Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Not Only Is It Rosh Chodesh Adar, But This Is My 100th Post!!!

What better way to celebrate than to link to some of the funniest posts I've read in a while. (Put your drink down first.)

See here how Jack transforms himself into the Bishop of Bullfrog.

For the lonely hearts in the Hamas world, Abbagav has just the right solution. And if you want to really give your laughing muscles a workout, look here. Abba does it again with his version of Family Feud, including a picture of Cindy Sheehan which had me chuckling all day long.

Last, but not least, seen first on Littlegreenfootballs, it is "High Five a Muslim Day". And for those of you who live in my neck of the woods, I really mean it when I say, "Don't try this at home".


Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics

Carl at IsraelMatzav had two very interesting posts yesterday, and both can be described under the heading of "cooking the books".

The first relates to the inflated numbers that the Palestinians report in their census. The numbers are being challenged. Since American aid is given per capita, this has significance not only for Israelis, but for American taxpayers.

The second post is about a more local issue - the question of the trustworthiness of the election polls. It turns out that after a "sting" operation by Channel 10 tv here, their reporter found that the pollsters are filling out the forms themselves.

Interesting reading.

Monday, February 27, 2006

The Terrorist Mindset

I received an e-mail today with the link to this eye-opening video of an interview on American television. Three former members of terrorist gangs, including Walid Shoebat, answer questions about the terrorist mindset and what America has to do to stop it.

The interview runs for about 15 minutes - and the last minute contains this statement by Shoebat:

"The only hope we have is America. I can't live anywhere else. If I carried a poster against suicide bombing in Ramallah I would be lynched."

Worth a look - and worth sending to openminded liberals.
Haveil-Havalim #59

DaledAmos is hosting this week's Haveil-Havalim #59. Excuse the light blogging today as I spend my free time reading these great posts....

Sunday, February 26, 2006

In the Alleyways of Balata

This is my very short summary and translation of excerpts from Hodaya-Karish Chazoni's article of the same name in this week's Makor Rishon newspaper, found in the Weekly Diary section, February 24, 2006 - 25th of Shvat, 5766.

Chazoni describes some of the successes of the large IDF operation called "Northern lights" which took place in Schem (Nablus) and the Balata refugee camp. The first night of the operation two terrorists were killed while setting up roadside explosives. The second night seven wanted men were captured, including one thought to be the head of Islamic Jihaad in Schem. A Fatah operative who was involved in planning the latest terrorist attack in Tel-Aviv was killed. During the third day of the operation soldiers discovered an extensive cache of explosives in the casbah.

There hasn't been an operation of this size since 2002 - in the past four years the IDF would only go into Schem sporadically to apprehend a specific fugitive. The decision to launch this operation now came about because of a number of factors, Chazoni writes. There has been an increase in the terrorist activity launched from the city. This has occurred because of successful IDF operations elsewhere, specifically in the northern Shomron which have "smothered" the terrorist infrastructure there. There is also an attempt by Fatah to improve their standing on the street, which has been damaged by their loss in the latest elections.

The method that the soldiers use to apprehend and kill the terrorists is by ambush and sniper fire, Chazoni explains, not an easy task in the crowded conditions of the refugee camp. She quotes the commander who accompanied her this way:

"Our method is basically ambush by snipers. In an urban environment like this one we must be extremely precise and guided by intelligence information."

Chazoni visits one of the sniper positions and describes what she sees. The sniper is stationed at a window with his weapon pointed downward into the alley. He has permission to shoot at anyone armed that passes underneath him, and his gaze doesn't waver for a second. The snipers are rotated every two hours. Across the alleyway the reporter sees a woman and a child staring at them from the window, partially hidden by the laundry lines. The commander adds this remark:

"The curious are a big problem. A kid stands there for hours, and suddenly a fugitive appears behind him. It drives me crazy that they use the children like that."

Hearing this comment, the woman across the alleyway looks at them with loathing.

To read the full article, and others click here. This will bring you to the Makor Rishon website in Hebrew.

(A note to American readers. A reporter from American or European countries who wants to write an article of this sort must leave his family for an extended period of time, and travel far to a war zone. Israel is such a tiny country, that this reporter needed to make no such sophisticated arrangements. The distance from the newspaper office in Tel-Aviv to this war zone is a matter of a drive of less than an hour.)

