Second, in Yedioth Ahronot, page 11, the arrest of Kedumim residents, young men who serve in the community's security intervention team, for smoking and growing pot.

Now, I am not saying these items are true. And if they weren't, all the more reason to publish some sort of reaction by Shaul Goldstein of Gush Etzion or Daniella Weiss of Kedumim.

But nothing?

Maybe I missed some Internet broadcast but the site is read by more people.

What happened?

Thursday, April 27, 2006

In the (BBC) Trenches

Here's the link for the BBC 4 program on archeology and politics I informed you about.

Click on 26 April to hear it (I'm about 12 minutes into the program).

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Yuval Neeman is Dead

Yuval Neeman is dead.

Professor, veteran politician Yuval Ne'eman dies at 81

Former minister Professor Yuval Ne'eman died Wednesday in the Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv. Ne'eman, who was brought to the hospital three days earlier after suffering a severe brain stroke, died at the age of 81.

I served as his political "advisor", in charge of International Contacts, when he was Science Minister, 1990-1991. And as part of Techiya's parliamentary staff, I worked closely with him for a good few years, actually a decade now that I count them, in the Knesset.

He was brilliant. Very professorial, positive and negative, but completely devoted to Israel, the land and its security. It was difficult for him in politics. Very analytical and at times, detached from certain 'human interest' elements of issues.

My commiserations to Devorah, his devoted wife.

Rational Thinking (not)

Found this excerpt here:

I am a victim of state violence. My natural and civil rights as a mother have been violated and are violated because I have to fear the day my son would reach his 18th birthday and be taken away from me to be the game tool of criminals such as Sharon, Bush, Blair and their clan of blood-thirsty, oil-thirsty, land thirsty generals.

The lady in question lost her daughter to Arab suicide bombers in Jerusalem's Ben-Yehuda Street and blames Bibi, her childhood friend for the death. She's the daughter of General Matityahu Peled who was an MK in the joint Arab-Israeli List for Change party. I know her husband well, Rami. He went to Ramallah a few years back to donate blood.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Carter's 'Colonization' Crap

Jimmy Carter is at it again.

At a site called, no less, Truthful, he had on March 9, 2006 an article entitled
Colonization of Palestine Precludes Peace
which represents his observation of the Palestinian elections in January.


Israel's occupation of Palestine has obstructed a comprehensive peace agreement in the Holy Land...Down through the years, I have seen despair and frustration evolve into optimism and progress and, even now, we need not give up hope for permanent peace for Israelis and freedom and justice for Palestinians if three basic premises are honored:

1. Israel's right to exist - and to live in peace - must be recognized and accepted by Palestinians and all other neighbors;

2. The killing of innocent people by suicide bombs or other acts of violence cannot be condoned; and

3. Palestinians must live in peace and dignity, and permanent Israeli settlements on their land are a major obstacle to this goal.

So facile, so simplistic, so wrong.

Convergence? That's Not Right

My letter published in the Jerusalem Post on April 2:-

Sir, - The Jerusalem Post has decided on the word "convergence" to translate the Hebrew hitkansut, the new term bandied about by media and politicians to describe Ehud Olmert's regurgitated disengagement plan ("Olmert's obligations," Editorial, March 30).

Converging is defined as moving toward union or uniformity; coming together to unite in a common interest or focus and tending to merge.

Now if Israel and Jordan reunited territorially, as they were prior to the September 1923 British decision to partition the original Mandatory area, I could understand the word's use. However, what is being planned is to yield up more of the Jewish national home and aid in the creation of a third political entity in what was once a single geopolitical unit.

Mr. Olmert is really suggesting that Israel turn in to itself by reducing the land mass it controls and surrendering it to a foreign power. Perhaps, then, "self-reduction" or even "diminution" is the word?

Even the Satmar are "Settlers"

Why is it that when Jews move to a location, build it up out of nothing and take up full residency including homes, schools, synagogues and businesses, it's always called "settling"? And the people are "settlers"?

Even when it happens in New York.

Don't believe me?

Here's an excerpt from the report on the Satmar Rebbe's death in the New York Times:-

By the time Moses died, the Williamsburg enclave had a population of about 35,000, spilling over into adjacent neighborhoods. The settlement in Kiryas Joel, in Orange County, had grown to more than 15,000 people after being established by a few settlers in the last years of Joel's life.

Now, is that not amazing?

P.S. That a Satmar Rebbe died on Holocaust Day indicates there is a God out there.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Barenboim Event

Well, I'm back from the Daniel Barenboim Reith Lecture which was held at the YMCA (first time I've ever been in that hall, although I've had orange juice there previously).

First off, here's how the question was read out:

"Mr. Barenboim, you have been described as "A courageous idealist who believes that symphonic music can heal human conflict" and during a visit to Ramallah in August 2003, you said of the Arab-Israel conflict that "there is no military solution, either morally or strategically."

You have asserted further recently, and in your words just now that there is "a very major difference between power and strength…that if you attack a chord with more power than you are going to sustain it, it has no strength."

But is it not possible that you are simply fiddling away, to misappropriate a metaphor, extending succor to a terrorist entity now supported by a popular vote, while Israel's security is endangered by the sounds of Kassam rockets, this despite the withdrawal from Gaza, as well as the loud bangs of suicide bombers who continue to kill its citizens and tourists?

