Gilad Shalit phoning his family moments after being returned to Israeli hands, October 18, 2011.
Report: Gilad Shalit went on hunger strike while in Hamas captivity
Abducted IDF soldier Shalit, who was was eventually freed in a prisoner swap deal in October, forced Hamas to take efforts toward his release out of fear for his life, according to Army Radio.
Gilad Shalit went on hunger strike while in Hamas captivity, to pressure Hamas into negotiating his release, Army Radio reported on Sunday, citing “Yediot Aharonot.”
The abducted Israel Defense Forces soldier refused to eat, and consequently forced Hamas to take steps towards his release, out of fear for his life, the report said.
According to the report, Iran and Hamas also gave Israel false information as to Shalit’s whereabouts, in an attempt to lure an IDF extraction team into a booby trapped building.
Shalit was kept underground for the entire duration of his captivity and his guards did not change at any point during that time, the report said.
Shalit was released on October 18 after five years in Hamas captivity in a prisoner exchange deal which saw the release of over 1,000 Palestinian prisoners.
Is hypocrisy sanctified?
‘Hanukkah pricing’ Wodka vodka billboards are anti-Semitic, ADL charges
Company bombarded with complaints
Billboards pitching a cheap vodka to New Yorkers were attacked Tuesday by the Anti-Defamation League as anti-Semitic.
The Wódka vodka promotion features two dogs, one in a Santa hat and the other in a yarmulke, and include the message, “Christmas Quality, Hanukkah Pricing.”
ADL regional director Ron Meier said the ad “reinforces anti-Semitic stereotypes.”
“In a crude and offensive way of trying to make a point that their vodka is high quality and inexpensive, the billboards evoke a Jewish holiday to imply something that is cheap and of lesser value when compared to the higher value of a Christian holiday,” Meier said.
One of the billboards along the West Side Highway was taken down Tuesday, after the vodka company Panache Beverages in the Flatiron District was bombarded with complaints.
The company vowed to pull all the ads immediately.
“Particularly with the long history of anti-Semitic stereotypes about Jews and money, with the age-old notion that Jews are cheap, to use the Jewish holiday in dealing with issues of money is clearly insensitive and inappropriate,” Meier said.
Wódka vodka — which sells for $9 for a 750 milliliter bottle — has a reputation for irreverent ads, including ones reading “Escort Quality, Hooker Pricing” and “Hamptons Quality, Newark Pricing.”
“We’re surprised. We’re surprised people are vitriolically offended by what we’ve done,” said Dale James, co-owner of the vodka company, adding the ads were not intended to be offensive.
“This is a premium vodka, at a value price. That’s all we’re saying,” Dale told CBS Channel 2 news. “It’s all about value and quality.”
He said he’s even gotten death threats over the ads and has been compared to a Nazi.
Palestinian family given two weeks to vacate East Jerusalem home
Himnuta, subsidiary of Jewish National Fund, set to evict the Sumarin family, transfer house to settlers; Himnuta trying to evict family since 1991, says it owns the house they are living in.
The party behind the eviction is Himnuta, a subsidiary of the Jewish National Fund, which has been trying to get the Sumarin family to leave since 1991. Himnuta claims the house where the Sumarins are living actually belongs to it.
The custodian general confiscated the house from its original owner under the Abandoned Property Law about two decades ago and transferred it to the Development Authority, a state agency. Not long afterward, in the early 1990s, the Development Authority made a deal with Himnuta under which Himnuta received Palestinian land and houses in Silwan in exchange for land near Wadi Ara that the JNF transferred to the state.
Shortly after obtaining these houses, Himnuta leased most of them to Elad, a group engaged in settling Jews in East Jerusalem that also runs the nearby City of David national park. Left-wing activists and Palestinian residents of the neighborhood believe the Sumarin house will also eventually be transferred to Elad, since it is located right at the entrance to the City of David.
Several of the surrounding houses are owned by Elad and have been populated with Jews, and the lawyers who represented Himnuta in the Sumarin case have also represented Elad in many similar cases.
There have been various legal proceedings over the Sumarin house, which produced verdicts both for and against the family. Finally, in 2005, Himnuta filed suit to evict the Sumarins.
The Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court accepted the suit in January 2006, apparently due mainly to negligence by the family’s attorney, which never filed a defense brief. The court ordered the Sumarins to vacate the house and pay Himnuta NIS 1 million in compensation.
For several years thereafter, Himnuta took no further action. But about two months ago, it applied to the Bailiff’s Office and obtained an eviction order from this agency. The order requires the Sumarins to leave by November 28 or face forcible eviction. Meanwhile, the amount of compensation they owe Himnuta has grown to NIS 2 million.
On Sunday, agents from the Bailiff’s Office came to the house with a police escort to seek information from the family. “They asked how many rooms there are, where the back door is and who lives in the house,” said Ahmed Sumarin, 28.
Another family member said that one of visitors added, “In another two weeks, there will be a mezuzah here.”
“I don’t know what to do if they come with force,” said Ahmed Sumarin. “This is our home. My grandfather still lives here. Where will we go? If they take your home away, you can only go onto the street.”
On Tuesday, the family’s new attorney, Muhammad Dahleh, plans to file a request to annul the verdict. “This whole proceeding was mistaken,” he said. “Had a defense brief been filed, it would have been possible to do a lot.”
The Sheikh Jarrah Solidarity movement, which has been helping the family, said that Himnuta’s “eagerness to throw people out of their home in the service of the settlers is another expression of the current government’s thuggish rule. We’ll continue to suffer from the destructiveness of this racist policy until the public rises up against a government that sabotages our future.”
Killing Me Softly …..
The NYPD didn’t shut it down! It is still there! Lots of people are joining the occupiers today. THERE IS STILL HOPE!
Wine Bottles Smashed In Al-Aqsa Compound
Local sources report that a number of Jewish settlers broke into the al-Aqsa compound and began drinking wine and smashing bottles on the floor.
Consumption of alcohol is forbidden in Islam and such acts are considered desecration. The group allegedly broke through a gate near the Western Wall and were protected by Israeli police. Police only intervened to ensure that angry worshippers from the mosque were kept separate from the settlers.
The al-Aqsa mosque and Dome of the Rock are considered the third holiest site in Islam. The act of desecration was allegedly a result of calls to celebrate the Shavuot holiday at the site. Tensions have been particularly high in East Jerusalem recently as a result of inflammatory marches on ‘Jerusalem day’ last week and Israeli MK Michael Ben-Ari’s tour of the mosque with a group of settlers on Tuesday.
Trump Bows Out, but Spotlight Barely Dims
Donald J. Trump announced on Monday that he would not seek the presidency, a development less important for the Republican field or his national political future — if he ever had one — than for what it said about a media culture that increasingly seems to give the spotlight to the loudest, most outrageous voices.
Read the rest of the New York Times report HERE
His antics in the political arena will be sorely missed by all. Perhaps now a serious candidate like Sarah Palin will have a chance at the top spot ;)
See apology at end of post….
These are not the days of Kennedy where there were no women to be found in any strategic White House photos. Society has progressed and women now hold major positions the world over, whether some publications like it or not.*
Ultra-Orthodox Hasidic newspaper Der Tzitung is trying to change history by removing US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton from the recent Situation Room photo showing Clinton alongside Obama and the rest of his staff watching the Osama bin Laden raid.
Apparently the paper doesn’t allow publishing of women in any of the pictures as they could be considered “sexually suggestive.” Der Tzitung also removed Director of Counterterrorism Audry Thomason from the now-iconic photo.
History, it seems, is not devoid of women, not matter how good our photoshopping skills are. To try and pretend that women aren’t part of today’s most important historical moments is ridiculous.
These are not the days of Kennedy where there were no women to be found in any strategic White House photos. Society has progressed and women now hold major positions the world over, whether some publications like it or not.
In the past the White House has banned news organizations who have “manipulated” photos.
Reprinted with permission from Shalom Life
Reported in Ynet
THIS just off the press…..
U.S. Orthodox newspaper apologizes for altering White House photo
THE ‘PROOF’ WE HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR ~~ BIN LADEN IS DEAD AGAIN! ~~ INCLUDING THE LATEST THREATS FROM THE GRAVE
Al Qaeda promised to avenge Osama bin Laden’s death and is determined to keep battling the United States. Al Qaeda has finally acknowledged bin Laden’s death, in a statement made on the internet, intended to convince its ‘supporters that they will stay united, energetic and effective even though their founder has been killed.