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Amona Inquiry Commission Approved by Knesset - Olmert and Ezra Sore Losers

Thank G-d the Knesset approved the creation of an inquiry commission into the violence that occurred at the evacuation of Amona. I was very worried about it, especially after receiving frantic e-mails that Olmert was pressuring three Members of Knesset to vote against it, and that we should either phone or send sms messages to these Knesset members to encourage them to vote in favor.

This morning I found two separate articles mainly dealing with the reaction to this decision. The first, in Ynetnews.com, dealth with Ehud Olmert's statements. Perhaps, you might think, as the leading candidate now for Prime Minister, he would come out with a suitably evenhanded, politically correct comment along the lines of "I personally do not approve of this decision, but I will honor the majority's vote in the Knesset" (this is a democracy, yes?)

No way. According to the article, Olmert said, "A day following the elections this commission will cease to exist".

If you think that this reaction is bad, Gideon Ezra's reaction was even more "charming". According to the Jerusalem Post, Ezra is now pointing the finger of blame on the IDF.

Ezra claims that it was the IDF's fault that the protesters reached Amona in the first place, and THAT'S the reason that police reacted with excessive violence.

With leaders like these, who needs enemies?

Technorati tag

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

On National Anthems and Jazz Singers

DaledAmos has an intriguing post about Israel's national anthem. Did you know that Al Jolson sang it? Did you know that Rav Kook wrote an alternate version?

Very interesting.
Wheels of Justice Slowly Turning...

A policeman has been indicted for attacking a young female protestor during an anti-disengagement protest according to this article in Ynetnews.com. Check out the picture on the left side-bar - a twelve year old girl with her arm twisted behind her back by the policeman in question. She is also being choked at the same time.

In similar news, Israel Matzav has a post about an ex-IDF officer who is charging that he witnessed police beating girls without provocation at Amona. He is petitioning the Justice Ministry's Police Investigations Department.
Cutting Off Your Nose to Spite Your Face

For a number of years there has been tension between the IDF and the Hesder yeshivot (those that combine Torah study with army service). Eliezer Stern, in charge of personnel, has been spearheading changes to the system that the Hesder yeshivot have protested.

The Jerusalem Post has an article this morning about the latest controversies. In the article, the author claims that the reason that the IDF wants to make changes is to "create a more homogeneous military".

What exactly does that mean? If the IDF wants everyone to be the same, then it means that either the secular soldiers should become religious or the religious soldiers should become secular - an outcome which is impossible to implement, and a foolish one for the army to attempt.

If it means that the makeup of the groups should be equal - well, they already are. It says in the article that out of 40 soldiers, the Hesder yeshivot until now have insisted that 20 should be religious. 50/50 sounds about as homogenous as you can get. If the IDF wants to have more secular soldiers than religious in each group, then "homogeneous" is not the right word.

These changes are in addition to the very problematic inclusion of female instructors for the Hesder soldiers, something that the Rabbis have strenously objected to because of religious reasons.

The overall feeling in the Dati Leumi community (national religious) is that the army is making problems for no reason. The article states, that out of the 1200 Hesder yeshiva boys drafted every year, about 800 go into combat units. It is also well known that a good proportion of those in elite units (I've heard that they make up 50%) are those who wear knitted kipot. (I don't have a link to these statistics - if anyone has I would appreciate the information). So the inclusion of Hesder yeshiva boys in the army is not detrimental to the army - it is a boon. If you consider the fact that overall religious people have more children than the secular, and in future years there will just be more potential candidates for this stream of army service, it seems that forcing these potential draftees to opt out like the Charedim (Ultra-Orthodox) is cutting off your nose to spite your face.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

You Learn Something New Every Day

File this under "Wow, I didn't know that!". Jack at Random Thoughts has a post about Dr. Seuss's political cartoons, with some great examples.

We have most of his children's books, including the Butter Battle Book, which, to an adults perception is pretty much a piece against nuclear war. But I had no idea that he wrote political cartoons during World War II, which unfortunately, could be published today with only minor alterations.

Worth a look.
What's the Difference Between an AWAC Plane and a Trial Balloon?

The Jerusalem Post has a short piece today that starts like this, "Israel stepped up its relationship with NATO on Monday..."

It seems that some NATO pilots arrived here in an AWAC plane to visit Israel. I think that it is safe to say that they didn't come here to enjoy a felafel.

With the threat of another world war right around the corner, it is interesting to see the various diplomatic dances being carried out, as countries take the first steps of choosing sides.