Perhaps it is the Arabs who are mistakenly using too much force?"

In his longwinded reply, he totally ignored the invitation implicit in my question to denounce and condemn terror.

So, when he beagn winding down, I still had the microphone next to me and I asked him "so, are we not to hear a condemnation of terror from you?" and that was when he made a few guttural noises that one could interpret as being against violence.

But later on, (the program started about 7:10 PM and finished 8:40 PM), he noted that Israeli politicians (referring to Ehud Barak) had said they would have joined up with Fatah had they been born Palestinian. He also completely skipped over the fact that there was Arab terror prioor to 1967 and insisted that it all started then.

He then made the astounding statement, as is usual with critics of the snotty post-Zionist, second-generation anti-Zionist gang, that Israel really doesn't belong in the Middle East as long as it keeps its European roots and that's why he's trying to adapt Arab music. That Israel is less than 50% Ashkenazi now and that Mizrachi music actually dominates the airwaves is not in his notebook.

He kept on repeating that he was not dealing in politics and who was historically right or wrong while intimating that he knew that the Arabs weren't lily-white but kept on concluding that it's all Israel's fault.

I guess it'll all come out in the transcript eventually.

Yehuda Litani, 30 years reporting on Yesha for Haaretz and Jerusalem Post, I have discovered, is tone-deaf. Why? Well, he got up to make a comment that went "the only music we hear in Jerusalem is the call of the muezzin in the morning and the birds and, in the evening, the call of the muezzin and the birds. Someone afterwards asked him rhetorically "what, that's the only sounds you hear?". What an idiot.

By the way, while this audience was a majority of the bleeding-heart liberal variety (even though I did earn some applause), there had been a Thursday night lecture at Notre Dame to which Palestinians had been invited, exclusively Barenboim had said.

Gee, who now is being politically correct and discriminatory?

Another BBC Appearance

Due to a bereavement, I have been called in to substitute and be present at this event:

Lecture 5: The Power of Music

Venue: Jerusalem International YMCA, Jerusalem
Broadcast: Friday 5 May, 9am
Repeated: Saturday 6 May, 10.15pm

to be broadcast on BBC's Radio 4.

It is being recorded tonight and I am to ask one of the first questions. I doubt, though, if I'll get a chance to correct what I presume will be his misrepresentation of facts.

The question I've formulated, how it will come out, I don't know, is this:

Mr. Barenboim, you have been described as "A courageous idealist who believes that symphonic music can heal human conflict" and during a visit to Ramallah in August 2003, you said of the Arab-Israel conflict that "there is no military solution, either morally or strategically."

You assert that there is "a very major difference between power and strength…that if you attack a chord with more power than you are going to sustain it, it has no strength."

But is it not possible that you are simply fiddling away, to misappropriate a metaphor, extending succor to a terrorist entity now supported by a popular vote, while Israel's security is endangered by the sounds of Kassam rockets, this despite the withdrawal from Gaza, as well as the loud bangs of suicide bombers who continue to kill its citizens and tourists?

The Name Sounds Familiar

Somehow, the name Dov Charney sounds familiar:-

Dov Charney proudly refers to himself as a "Jewish hustler." But he is quite possibly the most unorthodox Jew in the history of the shmatte business.

A complicated, charismatic and occasionally controversial figure — he is currently facing a sexual harassment suit — Charney is so acutely in tune with the cultural moment that he is somehow able to use the plain blank T-shirts that he sells to convey potent messages concerning contemporary sex and politics.

Charney, who is 37, originally made a name for himself as a designer and wholesaler of artisanal T-shirts made from softer, more finely knitted cotton than the commercial standard and cut for a snug, body-accentuating fit. (Alex Kuczynski, the Critical Shopper columnist for The New York Times, has written that they are "as close to the Platonic ideal of T-shirt as you can get.") In the past few years, however, he has become a peculiar sort of retail king.

In the summer of 2003, when Charney rented a storefront gallery in Echo Park for an exhibit of photographs taken by his friend Luca Pizzaroni, it only occurred to him as an afterthought to offer some T-shirts for sale as well. The next day, when he discovered that he had rung up $1,500 in sales, he began signing more leases in hip neighborhoods in other cities. As of January, Charney had established more than 110 American Apparel stores in Los Angeles, New York, Montreal, London, Paris, Frankfurt, Seoul, Tokyo and Tel Aviv, with plans to open another 40 by year's end. Sales of American Apparel goods in 2005 totaled approximately $250 million, and the company's L.A. factory, which now employs more than 3,500 people and turns out more than 9,000 separate items, is the single largest garment factory in the United States.

The first-movers of culture, whom Charney refers to as Young Metropolitan Adults, have embraced an aggressively sexualized world, a continuum that includes the hip, subversive and degenerate aesthetic of Charney's friends at Vice magazine, Web sites like Suicide Girls and photographers like Terry Richardson, more stupidly raunchy phenomena like the "Girls Gone Wild" video series or Paris Hilton and, increasingly, the actual intersection of pornography with mainstream entertainment. In this context, the adjective "pervy," a word that often appears in accounts of Charney, is itself a perverse sign of approbation.