The plots attributable to al Qaeda in the past have been costly and vastly detailed, made over an extensive period of time. However, US intelligence noted more chatter regarding inexpensive, unimpressive attacks, possibly to be undertaken by small radical groups or single individuals, to avenge bin Laden’s death.
Over 100 protesters in a pro-bin Laden rally, in front of the London US Embassy shouted:
“USA, you will pay!”
To date, no solid, believable threat has been discovered. Random violence, shootings and bombings, which are to be expected, were mentioned. Threat levels have not been elevated, by choice of US and European authorities.
Security forces and law enforcement in 188 countries have been warned by Interpol to be on alert for pay-back attacks.
Regardless of the chatter on the internet, the reaction of the Islamic world in response to the death of bin Laden has been quite low key, as opposed to the fury bin Laden inspired, which makes one wonder about his influence in the Mid East, an area that has been altered by the numerous pro democracy conflicts.
According to The CS Moniter, the words in the statement read:
“You lived as a good man, you died as a martyr”
However, the statement didn’t designate the next in line to be bin Laden’s successor.
Also in the statement, it said:
“The blood of the holy warrior sheik, Osama bin Laden, God bless him, is too precious to us and to all Muslims to go in vain. We will remain, God willing, a curse chasing the Americans and their agents, following them outside and inside their countries.”
The authenticity of the statements couldn’t be verified although they are considered authentic. Al Qaeda’s online media distribution network, the all-Fajir Center, posted information on militant websites, which was written in the style typical of al Qaeda. A day after the death of bin Laden, the statement was made, supposedly, by the General Command of the organization or in his name.
According to Jay Carney, White House press secretary, US officials knew about the threat and statement. He further stated:
“What it does obviously is acknowledge the obvious, which is that Osama bin Laden was killed. We are quite aware of the potential for (terrorist) activity and are highly vigilant on that matter for that reason.”
The statement further read:
“Sheik Osama didn’t build an organization to die when he dies. The university of faith, Quran and jihad from which bin Laden graduated will not close its doors. The soldiers of Islam will continue in groups and united, plotting and planning without getting bored, with determination, without giving up until striking a blow.”
It also said, of the action of the killing of bin Laden, it was done:
“along an established path followed by the best of those who came before him and those who will come after him.”
This acknowledgment made by al Qaeda ought take away the doubt from all, but the most determined “conspiracy theorists” the fact that bin Laden was truly killed and really is dead.
As President Obama said:
“Justice has been done!”
Following is the rest of the ‘proof’ I promised…. If these two reports fail to convince you that’s it’s all ‘true’ …. I’m at a loss. I have done my best to bring you the ‘facts’……
Jihadis React to Bin Laden’s DeathIslamist Web Sites and The Future of Al QaedaShiraz Maher*The view from jihadi Internet forums is fascinating these days as al Qaeda members and supporters react to the loss of their leader. Until al Qaeda officially confirmed Osama bin Laden’s death on Friday, confusion dominated the forums, with participants sharply divided between those who embraced the news and those who denied it.
The more stoic members were keen to ensure that their supporters did not lose heart. “We were not fighting for Osama,” Salmakh84 wrote on the Ansar forum. “We were fighting for Allah. The Jihad will continue even if the Amir [leader] is Shaheed [martyred]!!” Another user added: “Those who fought for shaykh usaamah know that shaykh usaamah has passed away, but those who fought for Allaah know that Allaah is alive and will never die.”
As forum members waited for al Qaeda to make a statement, one user pleaded, “Please be patient and put aside all speculations until we receive an official confirmation report from our brothers in the ranks.” Until yesterday, the only confirmation of bin Laden’s death had come from Western media –- an unacceptable source for jihadis. Links to mainstream news stories were flagged as coming from an “unconfirmed kafir [unbeliever] source,” and a user called Ansariyya wrote that he would never “believe a word that comes out of their lying deceitful mouths.” Another added, “Who cares what the kuffaruun [unbeliever] dogs are stating?”