This visit seems to be sending a message that Israel is a desirable member of NATO, although the author of the article points out at the end that when the Italian Defense Minister called for Israel to be made a member two weeks ago, his motion was quickly dismissed.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Inventing the Wheel

Many of you who have read this blog know that I have a lot of trouble with the Israeli government as it is. I think that it is an extremely flawed democracy, with no system of checks and balances.

Many Americans erroneously think that Israel is a democratic country like America, and that the only difference is that we have a parliamentary electoral system (where you vote for a party instead of for Prime Minister directly). I used to think so too. When I became more and more interested in politics here, and my Hebrew improved so that I was able to read newspapers and other sources in my second language, I started to learn differently.

My first shock came when I discovered that Israel does not have a constitution at all. For years the Knesset has been trying to address this problem, and Ben Chorin has a good post about it here., including a link to a proposed constitution in English.

To be honest, I am still confused about how the courts, and the Supreme Court especially, make decisions. I have a vague idea that there is a set of basic laws that were cobbled together from what existed before independence in 1948, made up of Ottomon and British laws, with additions made by the first Knesset. Any lawyers out there who would like to enlighten me further are welcome - but easy on the jargon please!

I still believe in working "within" the system, or better yet, overhauling the entire system itself, even if it is extremely frustrating. G-d does his part, and we have to do ours, even if it seems daunting.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

I Hate to Say I Told You So,..But..

Who am I kidding, like every other person on the planet I love to say "I told you so". Except in this case the possibly dire consequences of the government ignoring the threat is so scary that it takes away from the pleasure.

The Jerusalem Post has an editorial warning that the government's passivity in relation to the kassam rockets falling on the Ashkelon industrial zone is a disaster in the making. So far the kassams have not hit the power plant, or the chemical plants there, but if they do, it will be a disaster of Biblical proportions.

When those of us who opposed the disengagement plan said the same thing, we were ignored. Hopefully someone will wake up before it is too late.
The Father of All Jewish Blog Carnivals

SoccerDad is hosting this weeks Haveil-Havalim, number 58, and it is fantastic. Lots of good stuff.

New Olympic Sport Born in Westbank Household

My 10 year old son asked permission to have a friend sleep over this past Shabbat, and we said yes. After a pleasant evening meal, including singing and divrei Torah, my son and his friend got into pajamas. I cleared the table and settled down to read a book.

The book was interesting, but my "mom radar" was still tuned into what was happening in the other room. As the level of laughter rose higher and higher, and soon turned into hysterics, I found it more and more difficult to concentrate, and finally decided to investigate what was happening in the other room.

I walked in and found an amusing sight. Both boys had taken a number of throw pillows that I have around the house and they had stuffed them under their pajama shirts. In my son's case, his new figure was a bit of an improvement. My son is not exactly skeletal, but he is pretty skinny. I have had Israelis come up to me and say, "Mama, you have to feed your kid more". (After moving to Israel you automatically receive the inalienable right to give parenting advice to complete strangers!). So what greeted my eyes was a sort of "before and after diet picture", except this time in reverse, changing his figure from, let's say, broomstick to Michelin man.

Now that they had an audience, my son made a request which most mothers of sons dread: "Ima, look!"

Each kid stood at the opposite end of the room, and began waddling their now pudgy bodies toward each other. As they came close, they launched themselves into the air, and with a timing and coordination that Olympic figure skaters would envy, they bumped bellies in mid-air. My son's friend fell to the floor laughing, but my son, with less ballast, careened off him like a ping-pong ball and smashed into the wall.

Every mother says this, but I can say in all seriousness, that my son was literally bouncing off the walls! (And AbbaGav has the nerve to complain about what happens in HIS house when his kids have a sleepover. Wuss)

I made them stop this game when they started to hyperventilate from laughing so hard, and then they came up with this brilliant statement.

"Ima, we know what we want to be for Purim this year. Sumo wrestlers."

That y chromosome is something else.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Why We Have Lost Faith in the System

Evelyn Gordon has an excellent piece in the Jerusalem Post summarizing the reasons that the teenagers at Amona, and many of us who live in Judea and Samaria, have lost faith in the democratic system in Israel.

"In a democracy, victory is supposed to be achieved by winning an election. Yet
settlers twice won democratic votes against the disengagement, only to see their
victory nullified by the government and Knesset."

If you want to understand current events in Israel, this is a must read.

