Monday, June 23, 2008

Komokarzy the First visits Israeli Knesicircus

Sivan 20, 5768, 6/23/2008

Komokarzy the First visits Israeli Knesicircus

Komokarzy the First today blasted his way into the Israeli Knesicircus, taking center ring. It wasn't clear to the viewers if the visitor was appearing as a clown or a suicide bomber, and they had trouble deciding whether to laugh or cry.

Actually Komokarzy confided to the Prime Monster of the Knesicircus that he planned on requesting asylum during the show, due to the fact that some 5 million Islamic fanatics had overrun his country, and were now over 8% of the population. However the Prime Monster replied that the all the Israeli asylums were packed full of ex-politicians being tested for insanity pleas and there was no room for foreigners.

That was when Komokarzy the first decided to join the ranks of his fast-breeding newcomers to his country, and convert on the spot. Sticking out his tongue at the two Israeli Chief Rabbis and then opening his arms and bowing in the direction of his new found friends in the stinking bullpen, Kamokarzy smiled a wicked smile and proclaimed:

I will always be your friend. (One of the viewers in the Knesicircus whisperdly exclaimed: "Look, there in the mirror - you can see his other side - he has his fingers crossed!!!" He, he, he --- he doesn't mean it!! He's lying!! How can this be - the great Komokarzy the First is lying to us, in our own home, on our own turf, in the Knesicircus!!!"

Then, smiling only at the stinking bullpen, but frowning sternly at the others, he continued: For the sake of piece you must expel at least 300,000 Jews from their homes, and relocate them. NOW!
One of the Knescircus pawnamentarians piped up from the gallery, let's have a party transfer, ah, ah, no, that's transfer party, ah - as long as your country is becoming Muslim, you take our Arabs and you give us your Jews - and you'll be remembered ever after as the great piece maker - you'll even get the Nepal Prize - here, we can award you one now."

Komokarzy whipped out a smelly French kiss that had belonged to his wife and tossed it at the speaker who promptly shriveled up and melted from the odor.

After that, everyone kept their mouths shut.

The Komokarzy continued: you will build an Ark, load them up, and put them out to sea. There is no room for them here, but the ocean is very very large.

You will then imitate the way it was in the beginning of your peoplehood. I am going to reward you for your hard labor so many years ago. Then you were forced to build – today you will take vacation; no one will build. All building will stop, as of now

Then the water parted. Today it will not be the sea, rather the city will be divided. Almost as written in the Bible, with only slight variations. My word is as good as His.

Now you will vote on my piece plan: Mr. Prime Monster, how do you say?

“Yeah Yeah,” he replied. Yeah, yeah all the pawnamentarians yelled.

Komokarzy the First then looked towards his new found friends, sitting in the stinking bullpen, and waved with a victory salute.

To his great shock, he saw them ignite a small rocket, with the words Komokarzy the Second engraved on the side. The fired it in his direction and seconds later he was gone, a puff in the wind.

As his spirit drifted aimlessly above them, as if lost in space, he cried down to them: why, why?

Ignoring him, the bullpen players huddled to plan their next play, saying: a Komokarzy thought he’d get out of here alive? Guess we showed him a thing or two. Who’s next?

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Reaction:The Two Israels-Nicholas D. Kristof in NYTimes