Indeed, some jihadi forums even continued to insist that bin Laden was alive. As late as Thursday, the al Qimmah forum (which is linked to the al Shabaab movement in Somalia) and several others carried a video statement from a man calling himself Commander Waliu al Rahman, which claimed that bin Laden was alive.Bin Laden’s followers have been quick promise new attacks. One warned that “a million new bin Ladens will be born! And the flag of jihad will be raised! Inshallah.”
Conflicting statements from senior U.S. officials regarding bin Laden’s last minutes only heightened distrust among forum users. According to U.S. President Barack Obama’s initial statement, there was a firefight at the compound, suggesting that bin Laden was armed. According to White House spokesman Jay Carney’s later statements, he was not. The administration also dismissed earlier suggestions that bin Laden had hidden behind his wife. The commenter Ummu Amarah, writing on the popular Ansar forum, summed up users’ frustration: “This is so crazy and confusing … maybe we should stop writing and talking about this news until our brothers have confirmed if the news is true or not.”
As forum members continued to speculate, a user calling himself Mujahid expressed his frustration at the lack of information: “Is there really still no official word out? It’s weird on both ends, the story the americans are saying doesn’t make sense and no official word has been put out yet by AQ pretty unusual.” Administrators from Ansar echoed those sentiments, pointing out that “More than 48 hours have passed and still there is no official statement from Al-Fajr media [al Qaeda’s official online news outlet] regarding the Martyrdom of Sheikh Osama bin laden. The supporters of the Mujahideen are waiting for the official statement with their hands on their hearts.”
Al Qaeda finally confirmed bin Laden’s death on Friday, May 6, on the Ansar and Shumukh forums. The fact “that the Americans have killed Osama is neither shameful nor disgraceful,” the announcement said, since ”men and heroes are only killed on the battlefield, and every soul has an appointed time.” It went on to warn that “Sheikh Osama did not build an organization that would die with him, nor would end with him.”
The delay between his death and the announcement was unusual. Typically, al Qaeda is quick to publicize the death of a leader and hail him as a martyr. In 2006, Ayman al-Zawahiri, then al Qaeda’s second in command, practically canonized Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of al Qaeda in Iraq, on the al Hesbah and Ikhlaas forums after he was killed by a U.S. air strike in Iraq. Similarly, when Mustafa Abu al-Yazid, al Qaeda’s alleged financial chief, was killed by a drone strike in Pakistan last year, al Qaeda wasted little time in eulogizing him. Bin Laden and Zawahiri both released official statements of mourning.
Al Qaeda uses such announcements to inspire a wide audience of members –- and potential recruits –- with tales of heroism and the promise of paradise if they participate in jihad. But just how much does the chatter on these forums actually matter? Although jihadi forum members were once considered benign, evidence in recent years suggests that some are anything but armchair jihadis. Take the example of Humam Khalil al-Balawi, who claimed the lives of seven CIA personnel working at Camp Chapman in Afghanistan in December 2009. It was the deadliest attack against American intelligence officers since the 1983 bombing of the American embassy in Beirut, and Balawi became a forum users’ hero because he was one of their own.
Although Balawi had long been associated with extremism, he was also an enthusiastic participant on al Qaeda—linked forums. Over many years, he had risen from contributor to administrator and then to suicide bomber. His case is not exceptional. Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has also used jihadi Web forums to communicate directly with Muslims in the West, using encrypted messages to offer detailed instructions on how to conduct jihad. One al Qaeda member, Anwar al-Awlaki, directed Major Nidal Hasan to carry out a terrorist attack at Fort Hood in 2009.
Of course, forum participants do not always become killers in order to serve the jihadi cause. From 2003 to 2005, a young Moroccan in London, Younis Tsouli, ran sophisticated Web sites for the Iraqi insurgency under the pseudonym Irhabi 007 (Terrorist 007). Shortly before British police arrested him, in October 2005, he published a twenty-page document explaining how to hack Web sites. When the controversy surrounding Jyllands-Posten’s publication of cartoons satirizing the Prophet Mohammed flared up the following year, jihadi hackers systematically bombarded the newspaper’s servers, causing them to overload and crash. On an al Qaeda forum, one member acknowledged, “I am certain that I see his [Younis Tsouli’s] fingerprints on numerous projects.”