Technorati tag:
"Paradise No" Petition

For those of you who haven't come across this yet, there is an online petition to request the Academy Awards not to award the film Paradise Now.

The petition includes excerpts of a letter written by the father of a young man killed by a suicide bomber.

There has also been a request to post the link to the petition on as many web sites as possible, so that it will show up on search engines.

If you haven't signed yet, please do. If you have a blog, please link to it.

Technorati tag:

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Two More Reasons Why I Read Blogs

I read blogs for a lot of reasons, and I just found two more. Two blogs, within the space of a half an hour, gave me information that I would not have come across on my own.

DaledAmos has a good post about moderate Muslims and how they are trying to make their voice heard above the din.

ZionReport excerpts an interview of a pro-Israel sheikh.

Worth a look.
Calling All Volunteers

I received this e-mail recently from Suzie Dym, the head of Matot Arim, and thought I would publicize it. As I explained here, despite the relentless media spin that Kadima is way ahead of the pack, there is movement of voters from Kadima to the Likud. Those of you who would like to be politically active and campaign in Israel during the next few weeks....

"It's time to go from house to house, or from phonecall to phonecall if that is more convenient for you, persuading our fellow citizens to vote for the right and NOT for Kadima. Our goal is to get 61 MKs into the Knesset who will vote against a Palestinian state and all its trappings ("disengagements", etc.). This is going to be a big national volunteer campaign! We know these things work -- remember the Likud referendum when Sharon's solid 20% majority melted away in a single month?

* If you can be in charge of the volunteers in your area, please contact sddym@Bezeqint.net. You will need to give each volunteer some voters' names to work on, write down who got which names, and collect the feedback that your volunteers will shortly stream back to you.

* If you are willing to gather 20 - 50 friends in your living room (or wherever) to explain this volunteer campaign to them -- please also immediately contact sddym@Bezeqint.net. If you would like MK Prof. Aryeh Eldad to speak to the assembled, please call Netzer 052-5666920"

This is grass roots political action at its best.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Just Because You Are Paranoid Doesn't Mean That They're Not Out to Get You

Now I know how conspiracy theorists get started.

I tried to get onto blogger yesterday and couldn't, and noticed that it took a very long time to load my blog. I kept trying, but I had the same problem.

I went into some other blogs that are hosted by blogspot, and saw that people were posting as usual. (By coincidence I looked only at blogs that are written by those in America).

Then I remembered the subject of my last post, and what I wrote as my last line. (Go ahead, look, you know you are curious).

Those of us who live in Judea and Samaria, or the westbank (b'laaz, as they say), are sometimes paranoid about the Shabak (the Israeli version of the FBI) listening in to our phone conversations. We joke about it, but underneath we know that in some cases the phones are, in fact, tapped.

That is why I started to become a bit nervous. Could someone be deliberately keeping me away from blogging? The fact that blogger is owned by Google, which is giving in to China about blocking access to blogs, also played a part in my letting my imagination take over...

Then Carl in Jerusalem of Little Green Footballs fame posted there that he, too was having problem accessing blogger in order to post to his blog Israel Matzav....

Jameel at the Muqata clued me in that it was a netvision problem, and Carl added to it that it was even larger than that, but it was affecting quite a lot of Israeli bloggers.

Whew. I'm ok now, but I have a little bit more sympathy for the conspiracy theorists of the world...

Sunday, February 12, 2006

The Camera is Mightier Than the Sword - Israeli Police Caught in Lie

This is my translation of excerpts from Sophia Ron-Moriah's article in this past week's Makor Rishon. Found in the Weekly Diary section, dated February 10, 2006, titled: "Gam Hiku, Gam Shikru" (Not Only Did They Hit, But They Lied Also).

Sophia Ron-Moriah opens her article with a short explanation of how MK Effie Eitam's spokesman, Avi Lerner, received a request for Eitam to appear on Yair Lapid's television program (known for his sympathetic treatment of his interviewees). The request was made the day after the Amona incident, Thursday, February 2nd. On Sunday, February 5th the request was cancelled. Lapid had decided to interview Moshe Karadi, the Chief of Police, instead.

What caused this change? The police media campaign over the intervening Sabbath that Eitam was not, in fact, injured by police, but by a rock thrown by a protester.

The pictures supposedly proving this assertion were aired on television on the Sabbath, when both Eitam and his spokesman, Lerner, could not respond, as they are both Sabbath observers (a fact which is known by the TV producers of this show).