I said it sounds familiar, not that I'm perverse.

So, maybe he didn't go to the same Yeshiva as I (but he could have).



Nope, I didn't know him:-

Charney was raised in Montreal by artsy parents: his father, Morris, an architect, and his mother, Sylvia Safdie, a painter and sculptor (and also the sister of Canada's renowned architect, Moshe Safde) raised him in an environment that encouraged creativity and social activism. Childhood friends say that growing up Dov was hyperactive and attention-hungry.

Friday, April 21, 2006


By the time the legal battles and appeals had all gone through, Porter was ordered to pay £43,321,644. By then, Shirley and an Alzheimered Sir Leslie were resident in Tel Aviv. As she wrote on a postcard to her son, “love from sunny Israel”, a land which has institutionalized Porter’s belief that the solution to political problems is a brutally creative approach to housing and rehousing.

The above quotation can be found here in a TLS book review.

The reviewer, A.N. Wilson *, I fear, either doesn't like Israel or doesn't like Jews or both.

I've written a letter and I'll post that up a bit later.

But is you want to write, too, here's the address:

Remember, if anyone, it was the Arabs who were involved in unhousing the Jews. They were the ones to initiate an ethnic cleansing policy in Hebron, Safed, Gush Etzion, etc. beginning at the start of the Mandate.


Seems that someone else doesn't like Wilson:

A.N.Wilson is fond of name-calling


From today's NYTimes:-

JERUSALEM, April 20 — The new Palestinian interior minister from Hamas named a well-known militant to a senior security position on Thursday and announced the creation of a force to be made up of militants.

The Palestinian interior minister, Siad Siam, a Hamas leader, said the militant Jamal Abu Samhadana would be a senior supervisor in the ministry, which oversees several Palestinian security branches, including the police.

Mr. Samhadana was a lieutenant colonel in the Palestinian security forces before the latest Palestinian uprising began in 2000. But he left his post and has been best known in recent years as the leader of the Popular Resistance Committees, made up of militants from various factions, including Hamas.

Okay, as my veteran readers kniow, we've been through this substitution of the term 'militant' for the real word: terrorist.

What's odd here is that the article goes on on specificates just what a 'militant' does:-

The Popular Resistance Committees have claimed responsibility for many of the recent rocket attacks from the Gaza Srip into southern Israel. The group is also believed to be linked to the 2003 bombing in northern Gaza that killed three American security officers as they were escorting American diplomats to meetings in Gaza. The Palestinian Authority has not charged or tried anyone for the bombing, and the United States has criticized the Palestinians for their handling of the case.

Hey, we know that when Jews are terrorized, that that doesn't linguistically count.

But Americans? Why weren't those security personnel killed by terrorists?

How far does politically-correct (that's a euphemism) liberalism go?

An Expert's Opinion

Yoel Marcus, long-time disengagement proponent (and before that, any policy that sought to have Israel withdraw, yield, retreat, collapse, fold-up, et al.), is having a problem.

"In light of the fact that the evacuation of Gush Katif put Hamas in office, increased the Qassams, and Israel is still in Gaza via cannons, and maybe
soon with tanks, I suddenly doubt if the Ehud Olmert government will be able to evacuate 60 thousand settlers."

This quotation is from Ha'Aretz within whose pages he has been spouting off his regular left-wing slant, usually with a very nasty, snotty anti-Right-wing slant.

So, if he was so correct this past decade and a half, (and I think the number of us slated for expulsion is closer to 70,000) one can only but surmise that he's correct (not yet Right) today.

Kippah tip: IMRA

I'll Be On the BBC

Just received this e-mail:-

Dear Yisrael,

The new date for the broadcast of our programme is April 26 at 1100 on R4.

I hope that you can catch it on the web site if not on some clever relay.

Again, many thanks for adding so much interest to politics and archaeology.

Best wishes

He is referring to an interview I recorded about two months back. I took them to our Tel, some churches and an Arab structure.

Seems this is the programme (British spelling):-

Trench Warfare - The Politics of Archaeology

The Stones Cry Out

Malcolm Billings lifts the lid on the politics of archaeology and explores areas where archaeologists find themselves digging in dangerous ground.

Politics and archaeology are rarely more entwined than in Israel and Palestinian territories. Malcolm reports from archaeological sites in Jerusalem and Jericho, and on the impact of the new Israeli security wall that is being built across the occupied territories. He also examines archaeological evidence that conflicts with the need of various religious and political groups to prove the literal truth of the Bible.

Gee, they didn't mention Shiloh.

For those interested, seems a live broadcast can be heard at this site as in the upper right-hand corner there's a "Listen Live" button.

Sorry Suri

Being a member of the Jewish People always seems to bring surprises.

For example, this report:-

JERUSALEM - Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes' choice of a Hebrew-flavored name for their newborn daughter has speakers of the language scratching their heads.

Baby Suri's name can be traced to a Hebrew word meaning "princess" or "noblewoman," but by such a circuitous route that the connection is lost on most Israelis.

"We seem to have learned a new Hebrew word — and from Tom Cruise, no less," said a Channel 2 TV anchorman.