Al Qaeda’s increasing reliance on Web forums is telling. Denied safe havens and the ability to educate sympathizers in training camps, the group has prioritized online outreach to radicalize and inspire lone wolves. Almost impossible to detect and requiring practically no preparation, their attacks are primitive but effective, as the case of Hasan demonstrated. And within hours of bin Laden’s death, material aimed at inspiring that kind of attack was reissued on key forums, including one video called “And Incite the Believers” and another celebrating the “blessed Manhattan raid,” a reference to 9/11.
A well regarded and prolific member of the online jihadi community, Assad al-Jihad 2 (Lion of Jihad 2), frequently posts articles on the Ansar and Shumukh forums written on behalf of al Qaeda, and is thought to be a senior member of the group. After news of bin Laden’s death first emerged, he polled forum users to assess their reactions. The overwhelming majority, more than ninety percent, believed that attacks against the United States would increase, and that bin Laden’s death would embolden the movement.
Bin Laden’s influence will linger online for years to come. His followers have been quick to renew their pledge to the jihadi cause and are promising new attacks. One contributor warned on the Ansar forum that “a million new bin Ladens will be born! And the flag of jihad will be raised! Inshallah.” Another, Husain Mahmoud, wrote, “We are a nation who build a lofty fortress with the skulls of its chivalrous men. Whenever a man dies in war, the fortress growers even higher, remaining ever so lofty and elevated!”
The International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation recently convened a private seminar for leading experts and practitioners to explore whether al Qaeda is in strategic decline. It is — but, as one distinguished participant warned, “Don’t underestimate the ability of a declining threat to inflict great damage on its way down.” The al Qaeda statement confirming bin Laden’s death on Friday suggests that the movement will seek to avenge its leader’s demise, promising further attacks against the United States that “will even make the hair of babies turn grey.”
Sources involved in covert operation shed light on last moments of al-Qaeda arch-terrorist. ‘He was scared, completely confused,’ sources tell Fox News
“Osama bin Laden was scared and confused in his last moments, shoving his wife at the Navy SEAL who ultimately shot him,” sources who were involved in the operation that killed al-Qaeda arch-terrorist told Fox News on Thursday.
Bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad (Photo: AP)
Reuters shies away from characterizing Jerusalem bombing as terror attack, referring to it as ‘Palestinian strike.’ Responding to Ynet inquiry, news agency says ‘it is not up to Reuters to say who carried out attack’
In covering Wednesday’s terror attack in Jerusalem the Reuters news agency was loath to declare a Palestinian terrorist group was behind the bombing.
“Police said it was a ‘terrorist attack’ – Israel’s term for a Palestinian strike,” Reuters reported Wednesday. Many foreign media outlets based their reports on Reuters which described the incident as a “Palestinian strike.”
Among them was Sky News, which later corrected its report, as well as Yahoo News and Swiss Info. CNN was also careful not to place responsibility for the attack on the Palestinians. A report about Israel’s complaint to the Security Council following the attack stated that Israel had described the explosion as a terror attack.
Reuters’ report of Wednesday attack
Earlier this month, Israel demanded an apology from CNN over its coverage of the terrorist attack in Itamar claiming it was “tendentious and deceptive.” A CNN website report avoided describing the event as a terror attack, noting that the Israel Defense Forces consider it an act of terrorism.
Reuters told Ynet in response: “It is not up to Reuters to say who carried out an attack. We always need to quote the authorities, such as the police. On Wednesday, Israeli police used the Hebrew word “peegooa”, without specifically mentioning the Palestinians – but in the local context it is clear that this is who they were referring to. We spelt that out to an international audience to clarify precisely who was being blamed.
“We were certainly not trying to give a judgment value. We were simply seeking to present the facts, with all the correct attribution.
“We have used the same approach for years. This is not a policy we apply only to the Middle East conflict. It is a policy which we use across the globe in all situations.”
MKs Tibi, Zahalka spend most on cell phones while Barak, Lieberman scrimp on public communication
Sarsur took the lead in public communication spending with a total expenditure of NIS 86,565 ($24,330), and Zahalka came in second with NIS 83,139 ($23,374). MK Uri Ariel (National Union) was a close third, with NIS 83,045 ($23,320).