Moriah describes the specific incident of MK Eitam's injury as follows:

"MK Effie Eitam stood with the other MK's [Aryeh Eldad, Benny Elon, and Uri Ariel, ed] facing the police. Eitam, who had experience dealing with the police from the evacuation of Gush Katif, wanted to prevent violence and went looking for a commanding officer. Noone paid him any attention. Suddenly a group of policemen on horses bore down on him. Makor Rishon camerawoman, Miriam Tzachi, who was on the scene, described what happened. Eitam was injured both by a horse's hoof and he was hit in the head by a police baton. Tzachi continued to film the incident. In the pictures you see Eitam fall to the ground. Then the horses move backwards, and storm a group of protesters on the other side. Eitam, who was afraid that he would be trampled by the horses again, got up and began walking away. This is the picture that the police presented - Eitam walking with a bleeding head wound among many policemen."

Moriah goes on to explain in her article that the police spokesmen showed two pictures - one from before the incident, when Eitam is not injured, and one from after the incident, when Eitam is walking among the policemen. They claimed in the TV show aired that Friday night, that there were no horses in the area, and that Eitam was injured by a rock thrown from behind - which is strange in itself because his injury was in the front of his head. [great policework, eh? ed.]

Miriam Tzachi's photograph's, proving that the police version was a lie, was shown for the first time on Monday, February 6th on the program "Erev Chadash". They were shown again during the stormy Security and Foreign Affairs Committee meeting, which was held on Wednesday, February 8th. The police representative present at this meeting, Machoz Shai Commander, Yisrael Yitzchak, had no response to the evidence that the police lied. [they do know how to plead the fifth, ed]

Moriah further quotes Eitam, from the same meeting, who said that he knows now what it is like to be an innocent citizen who has been framed by the police.

Eye opening.

I have been following the news closely, and I did not read about any of this in the mainstream media. There was one cryptic sentence in a Jerusalem Post article about a controversy regarding film versions of the incident, but that was all.

Kudos to Miriam Tzachi for her professionalism, and kudos to Sophia Ron-Moriah for her reporting.

And last, but not least, a message to the police - from me. THE LEFT MAY CONTROL MOST OF THE MAIN STREAM MEDIA, BUT IT DOESN'T CONTROL THEM ALL.

And it certainly doesn't control the blogs.

Technorati tag: Amona

Friday, February 10, 2006

Those Evil Jews, What Will They Think of Next?

As a blogger who is also a Jewish mother, I couldn't pass this story by. Ynetnews.com has an article about those in Syria who are accusing the Jews of creating and spreading bird flu in order to kill Arabs.

They say we are developing a strain that specifically attacks those with "Arab genes".

We supposedly started the strain in the Far East in order to deflect attention. (What a fake-out!)

As they say, you can't make this stuff up.

Then again, it does answer a question that has puzzled Jewish thinkers for years, namely why do Jewish mothers keep making their families chicken soup?

Aha! It's to slowly build up the immunites against the disease.

Now the only question is, what are the matza balls for?

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Hit Him Where it Hurts - In the Voting Booth

Last weeks Makor Rishon had a small article describing how many of the so called "orange youth" are about to take to the streets again - this time going house to house campaigning. Remembering their success in changing minds before the Likud referendum on the disengagement plan, they plan to focus on those traditional Likud voters who may have decided to vote for Kadima. (For those of you who don't know, before the Likud referendum on the disengagement plan from Gush Katif, polls showed a majority were for the plan. After three weeks of intensive, one-on-one campaigning, the end result was that the disengagement plan was rejected by an unprecedented landslide of 60 percent against, 40 percent for, which Arik Sharon chose to ignore). The teens, and adults who will join them, are hoping to get these voters to change their minds and go back to the Likud.

I was very happy to see this article, and today's article in Haaretz makes me even more hopeful. They did a survey which shows a drop in Kadima's support, from 43 seats to 40. This specific drop may not be so important, but other, more detailed information in the article seems to be significant.

One, while the transfer of funds to the PA was cited as a reason for the drop in Kadima support, they also found that the evacuation of Amona led 9 percent to change their vote from Kadima to the Likud.

Two, they found that in addition to 6 percent of voters who do not plan to vote at all, 13 percent are undecided. (A Maagar Mochot poll shows an even greater number of undecided.) This translate into 20 floating seats.

Three, the survey shows significant public support for the establishment of an inquiry committee to investigate the Amona evacuation, which the Knesset approved in its first reading yesterday, despite Labor's backpedaling.