Cruise's publicist said Tuesday the name has its origins in Hebrew meaning "princess" or in Persian meaning "red rose."

I'm as flabergasted as the next one.

But my good friend Avshalom Koor comes to the rescue:-

Avshalom Koor, who has for years presented TV and radio spots on the intricacies of Hebrew, said Suri was a derivation of Sarah — the name of Biblical patriarch Abraham's wife — as pronounced by some Central European Jews.

"Suri is a pet name for Sarah," Koor told Army Radio. "The Ashkenazi (Jews) of Poland and Hungary pronounce it Suri."

In ancient Hebrew, Sarah is the feminine form of "Sar," or lord. In modern Hebrew, the word means a Cabinet Minister.

And his suggestion?

Koor suggested a far better known but no less majestic name, noting the baby was born during the Passover holiday, which commemorates the escape of the ancient Israelites from bondage in Egypt.

"You could call her Geula (redemption)," he said.

Imagine, from Scientology to Judaism.

And as we're on names, let's round it out by reporting that:

Paper: Pitt, Jolie Mull Namibian Baby Name

A local governor in Namibia said Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt told him they will have their baby in his country and are considering giving the child a Namibian name, a newspaper reported Sunday.

Samuel Sheefeni Nuuyoma, the governor of the Namibian province where the couple is staying at a heavily guarded lodge, said he had breakfast Friday with the two stars, according to The Sunday Times of South Africa.

And since we're on Hollywood:-

Will Smith and Jada Pinkett visit Jerusalem

‘He was very excited and showed his emotions,’ said Rabbi who led tour

Surrounded by a security detail, Smith approached the wall and put a note in the cracks in keeping with tradition.

Smith and his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, then took a tour of an excavated tunnel alongside the wall. The tour leader was Shmuel Rabinovitch, chief rabbi of the holy site, who said the couple took notes and spent several minutes praying.

"He is a very nice man, he was very excited and showed his emotions," he said.

Smith and his wife later visited the nearby Church of the Holy Sepulcher, built on the site where many Christians believe that Jesus was crucified.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Jabbing Judt

Well, the letters to the editor section of the NYT is full of jabbing Judt material.

I applaud them all:-

A Jewish Lobby? Let's Talk About It

To the Editor:

Re "A Lobby, Not a Conspiracy," by Tony Judt (Op-Ed, April 19):

Why should Jews apologize for having a powerful lobby that advances their interests? The elderly and Latinos have very powerful lobbies; no one accuses them of divided loyalties, starting wars or other conspiracy nonsense.

The reason Americans support Israel is that it is a democracy that shares their values. The United States is a democracy, and Zionists have every right to influence public opinion.

If others disagree, they can form their own organizations. Their inability to do so does not indicate a conspiracy, but a lack of a cogent argument the American people will accept.

Jonathan D. Reich
Lakeland, Fla.

To the Editor:

In his discussion of "The Israel Lobby," the essay by Stephen Walt of Harvard and John J. Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago, Tony Judt (Op-Ed, April 19) cites David Aaronovitch, "a Times of London columnist who, in the course of criticizing Mearsheimer and Walt, nonetheless conceded that 'I sympathize with their desire for redress, since there has been a cock-eyed failure in the U.S. to understand the plight of the Palestinians.' "

This is nonsense. Americans are inundated with news about the Palestinians; newspapers almost daily print articles about their dire situation. I would argue that it is not American understanding that is lacking.

Americans seem to understand the situation in Israel very well. But unlike the Europeans, who are awash in anti-Semitism, Americans are not inclined to excuse the brutality of the Palestinian attacks.

Perhaps it is the Europeans who have failed to understand the plight of the Israelis.

Ronald Gans
New York

To the Editor:

Tony Judt wears his anti-Zionism lightly, but nobody should be deceived: Mr. Judt would be happier if Israel did not exist at all, as he made clear in an essay published in The New York Review of Books three years ago.

The "uncritical" American support that Mr. Judt unfavorably compares with the virulently anti-Israel attitudes that prevail in Europe has not been uncritical at all. This is immediately apparent on a moment's reflection on the various "reassessments" of American policy under Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush, as well as President Bill Clinton's heroic efforts on behalf of territorial compromise.

What bothers Mr. Judt is not uncritical support, but any support at all for a small, besieged democracy that he considers a strategic liability.

Yes, the pro-Israel lobby is effective. But it is working in a hospitable environment. This environment is shaped by the fundamental decency of the American public and its instinctive sympathy for a democracy that has repeatedly sought compromise with its enemies and been answered by mass murder, vicious anti-Semitism and a fanatical commitment to its destruction.

Howard F. Jaeckel
New York

To the Editor:

What is Tony Judt talking about?

The issue of American support for Israel is debated openly and vigorously on every newspaper op-ed and letters page, on the Internet and on university campuses across the United States.

Mr. Judt's dislike of the outcome of these debates hardly marks "a failure to consider a major issue in public policy." Joshua A. Brook

New York

Only in...Canada

P.S. Someone sent this to me with the heading "Only in...America" but look, there's a Maple Leaf emblem on the MacDonald's symbol! (thanks to IB)

Judt & Jews

Tony Judt has done it again.