Sivan 19, 5768, 6/22/2008

Reaction:The Two Israels-Nicholas D. Kristof in NYTimes

Nicholas D. Kristof called me a few days ago and we spoke for a while on the phone. Obviously he visited Hebron, but did not see fit to interview me at the time, preferring a phone conversation. That fact, in and of itself, is unfortunate, for had he spent some time with me on site, seeing Hebron through Jewish-Israeli eyes also, perhaps his column would have been written differently.
Perhaps, on the other hand, Kristof came to Hebron with an agenda and interviewed me only to be able to include a 'soundbyte' with a 'setter' in order to fulfill the seemingly 'objectivity obligation' of professional journalists.
His 'agenda' is all too plausible, considering, for example, the books he suggested as reading material, including one by Akiva Eldar, who is one of the leading leftist columnists in Israel, writing for the most leftwing daily in the country.
This thought is reinforced with Kritsof's reliance on "B'tzelem" – an Arab-Palestinian 'human-rights' organization, which cares only about Arab human rights, but has no interest in Israeli-Jewish human rights. It is composed of Arabs and extreme left wing activists, whose goal is Israel-bashing.
Of course, Kristof quotes only one short sentence from our interview. He seems to have forgotten a number of points broached during our conversation:
Kristof claims: More than 1,800 Palestinian shops have closed, in some cases the doors welded shut, and several thousand people have been driven from their homes.
The number 1,800 is greatly exaggerated. According to ranking IDF sources the number is closer to nine hundred. (This is one of the problems with foreign journalists who are quick to accept anything and everything given to them by B'tzelem or other left-wing organizations without demanding proof of their statements.)
Why are any stores closed in Hebron? Ten years ago they were all open. However, with the outbreak of the 'Oslo War' (the 2nd Intifada) in October, 2000, Arab terrorist gunman began shooting at the Jewish neighborhoods in Hebron from the very hills transferred to them by Israel as part of the Hebron Accords, implemented in 1997. People were shot at on the streets, and in their cars and homes. An infant was murdered by a sniper, others were wounded and a suicide bomber exploded on the main road, killing the Levy couple from Kiryat Arba. The IDF had no choice but to close stores in Hebron because of the security threat they posed. That threat still exists today. Terrorists are frequently apprehended, admitting that they planned to kill a Jew.
At the same time it must be noted that the Arabs of Hebron have access to about 98% of the entire city, whereas Jews have access to 3% of the city. The "Arab" side of Hebron, under the control of the Palestinian Authority is called "The Safest Place in the territories" by Danny Rubenstein, another Ha'aretz writer (
He writes: Most Israelis imagine Hebron to be the site of harsh conflicts between Jewish settlers and Arab residents. But the truth is that with the exception of the point of contention at the Tomb of the Patriarchs, this is the quietest and safest city in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
While Gaza is the scene of daily shootings and infighting between a variety of groups, and one might say that personal safety in Ramallah and Nablus is also precarious, Hebron is tranquil.
There are no militias, no armed gangs and no hooligans. There is a traditional tribal social structure, no refugee camps inside the city and the town's large and powerful families do not permit lawlessness…The market… is a source of pride among Hebron residents. It is clean and organized. Trade between merchants is documented on computers and municipality officials say there is no more modern and efficient market in the entire PA. Nor is there a market like it in Jordan or even in Tel Aviv."
I totally and utterly reject the statement that thousands of Arabs have been driven from their homes. This is totally false. There are Arabs who have left of their own accord, but none have been expelled, as is written in the article.
The Abu Aisha baby story is also a fairy-tale. Did the author request proof, or accept it at face value? There is absolutely no impediment to an Arab ambulance reaching her home. It should also be noted that her home is a five minute walk to the checkpoint leading to the Arab side of the city. She and her neighbors have never had any problems getting to, or leaving their homes.
Kristof writes: "Even if the Hebron settlement were not illegal in the eyes of much of the world, it is utterly impractical. The financial cost is mind-boggling, and the diplomatic cost is greater."
Firstly, the Hebron Jewish community was recognized and given legitimacy by Arafat himself, when he signed the Hebron Accords in January, 1997.
2. The claims that Hebron's Jewish community is illegal according to international law are nonsense. Jews lived in Hebron for thousands of years until being expelled in 1929, following the massacre which left 67 Jews murdered and scores wounded.
3. What 'the eyes of the world" think is absolutely  irrelevant. The 'eyes of the world' were blind to the annihilation of 6 million Jews 60 years ago. Only yesterday we read that the UN opposes any military strike against the Iranian nuclear plants. What would they prefer: that Israel go up in flames?!
4. The IDF is stationed in Hebron for more than one reason. Of course, they are here to protect the city's residents and over half a million annual visitors. However, they are also in Hebron to prevent the city from becoming a terrorist nest, as was Jenin and other Samaria cities, when the IDF evacuated them. Terrorists from Hebron have perpetrated mass murder in Tel Aviv and other cities in Israel. Only a strong IDF presence in the city can deter such attacks.
As for the checkpoints, that is the only point the author allows me a reaction in his article. No point could be more valid.
The other so-called facts Kristof mentions in the articles are nothing more than well-polished regurgitations from the Arab propaganda machine. Again, no proof of facts, only oft-repeated claims, with nothing to back them up.
Kristof told me that he's not stationed in the Middle East. This is quite clear from the ignorance he portrays in this column. I would suggest that the next time the NY Times desires to print a column about Hebron, they should instruct their reporter to visit both sides, and examine the issues accurately and objectively, rather than publish such a biased, imprecise article.