Four, they found that Olmert's personal approval rating has dropped.

Knock on those doors, guys. It certainly beats getting hit over the head by a baton!

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Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Kadima's Spelling Phobia

What do Ehud Olmert and Cheech and Chong have in common?

Well, nothing.

And the campaign people in Kadima want to keep it that way.

Today the political parties receive the letters that will be printed on the slips of paper we use to vote in national elections. (For those of you who are not aware, our country is still in the third world when it comes to elections. We place slips of paper with an abbreviation of the party we want to vote for in a little envelope and this is then placed in a locked box.)

It turns out that Kadima will receive the letters chaf - nun, which means "yes" in Hebrew.

So far so good.

The problem is that the Green Leaf party, the one that wants to legalize marijuana, wants the letters kuf-nun, which in Hebrew sounds exactly the same as chaf-nun. (The English equivalent of the sounds of hard c, and k.)

I guess they are afraid that people will get mixed up, and will vote for Green Leaf instead of Kadima.

I can just imagine it - the haze over Tel-Aviv will be something to see if they get 43 seats in the Knesset...

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Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Not Just Brutality, But Sexual Abuse?

Ynetnews.com has a very disturbing article about claims that the Yassam police abused the teenage girls in Amona.

And if you think that the violence was just directed at the protestors, read this account from Ben Chorin, who details how the police treated the Magen David Adom medics on the scene.

And if you think that this behavior is just directed at settlers, think again. Read this article in ynetnews.com with the "charming" headline: Cops Beat Ambassador's Wife.

You think we need a commission of inquiry into the police? Really? So do I , and so do a lot of people in Israel right now. The problem is that there are too many people who resent the settlers and think that we "deserve" getting smacked around. So they are being quiet about it.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Two Excellent Posts by Treppenwitz About the Events in Amona

David Bogner (a.k.a. Treppenwitz) has written two excellent posts about the events in Amona. The first, called The Wicked Son, describes the events and the feelings that David, and many of us who live in the westbank, have after the police brutality that occurred there.

The second, called Law and Order, analyzes some points that commenters have brought up.

Both are highly recommended, and in my opinion should be linked as much as possible.
Creative Protest Against Police Brutality - A Call to Israeli Parents

I received another interesting e-mail today, with a unique suggestion as to how to protest the brutality of the Israeli police. Here is the text:

After Amona, do you believe that the Israel Police Force is an upstanding role model for your children to emulate?A group of concerned parents feel that after witnessing the horrific police brutality in the Amona evacuation, it would not be educational to dress our children in the Police purim costumes that they have worn so proudly in past years.We will therefore be sending these unwanted police costumes to President Katzav, who is the ethical representative of the State of Israel, in a creative, civil and democratic protest about the misuse of the police force.If you wish to attach a photograph of your child wearing their uniform in previous years, feel free to do so with a letter explaining why this year they will not be wearing it. Please remember that President Katzav is amongst those calling for an investigation into the police actions - so write to him movingly but respectfully.

1) We are currently organizing drop-off points in various cities around Israel. If you wish to volunteer to be a drop-off point, please email us.

2) For those people who prefer to mail their uniform directly to the President's Residence (3 Hanassi Street, Jerusalem, 92188), please email us after you have mailed them, with your name and geographical location, so that we can keep note of the numbers of uniforms sent and hopefully draw media attention to the campaign.

3) If you are not interested in being pro-active, at least please consider whether you wish to dress your child in police uniform this year.For further information or to volunteer, please email me
at purimprotest@hotmail.com
Carmi Wisemon

As the mother of boys, I have one of these costumes upstairs in a closet. Bli neder, I will be sending it on.
Hey Olmert, the Neo-Nazis are Kvelling!

I received this link in an e-mail by someone claiming that a neo-Nazi now in the Yassam police unit sent these pictures of Amona back home to Russia to brag.

I have no reason to believe that what this e-mail said was innacurate, but since I cannot understand Russian I cannot vouch for what is being written on the web site.

But it seems to me that if a neo-Nazi web site has posted these pictures, it is not to show how outraged they are. (Trust me, women just know these things.)

Update: 11:07 am. I received the following e-mail from a Russian speaker concerning the above web site:

"This is not just a skin-head website, it is a Russian Nazi website. These are not doped-up numbskulls, but professionals. From the other articles there, it is clear that they follow events here quite closely. They obviously were tickled pink to see Jews smashing Jews."
Haveil-Havalim #56

Modern Orthodox Woman is hosting this weeks Haveil-Havalim, number 56. Nice roundup.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Hey Kadima Voters, Do You Ever Take a Plane?