In an op-ed in today's New York Times, he writes regarding the Harvard paper on the Israeli lobby:-

The essay and the issues it raises for American foreign policy have been prominently dissected and discussed overseas. In America, however, it's been another story: virtual silence in the mainstream media. Why? There are several plausible explanations. One is that a relatively obscure academic paper is of little concern to general-interest readers. Another is that claims about disproportionate Jewish public influence are hardly original — and debate over them inevitably attracts interest from the political extremes. And then there is the view that Washington is anyway awash in "lobbies" of this sort, pressuring policymakers and distorting their choices.

Each of these considerations might reasonably account for the mainstream press's initial indifference to the Mearsheimer-Walt essay. But they don't convincingly explain the continued silence even after the article aroused stormy debate in the academy, within the Jewish community, among the opinion magazines and Web sites, and in the rest of the world. I think there is another element in play: fear. Fear of being thought to legitimize talk of a "Jewish conspiracy"; fear of being thought anti-Israel; and thus, in the end, fear of licensing the expression of anti-Semitism.

The end result — a failure to consider a major issue in public policy — is a great pity.

This is the same Judt who, back in 2003, was himself the center of controversy.

As The Forward then wrote:-

Tony Judt is a scholar who was until recently best known for his writings on European history. But then, in a 2,900-word essay in the October 23 edition of The New York Review of Books, Judt dropped the intellectual equivalent of a nuclear bomb on Zionism, calling for the dismantling of Israel as a Jewish state.

Judt argued in his essay that Israel is quickly on the way to becoming a "belligerently intolerant, faith-driven ethno state." The ethnic basis of Israeli laws, Judt said, was counter to the modern, democratic ideals to which Israel holds itself. In place of a Jewish state, he argued, should emerge a binational state with equal rights for all Jews and Arabs currently living in Israel and the Palestinian territories.

The response to the essay, "Israel: The Alternative," was fast and furious, with several vehement critics seemingly ready to dismantle Judt, the London native and director of the Remarque Institute at New York University.

In the first weeks after his essay was published, Judt and The New York Review received more than 1,000 letters, many peppered with terms like "antisemite" and "self-hating Jew," and some going so far as to threaten the scholar and his family. Judt was removed from the masthead of The New Republic, where he had been listed as a contributing editor, and condemned by the magazine's literary editor, Leon Wieseltier, and other pro-Israel commentators.

Well, since he got himself published in the NYT, does that mean he has disproved his thesis?

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

My Letter in Azure

In the latest issue - Spring 5766 / 2006, No. 24:-

To the Editors:

Arlene Kushner’s important article misses one vital fact: UNRWA was established not to direct relief and works programs for “the Palestinian Arab refugees.” Actually, in the December 1949 General Assembly Resolution 302 (IV), which established UNRWA, and from which Kushner quotes, the object of that agency’s assistance is an entity referred to as “Palestine refugees” and not “Palestinian refugees.” Indeed, a visit to the UNRWA website will confirm this nuance. In other words, Jews, Christians, and Muslims could have applied for aid. The definition was not one predicated on a religious or ethnic identity but was geographically based. Since the original intent of the definition was geographical, a Jew expelled from his home during the War of Independence and who lost his livelihood should have been qualified for assistance.

Indeed, for several years, Israeli citizens were considered candidates for UNRWA care. These were the Jews who became refugees after Arab forces overran Jerusalem’s Old City and smaller agricultural communities such as Atarot, Neveh Yaakov, Bet Ha’arava, and the four Gush Etzion kibbutzim. In a communication dated October 6, 2003, B. Scott Custer Jr., chief of the international law division of UNRWA (Gaza), informed me that in 1950, 17,000 “internally displaced Jews coming from original mandate Palestine” (as he defined them) who resided in Israel were provided support from the agency. In July 1952, Israel assumed responsibility for 19,000 “refugees,” which included 3,000 Jews, and UNRWA ceased its operations inside Israel.

Arlene Kushner responds:

I thank Yisrael Medad for his enlightening information. If anything, it adds strength to arguments that Muslim Arab nations should have properly tended to the resettlement of Muslim Arab Palestinians (who constituted the vast majority of those who lost their homes during the war), just as Israel tended to the resettlement of Jewish persons displaced by the war.

In any event, as there has been no UNRWA activity on behalf of any but Arab Palestinians for 54 years, and because UNRWA is devoted exclusively to this population, the import of my essay stands, as I am sure Medad would agree.

(I am fairly sure I had written about the fact that according to the mandate of UNRWA, Jewish "refugees" from Gush Etzion, Atarot, Kalya, etc. could have, after 1967, demanded that UNRWA financially aid them in building new homes in the areas they had been forced to leave as a result of the 1947-49 hostilities and Arab agression. I'll check and if so, will add it as an Update).



August 2, 2006

I finally located my copy of the original letter.

Here's the final paragraph that the editors of AZURE, for some unfathomable reason, decided to censor. Maybe it was "too political" an observation?

In an historical sidebar, had Israel not taken that 1952 initiative, former residents of the Gush Etzion Bloc, for example, could logically have demanded UN assistance in rebuilding their lives in the territories which have become

Ooo, Hold Me Back

Israel rules out retaliation strike against Hamas

Aren't we lucky we have a decisive Prime Minister?