According to the report, Sarsur spent NIS 36,266 ($10,202) on printing materials, NIS 18,108 ($5,093) on leasing a parliamentary office outside the Knesset and NIS 9,711 ($2,728) on cell phones and services. Zahalka spent more than NIS 20,000 ($5,618) on cell phone expenses and leasing a parliamentary office. He bought furniture for the facility for NIS 5,264 ($1,479), and a laptop for over NIS 10,000 ($2,810).
“All of the expenses were done legally, as per the instructions and guidelines of the Knesset,” Sarsur’s spokesman said. He noted that NIS 16,000 ($4,489) was a rollover from 2009′s budget.
Meanwhile, Ariel spent roughly NIS 35,000 ($9,841) on leasing a parliamentary office and NIS 20,000 ($7,029) on professional counseling.
“We are making efforts to work very modestly, and thank God, we are successful,” Ariel said. “I don’t have a coffee maker, flat-screen televisions or other luxuries on my budget. We know very well where each shekel went, and we are certain that the community got it back tenfold.”
Livni, Mofaz spend on counseling
The report also showed that MK Eli Aflalo (Kadima) paid more than NIS 5,000 ($1,405) on press clips, while MK Shai Hermesh (Kadima) spent more than NIS 7,000 ($1,967) on food and drinks for guests he entertained.
While she did not make the top ten list of spenders in the public communication category, Opposition chairwoman Tzipi Livni‘s expenditures reached as high as NIS 66, 487 ($18,655) in 2010. She spent 36,000 ($10,115) on professional counseling, NIS 6,000 ($1,685) on a laptop and NIS 4,000 ($1,123) on cell phones, among other expenses.
Livni’s rival for Kadima leadership, MK Shaul Mofaz, spent as much as 41,700 ($11,710) on professional counseling over the past year.
The top spender on cell phone services was MK Ahmad Tibi (United Arab List-Ta’al), who paid NIS 51,094 ($14,343) on phones and related bills. Overall, Tibi was ninth on the public communication top-spender list.
MK Faina Kirshenbaum (Yisrael Beiteinu), who was eighth on the list, spent NIS 11,534 ($3,235) on a single survey.
The Knesset allocates NIS 80,000 annually to each MK for public communication. MKs who did not stay within the budget received permission to do so from the Knesset accountant.
Barak, Lieberman scrimp on communication
Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov and Minister Yossi Peled were the highest-spending ministers – they paid NIS 47,000 ($13,185) and NIS 45,000 (12,625) respectively on public communication.
On the other end of the spectrum, National Infrastructure Minister Uzi Landau spent NIS 15,000 ($4,208) to stay in touch with the voters, while Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar and Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin spent NIS 9,000 ($2,525) each.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spent NIS 3,500 ($982) of the budget in 2010.
“This Friday, we are forbidding access to the compound to men under 50 years old carrying an Israeli identity card,” police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told Agence France-Presse.
The directive concerned Palestinians living in occupied East Jerusalem as well as Israeli citizens of Israel, he said.
All Palestinians from the occupied West Bank were barred, even if they had Israeli papers.
Only 6,000 faithful were able to participate in the prayers as a result of the measures, the Islamic Waqf endowment told AFP.
Rosenfeld said police had reinforced positions in the walled Old City, amid concerns violent demonstrations would be staged after Friday prayers in a show of solidarity with the popular uprising in Egypt.
But only sporadic incidents were reported in the neighborhood of Ras Al-Amoud, where young people threw stones at police who responded with tear gas, onlookers said.
The compound contains the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock and is the third holiest site in Islam after Mecca and Medina.
The Ashkenazi ultra-Orthodox journal Yated Neeman launched a direct attack on Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, an adjudicator of religious law and spiritual leader of the political party Shas, over his decision to confirm that conversions to Judaism performed by military rabbis are legal from a religious standpoint.
The Yated Neeman article said that Yosef’s decision was shocking, a “desecration of God’s name,” and an inversion of clear decisions of religious law which will likely lead to “increased danger of major assimilation among the people of Israel.”
ASSIMILATION!!!!! God forbid!