It is a Very, Very Good Land

It is a Very, Very Good Land

Published: Sunday, June 22, 2008 11:55 PM
Spies, spies and more spies.

We just read the Torah story of the twelve spies, ten of whom slandered Eretz Yisrael, preferring to remain in the desert rather than continue on to the holy land promised to Avraham, Yitzhak and Ya'akov, as well as to the rest of the people as they left Egypt.

That illness, infecting our national body, is still trying to eat away at the Jewish people. We witness this,
They decided who were the "good guys" and who were the "bad guys" even before the plane landed.
unfortunately, every day, with proposed "piece plans" based upon the principal of "land for peace." If these offers were authentic - attempting to achieve real peace, in other words, the Arabs agreeing to leave Israel for one of the 22 Islamic countries in the Middle East, or anywhere else in the world - we might be able to relate to them seriously. But as we all know, "land for peace" is a one-way street. Israel is expected to relinquish its homeland for promises written on paper, worth nothing more than that.

We experience such "spy stories" all the time here in Hebron. Attempts to expel us from our homes and property, Jewish homes, purchased or constructed, continue uninterrupted. We are still considered to be an "obstacle to peace."

Not too long ago, a group from one of our illustrious government offices visited Hebron. Standing at the Machpela Cave, discussing various possible improvements at the site, one of the young attorneys suddenly exclaimed, "But there's a problem here, because Ma'arat HaMachpela is registered as belonging to the Waqf, the Muslim religious trust." The Waqf represents the same people who prevented Jews and Christians from accessing this holy site for 700 years.

One of those present from Hebron replied, "I seem to recall someone else registered here, even before Mohammad. I believe Abraham was his name."

Classic spy. Just like those who cannot comprehend the value of a bunch of rocks taking precedence over peace. After all, that's what the Western Wall is, a wall of stones. Right?

For years, the Left, as we call them here, have been trying to infiltrate Hebron. Some of them are actually officially recognized by the State of Israel. TIPH, an internationally-affiliated observer organization, is certainly anti-Israel, anti-Hebron and might also be labeled anti-Semitic. I've written a number of articles about them over the years, the last of which was posted a few weeks ago.

However, they're not the only ones. Other foreign organizations, like CPT, invaded Hebron over a decade ago, aiding and abetting the enemy, assisting them however possible, while ignoring any Jewish rights or claims to Hebron. Without almost any prior knowledge about Hebron, they decided who were the "good guys" and who were the "bad guys" even before the plane landed.

Over the past few years, and particularly following the expulsion from Gush Katif, the Israeli Left has put Hebron in their sights. Organizations such as Breaking the Silence and Bnei Avraham have been described by Hebron police as being "more dangerous than the extreme Right." Their stated goals are "educational tours" of Hebron, but their actual aim is the destruction of Hebron's Jewish community. Funded by the European Union, the British embassy and others, including left-wing Jewish organizations, groups they bring into Hebron are taken to Arab houses where they view plays about Jewish "settler" oppression of "poor Palestinians," and hear various and numerous lies about the "ethnic cleansing" of Hebron. What the visitors are not told is that, in reality, it is the Jews who are being "ethnically cleansed" from Hebron, not the Arabs.