Israel has ruled out any immediate strike against the Palestinian Authority in retaliation for the suicide bombing of a Tel Aviv take-away that killed nine people yesterday.

Ehud Olmert, Israel's acting Prime Minister, made the decision, according to political sources, after meeting Cabinet ministers to decide on the response to the bloodiest attack on Israel in more than a year.

The Cabinet held the Hamas-led government of the Palestinian Authority responsible for yesterday's blast, but would not sanction military action against the Authority, reporters were briefed.

And the good news?

But Israel is proposing to upgrade Hamas's status from a "terrorist entity" to an "enemy entity", clearing the way for an intensification of military action.

That'll shake 'em.

Islam vs. the 1st Amendment

By the way, what have we learned in recent months?

That when it comes to material that may be offensive, there are two standards. There is one standard for material that offends Muslims (it is forbidden, or at least not worth the potential risk and/or headaches) and another standard for offending everyone else (anything goes!). Oh, and I completely disagree with Hugh Hewitt, which is somewhat interesting, because we began the cartoon controversy on the same page (denouncing the violent protests, but not terribly enthusiastic about a work that we saw as a deliberate poke in the eye to Muslims).

We've learned that when the issue is the First Amendment right to publish something offensive to Muslims, the first to fold and capitulate are newspapers, television networks, and bookstores! The ones who are supposed to be the most staunch defenders of our First Amendment freedoms! And who rallied to insist that no, the Islamic rules for blasphemy do not apply to non-Muslims?

A couple of newspapers, bloggers, and the South Park guys!

Bravo, Trey Parker and Matt Stone. And as for Comedy Central, well, we now know everything about them we need to know.

Classic Case of Being Too Smart by Half

U. Penn: U. Penn law professors may abandon lawsuit

PHILADELPHIA -- With the University of Pennsylvania facing the loss of as much as $500 million in federal funding, Penn Law professors say they may abandon a case they filed against the Department of Defense.

They originally filed the complaint, Burbank v. Rumsfeld, to protest a law requiring the school to admit military recruiters to campus.

Penn Law professor Stephen Burbank, the primary plaintiff in the case, said that while the point being argued by Law faculty is a reasonable one, the faculty must decide whether it is feasible and affordable for the University to continue its litigation.

An informational forum was held yesterday in Silverman Hall to discuss the consequences of Rumsfeld v. FAIR, specifically for Penn Law's own litigation.

Penn Law professor David Rudovsky -- one of the main lawyers in Burbank v. Rumsfeld -- said the FAIR decision was "a perfect storm against us," with the Supreme Court voting more conservatively than usual. Burbank added that the wording of the Supreme Court decision may make it harder for Penn Law to argue that it already treats military recruiters fairly.

Other university law schools have filed suits similar to Penn's. Yale Law School faculty are embroiled in litigation of their own after being threatened with $300 million in fines.

The conclusion?

When preparing for a law career, study well. You might need to know more and be more clever than your law prof. Or, at least, know when you have a good case and not one based on ideology and politics.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Is Olmert Reading This?

From Ari Shavit:-

...If you do not want the length of your term to equal the length of [Ehud] Barak's term, you must learn to listen to criticism, draw lessons and reach conclusions.

For your own good, and ours, you must change.

Behave more modestly, Mr. Prime Minister. Be not in haste. Do not go out for grand measures.

Converge your convergence plan into reasonable and sane proportions. Give it the political dimensions it lacks. Be very careful on your trips to Washington. Do not give George Bush everything before you've received anything. Do not commit to a unilateral withdrawal prior to the toppling of Hamas. Conduct negotiations with the international community centered on Israeli demands, not Israeli concessions...

Ehud Olmert...You are the not-Ben-Gurion tasked with a Ben-Gurion mission. So on this morning every thinking Israeli must hope for your success. Every thinking Israeli must pray that you find your way. Go forth in strength, Mr. Prime Minister.

And Yet Again: Jewish Blood on Pesach

Tel Aviv suicide blast kills six

A Palestinian suicide bombing has left at least six people dead and around 30 injured in the Israeli city of Tel Aviv, Israeli media report.

The bomb went off at a falafel stall on a busy street near a bus station in the city's Neve Shaanan neighbourhood.

Video footage from the scene showed at least one badly injured person being hurried away by an ambulance crew.

Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad has claimed responsibility.

The bomber was among the six people killed, police told Israel's Army Radio.
Of the injured, 15 are in a serious condition, Israel TV's Channel 2 said.

This Is So, Well, Ironic

From today's news:


The youngest brother of Jordan’s King ‘Abdallah II has married a member of the Saudi royal family. The 24-year-old Prince Hashem is a member of the 43th generation of direct descendents of Muhammad, according to the official Jordanian news agency Petra. His bride is Princess Fahdah.

And why?

Because basically the Hashemites are refugees from Saudi Arabia.

It's a bit complicated but these excerpts should help:-

The Hashemites suffered another major blow in 1925, when King Ali bin al-Hussein, the eldest brother of Abdullah and Faisal, lost the throne of the Kingdom of the Hijaz to Abdel Aziz bin Saud of Najd. The loss, which was brought about by a partnership between Ibn Saud and followers of the Wahhabi movement, led to the establishment of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and brought to an end over one thousand years of Hashemite rule in Mecca.