The paragraphs in parenthesis are taken from this HaAretz article; Haredi journal: Rabbi Yosef’s approval of IDF conversions ‘a desecration’
As I see it the only thing being desecrated these days is the name of Jewish people themselves. The recent edicts of the rabbis have caused many people throughout the world look more carefully at the Jewish people as a whole, not realising that these rabbis speak for a, thankfully, small percentage of Jews and Israelis in general.
Those who chose to follow these misinformed ‘leaders’ of the Flock will eventually inbreed themselves out of existence. Perhaps only then will there be a reawakening of reality in the religious community.
During his weekly sermon, the rabbi read a section from the Babylonian Talmud, which states that “the fire only exists in a place where Shabbat is desecrated.”
Shas spiritual rabbi implies fire raging in northern Israel result of ‘desecration of Shabbat’. Haredi newspapers say disaster ‘a warning sign’, call for personal and public self-scrutiny
Shas’ spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef implied on Saturday night that the fire raging on Mount Carmel in northern Israel was a punishment from God for religious offenses committed by the area’s residents.
During his weekly sermon, the rabbi read a section from the Babylonian Talmud, which states that “the fire only exists in a place where Shabbat is desecrated.”
“A number of houses were destroyed, entire neighborhoods were lost – all under supervision,” the rabbi said. He recommended that people “study Torah, engage in good deeds, repent, observe Shabbat, and know the entire Halacha, and thanks to this God will apply a full recovery.”
On Friday, a day after fires began blazing on the Mount Carmel range, ultra-Orthodox newspapers called for self-scrutiny, saying the disaster was a sign from God.
In its editorial, haredi paper Hamodia said the Carmel wildfires demanded that the people of Israel scrutinize their acts and ask themselves if they caused the disaster.
Under the title “Who by Fire,” the editorial said this was the time for each and every one to look inward and do what is required to improve their lives.
To touch its readers, the paper quoted two phrases from the Yom Kippur liturgy, “Unetanneh Tokef”, according to which each one will be judged on the Day of Judgment – “who will live” and “who will die.”
The Hamevaser newspaper wrote that an investigation committee would probably be set up, but said we must not forget that there are things beyond human control. The editorial noted that in legal language it is known as “force majeure,” and that we know there is a directing force from above without whom it is impossible to even lift a finger “here below.” The Heavens caused the events and lead them to such disastrous levels, the editorial claimed.
‘Invoke heavenly mercy’
In many cases haredi news channels tend to ignore major news events, especially in crime, for educational reasons. However, they were not indifferent to the human tragedy of the bus carrying prison services cadets and the fires still blazing in some areas of the Carmel Forest.
By John Crace
During the last days of my presidency I gave serious thought to writing my memoirs. Karl Rove suggested I get a ghost who could write proper sentences and restrict myself to key moments of my time in office that I could retell to my advantage. So what follows is selective euphoric recall.
Quitting drinking was the toughest decision I’ve ever made. Those closest to me were begging me to carry on. “Think what you’re doing, George,” they cried. “If you do get sober, you’ll go on to be president and wreck the lives of countless people. Do us all a favour and keep getting legless.” I’m happy to say the only legless people these days are the US servicemen returning from Afghanistan.
I was extremely proud when my father installed me as governor of Texas. During my time in office I managed to build a new ball park for the Texas Rangers and execute record numbers of mentally ill prisoners. I had no aspirations to higher office until God told me I had a duty to serve my country.
“But Daddy,” I said, “I haven’t a clue what I’m doing.” “That’s precisely why you’re the right man. Keep your mouth shut and appoint my friends to key jobs and you’ll be fine.” “And what if we lose the election?” “Your brother Jeb can fix things in Florida.”
I have a great sense of humour, but even I struggled to crack a joke on 11 September 2001. As the twin towers collapsed, I was certain we were being attacked. I just didn’t know by whom. I was experiencing the fog of war. “It’s al-Qaida,’ said Condi. “Any relation to Al Gore?” I asked. Condi shook her head. I’d never heard of the Islamic turrurists with a penchant for blowing things up before, but I damn sure haven’t forgotten them since. “Turrurism against our nation will not stand,” I announced on television. “And for those who aren’t too sure what that means, let me put it another way. We’re going to kick raghead asses.”