It is clear that the European Union is not funding Yehuda Sha'ul (as reported by an article by Donald Macintyre in the Independent on April 19) in order for him to show foreign and Israeli tourists a fun day in the sun. Recently, a group of anarchists, in coordination with Breaking the Silence, conducted a demonstration in Hebron carrying signs in Arabic and blocking the main road between Hebron and Kiryat Arba. As a result of this demonstration, the police banned the group from returning to Hebron. As a result of political pressure and intervention by the courts, the group may return to Hebron only in coordination with the police and security forces. A few days ago, they conducted a march with such Knesset members as Yossi Beilin and Zehava Gal'on, from Ma'arat HaMachpela to Tel Rumeida. They too, of course, visited a "poor Palestinian family."

Spies, spies and more spies.

But - and this is a big but - we have to remember that even amongst the spies there were two who rejected the rejection of Eretz Yisrael by their seeming compatriots. Joshua and Caleb stood up against the others and proclaimed:Eretz Yisrael is very, very good. It is written that Caleb arrived in Hebron to worship at Ma'arat HaMachpela and the spiritual energy he absorbed there allowed him to remain firm in his belief of a strong Jewish presence in the Land of Israel. He overcame the evil shortcomings of the ten spies who preferred the desert to the land.

Why did the spies reject Eretz Yisrael? Many reasons are given, but the one that seems to make the most sense is written in the holy Zohar. The spies, leaders of their people, realized that in Israel a new generation would take command and they would be retired from their leadership positions. They preferred their comfort to the good of the 
The Israeli Left has put Hebron in their sights.
Jewish people. For that, they were severely punished. The rest of the people, who believed their slander, spent the next forty years in the desert as punishment for their lack of faith. And more significantly, the impressions of their rejection of Eretz Yisrael has remained with us, through to the present.

However, just as Caleb and Joshua were a minority, but were right and were rewarded for their courage, and the Jews did finally come into Israel, so too today, right will overcome seeming might. All of those who believe, as they should, in the Jewish G-d-given right and legitimacy in Eretz Yisrael will be rewarded to see the fruits of their labor, and those who believe the opposite will face the disgrace of the ten spies who rejected G-d's word. In the end, it's not the numbers that count, not the quantity, rather the quality wins out. No doubt, the quality of our land far outweighs the quality of those who prefer to pussyfoot with our enemies, whose desire is to again exile us and destroy the Jewish state of Israel.

We will follow in the footsteps of the good spies, Caleb and Joshua, and repeat, time and time again: it is a very, very good land.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Belated Hebron Day Wishes

Sivan 10, 5768, 6/13/2008

Belated Hebron Day Wishes

If there was light in Hebron, there was light in Jerusalem.
As printed in this week's Jewish Press

Last week we celebrated not only Yom Yerushalayim, Jerusalem Day. We also marked the return to Hebron, 41 years ago, during the 1967 Six Day War. It’s no coincidence that these two festive days come one after the other.

Hebron and Jerusalem have been connected for thousands of years. The Kingdom of Israel was initiated by King David in Hebron over 3,000 years ago. David lived in Hebron for seven and a half years, immersed in the spirit of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs, before moving up to Jerusalem, establishing it as the eternal capital of the Jewish People.

Later we read in the Talmud that every day, early in the morning, a Cohen would ask, prior to beginning the day’s work, ‘has the sun yet risen, even as far east as Hebron?’ If the answer was ‘Barkai,’ yes, then work could commence. If the response was negative, they would have to wait. Why was Hebron so much a part of work at Beit HaMikdash? It was in order to awaken ‘Zechut Avot,’ the merit of the Forefathers.

In other words, if it was dark in Hebron, it was still considered to be dark in Jerusalem. If there was light in Hebron, there was light in Jerusalem. This has more than just a literal meaning. In 1929, following the riots and massacre, Hebron’s surviving Jews were expelled from their homes. The few Jews who were able to return in 1931 were again expelled in 1936. Twelve years later Jerusalem fell, and just as Ma’arat HaMachpela was off-limits, so too was Temple Mount.

On the 28th of Iyar in 1967 we returned to Jerusalem. It was only logical that the next day the Jewish people would return to the first Jewish city in Israel, Hebron. Finally, after a 700-year exile, Jews could again worship at the second holiest site to the Jewish people in the entire world, the Tomb of the Patriarchs, Ma’arat HaMachpela, in Hebron.