Abd al Aziz established the Saudi state in three stages, namely, by retaking Najd in 1905, defeating the Rashidi clan at Hail in 1921, and conquering the Hijaz in 1924...In 1919 the Ikhwan completely destroyed an army that Hussein had sent against them near the town of Turabah, which lay on the border between the Hijaz and Najd. The Ikhwan so completely decimated the Sharif's troops that there were no forces left to defend the Hijaz, and the entire area cowered under the threat of a Wahhabi attack. In spite of this, Abd al Aziz restrained the Ikhwan and managed to direct them toward Hail, which they took easily in 1921. The Ikhwan went beyond Hail, however, and pushed into central Transjordan where they challenged Hussein's son, Abd Allah, whose rule the British were trying to establish after the war. At this point, Abd al Aziz again had to rein in his troops to avoid further problems with the British.

In the matter of the Hijaz, Abd al Aziz was rewarded for his patience. By 1924 Hussein had grown no stronger militarily and had been weakened politically. When the Ottoman sultan, who had held the title of caliph, was deposed at the end of World War I, the Sharif took the title for himself. He had hoped that the new honor would gain him greater Muslim support, but the opposite happened. Many Muslims were offended that Hussein should handle Muslim tradition in such cavalier fashion and began to object strongly to his rule. To make matters worse for Hussein, the British were no longer willing to prop him up after the war. Abd al Aziz's efforts to control the Ikhwan in Transjordan as well as his accommodation of British interests in the gulf had proved to them he could act responsibly.

The Al Saud conquest of the Hijaz had been possible since the battle at Turabah in 1919. Abd al Aziz had been waiting for the right moment and in 1924, he found it. The British did not encourage him to move into Mecca and Medina, but they also gave no indication that they would oppose him. So the Wahhabi armies took over the area with little opposition.

Next Year in...L.A.

Excerpts from

Next Year … the L.A. Power Seder
Larry David, Chris Rock, Warren Beatty All Want to Know: Why Is This Night Different?

On this Wednesday, April 12, some 30 people will gather in a cramped West Hollywood apartment for the raucous Passover Seder of Jeffrey (Z-Dog) Zarnow, a former producer who now owns the liquor company Starr African Rum. It is, Mr. Zarnow said, a “debaucherous affair” that begins with a “blaring rock ’n’ roll song”—usually by the Foo Fighters, a nod to one guest, Nate Mendel, a bassist for the group. Prior attendees (there’s a waiting list in the event of cancellations) have included actors Matthew McConaughey and Rachel Bilson; Josh Schwartz, creator of The O.C.; and a bunch of executive types who first met and mingled in the CAA mailroom.

“Everyone brings a bottle of wine, and one of the rules is that no one can leave until all the bottles are empty,” Mr. Zarnow said. Besides wine, “milk-and-honey cocktails” are served—honoring the Promised Land, if not Passover per se. Close enough!

Welcome to the Haggadah of Hollywood—a place where Passover is an excuse to orchestrate a production worthy of a credit roll. In this respect, you might say it’s a night not so different from any other night.

For many Hollywood goyim, meanwhile, Passover is when the town shuts down. “It’s like dead everywhere,” said one agent of the Christian persuasion. “It’s kind of like being left alone at college when everyone goes home for Thanksgiving. You’ve got nowhere to go.” Once, he was invited to the Seder of a prominent studio executive—a rather catholic affair, for lack of a better word. “It was a mixture of family and kind of like the strays,” the agent said. “It wasn’t super-religious. We ran through the thing in like 10, 15 minutes. It was like, ‘Bless the food, bless the meat—let’s eat!’”

And at least one Hollywood veteran has scaled back and is thinking about a more sober Seder. “The last time I did a big one was maybe 10 years ago,” said producer Peter Guber, who ran Columbia Pictures in the 1970’s. “Once or twice I turned it into a circus, and I felt like it was blasphemous. There were too many business people. The four questions that were asked were: Why don’t I have the deal? Why is this deal not as good as my friend’s deal? Am I going to have a better deal next time? And what can you do about my agent’s deal?

“I realized it had become something other than what it was supposed to be,” Mr. Guber continued, adding that, to him, Passover is now “a spiritual renaissance—something that has personal, emotional meaning to me.”

You want the whole piece?

Click here.

A Backgrounder to the Boro Park Riots

Another take on the riots.

Excerpts from:-

Mike And Hasids:
Is Brooklyn Sect
Mayor’s Chosen?

On April 6, with Passover only a few days away, young men with yarmulkes on their heads and cardboard boxes in their arms rushed in and out of Schick’s Gourmet Bakery on 16th Avenue in the largely Hasidic Borough Park section of Brooklyn.

Their frantic loading of chocolate babka, mandel bread and rainbow cookies into a delivery truck seemed an innocent echo of the protests staged by hundreds of Orthodox Jews on the same street just two nights earlier. Young Jewish men carried boxes then too, piling them into dozens of bonfires as tensions flared between the usually peaceful community and the police.