The Jerusalem Post has an article on a campaign stop by Bibi Netanyahu today in the settlement of Beit Aryeh. It turns out that they will be "outside" of the security fence, according to the Supreme Court ruling. Bibi wants to change this, and move the fence eastward.

Why is this important? Well, it turns out that Beit Aryeh is situated in the hilltops overlooking Ben Gurion airport. And most thinking people would say that from a strategic point of view this area is crucial to our security.

Then again, it is only important to those who fly in and out of Ben Gurion. If you don't have family abroad, or you never fly anywhere on business, or you never plan on taking a vacation outside of Israel, then you should be ok.

All five of you.
Nice Write-Up in AP

No, no, not about Israel - have you lost your mind? The write-up is about Michael Yon who writes a fantastic blog about what is really happening in Iraq. He was embedded with American forces in Iraq for five months, so he really knows what he is talking about.

He also has some wonderful photographs.

Both the write up and his blog are worth a look.

Link: http://michaelyon-online.com

Friday, February 03, 2006

Demonstration on Sunday, February 5th, Kikar Zion, Jerusalem

For those of you who haven't seen the notices, there will be a demonstration on Sunday at 6:30pm in Kikar Zion in Jerusalem.

This is for those of us who are clinging by our fingernails to the belief that peaceful demonstrations have some effect.

And that there are reasonable people in Israel, who despite their disagreements with us, think that Olmert's decision to disregard the compromise worked out that would have avoided the violence in Amona was proof of an appalling lack of judgement.

And that there is still hope that we can convince our teenagers that they are not backed into a corner yet - and that there are other ways to help their fellow Jews than mixing it up with policemen on horses.

And, if nothing else, G-d will take notice of our cries.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

A Psalm A Day Keeps the Psychologist Away

Given the events of yesterday, and the general state of affairs in Israel, I find that there are times when turning off the news and opening a book of Psalms is the best way to go.

Today I bring to you an excerpt from Psalm 27, from the English Artscroll Tehillim:

11. Teach me Your way, Hashem; and lead me on the path of integrity, because of my watchful foes. 12. Deliver me not to the wishes of my tormentors, for there have arisen against me false witnesses who breathe [words of] violence. 13. Had I not trusted that I would see the goodness of Hashem in the land of life! 14. Hope to Hashem; strengthen yourself and He will give you courage, and hope to Hashem.

Even better than chocolate, no?

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

In Defense of Rough Men

Those of you who haven't yet discovered neo-neocon should read her superbly written post Silence of the lambs. In it she defends the necessary evil of targeting terrorists, even if they cowardly hide behind civilians.

Just an excerpt: "To deplore the killing of innocents is easy, especially when there are no immediate consequences for doing so. Safe in Western countries, protected by freedom of speech and all the wonders it entails, it is easy to forget the truth of what Orwell said..People sleep peacebly in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf. It is easy to forget that such violence can never be perfectly targeted solely at the guilty. Nevertheless, we must do our best to see that as few lambs as possible are led to the slaughter."

As they say in the blog biz, read the whole thing.
Why is Ehud Olmert the Only One Who Doesn't Want Peace?

As of 7:30 am Israel time today, there is a compromise between the heads of Moetzet Yesha (representing the settlers) and the IDF (who are supposed to destroy nine house in Amona, close to the settlement of Ofra). The compromise is that the soldiers will withdraw, and the settlers will destroy the houses themselves over the course of the next few days.

The Supreme Court has given a restraining order to the army to wait to act, until a group of three judges will discuss the compromise.

The only one who is virulently against the compromise is none other than our acting Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert.

The houses will be destroyed, the army will not have to take part in dragging citizens out of their homes - and can take care of much more important things like finding terrorists before they get close to their intended targets.

The only thing that will not happen is the dramatic photographs - which seem to slake the thirst of those who hate us (settlers) more than anything else.

The rest of the country, according to polls, do not want any more unilateral withdrawls. The pain of the last summer was not felt just by the right.

Too bad Olmert's thirst to look like he is tough on settlers is stronger than his desire for peace - between the Jews.

Update: 1:45pm Effie Eitam, injured by police horse states: I never thought I would be hurt by Jewish cops.