The magnificent building atop the caves of Machpela was constructed by Herod, King of Judea, some 2,000 years ago. It is the only 2,000-year-old building in the world which still exists in its entirety and is still used for the identical purposes for which it was built − to pray at the entrance to Gan Eden, the Garden of Eden, at the site of the tombs of Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebecca, Jacob and Lea.

Entrance to Jews was declared off-limits by a Marmaluke emperor named Bibers, who a short time earlier had also closed off Temple Mount to anyone and everyone not Muslim. The closing of Ma’arat HaMachpela was, it seems, an afterthought, which continued for 700 years. Presently our Muslim neighbors tell us that should they again ever control this holy site, no one not Muslim will be able to worship there because “it is a mosque and only Muslims and pray in a Mosque” − this, despite the fact that the building was built by Herod about 600 years before Mohammed was born. When asked why Jews live today in Hebron, one of the central reasons is, of course, Ma’arat HaMachpela. It is crystal clear that only a Jewish community in Hebron preserves Jewish access to this site. If, G-d forbid, there weren’t any Jews in Hebron, Jews would have no access to Ma’arat HaMachpela.

Many times I’m asked how we can celebrate, with the many issues that cloud our presence in Hebron. Over half a million people visit Ma’arat HaMachpela annually. This past Pesach over 50,000 Jews visited Hebron. Hebron’s tours attract hundreds and thousands of tourists each year. This is a reason to celebrate.

When the Oslo Accords, followed by the Hebron Accords 11 years ago, abandoned over 80 percent of the city to the Arabs, many people voiced their skepticism as to the possibility that Hebron’s Jewish community could survive. When the Oslo War (second intifada) began on the eve of Rosh Hashanah in 2000, and the community came under daily shooting attacks from the surrounding hills, there were many who wrote the community off as “finished”. Who could survive such murderous attacks?

But despite the problems from the Arabs, the media, the Israeli and international left, and many Israeli politicians, Hebron’s Jewish community still exists. Not only does it exist. It thrives. It grows and expands. My wife and I have two daughters and seven grandchildren living in Hebron, with a son and his family a few miles away in the southern Hebron Hills community of Beit Haggai. Many of Hebron’s children have stayed, wanting to bring up their children in the shadow of Abraham and Sarah, just as they grew up. What could be more heartening and encouraging than to see “the younger generation” following in the footsteps of their parents, both their immediate parents and their ‘grandma and grandpa,’ the Patriarchs and Matriarchs, King David, and all the other illustrious residents Hebron has been home to. How could one not celebrate these fantastic facts?!

True, Hebron has faced many struggles, and we have no illusions about the immediate future. However, one of Hebron’s most important inhabitants taught us an unforgettable lesson. Kalev ben Yefune, when arriving in Eretz Yisrael to spy the land for Moshe Rabbenu, knew he would need some special spiritual guidance to escape the slanderous exclamations of of the other ten spies. His solution was to come to Hebron and pray at Ma’arat HaMachpela, to ask Hashem to give him strength to overcome the evil intentions of his comrades. His prayer was answered, and he was able declare: “Eretz Yisrael is very, very good.”

As was then, so too today. In Hebron, we are able to maintain our spiritual strength and faith, just as Kalev, being privileged to live next to Ma’arat HaMachpela. The same spirituality that emanated then still radiates today and gives us the ability to carry on, as shalichim for all Am Yisrael.

Recently a reporter, interviewing me, asked me about 'this problem and that problem and this issue and that issue.' Concluding, he stated/asked: "I guess you don't have too much to celebrate this year." I quickly responded, "To the contrary, we have much to celebrate. The fact that we are here is reason for celebration. True, there are problems, but those we will overcome. We overcame 2,000 years of galut (diaspora). The most important factor today is that we are here in Eretz Yisrael, we are here in Hebron, we are back home. For these reasons, of course we celebrate." [Added to the original article]

This is the essence of Hebron Day. For this we thank G-d for the privilege to live in the city of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs and pray that the merit of our Forefathers will rain down upon on all our people, wherever they may be, and that just as light in Hebron brought light to Jerusalem, so too, today’s light from Hebron will shine brightly and bring spiritual strength and faith to Jews around the world.

A belated Happy Hebron Day.