“It kept on escalating,” said Sariel Widawsky, 49, a co-owner of Schick’s Bakery on the street where the protest began. “Instead of someone with a calm head just calming the situation down, more police came and more police came and the helicopters swooped down right into the crowd almost. It was like in a Hollywood movie.”

And it was a movie Mayor Michael Bloomberg would have preferred to miss.

Though Mr. Bloomberg enjoyed the support of the politically powerful Orthodox community last year, the protest indicated a level of frustration with an administration that prides itself on widespread popularity without having to appease a particular base. Mr. Bloomberg, some observers say, may have to work harder to reach an insular community that had a direct line to City Hall during the Giuliani years.

On Tuesday night at the protest, Mr. Felder, an Orthodox Jew who represents Borough Park and who was present at the protests, accused NYPD Chief of Department Joseph Esposito of shouting, “Get the fucking Jews out of here!”

Chief Esposito, the city’s highest-ranking uniformed officer, was the commander of the neighborhood’s 66th Precinct from 1990 to 1993, and last October was given an award by the Shomrim Society, an organization of Jewish police officers.

The Mayor announced that the city’s Civilian Complaint Review Board would investigate the allegations against the chief. Mr. Felder and Mr. Hikind, who also represents Borough Park, met privately with Mr. ­Esposito late Thursday night.

“It was the three of us, and it was brutally honest and eye to eye,” said Mr. Hikind, who added that both he and Mr. Felder were satisfied with a letter that Mr. Esposito issued after the meeting.

“I used language that was inappropriate,” the letter read. “However, I can assure that nothing I said reflects my personal bias against you or the community.”

It is hard to imagine that such a meeting would have been necessary between cops and Orthodox leaders when Mr. Teitelbaum was around.

Then again, Mr. Teitelbaum’s influence appears to have come at great cost.

During the Giuliani administration, the Orthodox community benefited from a large share of the limited supply of day-care vouchers. After a 1997 protest in which thousands of Borough Park Orthodox rioted when a sheriff tried to impound a Hasidic man’s car, there was a drop in the number of cars towed in the neighborhood for several months, one source said.

Up the block on 49th Street, at the Famous Schwartz deli, a man with a long, graying beard and yarmulke wrote Passover Seder orders down right to left on a scrap of receipt. Like many of the people walking around Borough Park, he said the protest was really a response to police papering the neighborhood with tickets for parking violations.

“The thing is that here, they are giving tickets right and left. Even if you are sitting in the car, you get one. This is not right. This is why people are so upset. I think in the other neighborhoods, they don’t do this,” he said. “They take advantage here because the people are quiet and nice.”

Both Mr. Hikind and Mr. Felder argued that such excuses were unacceptable.

“I just want to say clearly that the behavior of the young people in our community was a horror, it was inexcusable—I don’t tolerate excuses for anyone,” said Mr. Hikind. But he also said some of the blame rested with the overreaction of the police, especially members of a task force brought in to assist the members of the 66th Precinct. On Monday, videos showing police using aggressive tactics against some of the protesters made their way around the city. “I hope that their tactics to fight terrorism are more effective than what happened in Borough Park,” Mr. Hikind added.

Late Thursday afternoon, things seemed to have settled back to normal at the Bobov Yeshiva on 48th Street. Old men with phylacteries wrapped around their creased foreheads and books fanned opened under their noses sidestepped boys playing tag. Teenagers, many of whom stood on the street corners Tuesday night, taunting police and lighting fires, studied in libraries stacked to the ceiling with leather-bound religious texts.

“Everybody is saying different things. The story is messed up; you can’t get a straight story,” said Israel Solomon, an 18-year-old who had just stepped out of the yeshiva, where he had been studying when the protest broke out. “Everyone was itching for a fight.”

Olive Oil Countries

A product of Yesha.

A product of "Palestine".

An "Intelligent" (?) Dialogue

American: No body else is what I read. I wish things were very different in both of our nations. I see Olmert is set to have his way about the borders also Kadima party officials told the Likud coalition negotiating team that Kadima plans to implement its convergence plan to uproot dozens of Jewish towns in Judea and Samaria by 2008. He will be doing it before new elections here so Bush must be in agreement.

Palestinian: aha

American: Perhaps he fears waiting until we have a new president.

Palestinian: I believe there will be hardship, difficulty and no progress in the peace process.

American: I wish many things but I think you are right. Israel will take the land and water she wants and no one will stop her now.

Palestinian: Palestinians and Israelis will both suffer a lot.

American: If she can kill off Palestinians or make them leave running for their lives he will take all of the land. Yes?

Palestinian: There will be too much resistance and no one can live without water, so they will fight and do their best to live.

American: Both will suffer and both will fight. And the settlers he plans to move will be fighting also.

Palestinian: Sure.

American: Everyone wants Palestine I guess.

Palestinian: Of course, we want Palestine for us.

American: It will be a mess for years more.

Palestinian: Of course

American: And you should have Palestine - at the least you should have back to the pre 1967 borders.

Palestinian: Palestine is Palestine

American: It seems always it is Palestine who suffers and is robbed of more and more. I hate that my nation here has any part in that.

Palestinian: So giving them up to 1967 borders is too impossible to leave?

Want more?