The first person to telephone me was Prime Minister Tony Blears. “I want you to know Britain is with you all the way, George. By the way, I just love your macho jeans and cowboy boots.” I appreciated that kind of no-nonsense support and over the years Terry Blair has gone on to be one of America’s most faithful lapdogs and people should stop being so beastly to him.
It was soon clear going into Afghanistan and installing a corrupt government was not going to be enough in the war on turrur. We would need to invade Iraqistan. People have criticised me for allowing the CIA to sanction waterboarding. Well, let me say here and now that the intelligence gained prevented numerous atrocities, though unfortunately not the invasion of Iraqistan itself. It remains a matter of some regret to me that our intelligence on WMD was entirely incorrect.
On reflection, I also regret shouting “mission accomplished” as Iraqistan descended into chaos and anarchy, but I am proud to have brought democracy and Christian values to that part of the world and if mistakes were made they were definitely someone else’s. And let me make it quite clear I also gave serious thought to extending the Freedom Crusade to Iranistan, Syria and France. Make no mistake, God is not a Mozzer.
The most hurtful moment of my presidency was being called a racist for abandoning the black folk to their fate after Hurricane Katrina. Nothing could be further from the truth. The reason I did next to nothing was because they were poor and had voted Democrat. I was also just as shocked as everyone else by the greed of the financial sector that brought the US economy to its knees. I can honestly say Daddy’s friends never told me that a total lack of financial regulation and a programme of tax breaks for the rich would be so disastrous.
Oh dear. I seem to have run out of space to include my contribution to global warming, but as I left the White House for the last time, my little dog Barney shat on the lawn. I knelt down to clean it up, but thought, “Sod it. We’ll leave this mess for someone else.”
Digested read, digested: Most of which I got wrong.
Source (Be sure to read the amusing comments there)
The First Draft of George W. Bush’s Memoir
I’m proud of my many initiatives, like establishing the Hometown Security Department and passing the Parakeet Act.
If I had it to do over again, I wouldn’t have raised the defecate. But other presidents did that too. When you study history, sometimes you have to think about things that happened in the past.
I love this country. As George Washington, the Husband of our Country, once said: “I wish I had more than two lives to give to my country.” I agree halfheartedly!
It was hard being President of America. Lots of folks didn’t think I did a good job, but like I always say, “People in glass houses should wear their shoes on the other foot.” I guess they never heard my speech about that in the Ross Garden.
I was The Decider, so I always did what Dick said.
One of my first hard desertions was deciding whether to finish reading My Pet Goat. I knew there was a crisis going on, but I really wanted to know what happened to the goat at the end of the book. This was tough, but I finished the book later. It took me a week because I had to look stuff up in my dictionary. Laura helped me. She used to be a Liberrian before she changed to Republican.
One of my favorite things was wearing that flight suit on that aircraft career to tell everybody that the Iraq War was a missionary accomplice. I looked pretty hot in that, I thought. If they’d given me a flight suit like that when I was in the Natural Guard, I would have stayed longer. No, maybe not. I’ll have to give that further consternation.
I know I took too long to activate myself to the crisis in New Orleans, but I thought Hurricane Katrina, was a woman boxer not a rain storm until Brownie told me. I called him Brownie because his last name was Brown, not because I like brownies. That was a big misunderstanding in my administration.
I love Texas. It’s the greatest state in the onion, if you ask me. Like they say “Nothing is certain in life except debt in Texas.”
You know, I still don’t understand why people made such a fuss about water boarding. When I was a kid, I used to love riding the waves at Kennybunkport and I thought the terrorists would too because they lived in the dessert. I know I’d love to ride a camel some day.
How do I feel now? To be honest, after five long years, I’m glad to be retarded from the Presidency of America, but I kind of miss the Ovary Office and that song, “Hail to the Chef.”
But my leprosy will live on forever.
*John Blumenthal has been a professional comedy writer for 25 years. A former associate editor and columnist at Playboy Magazine (following a short stint at Esquire), he’s written 8 books and 2 produced movies. His films include “Short Time,” (major flop), and “Blue Streak” (huge hit, no idea why.) His last two novels, both published by St. Martin’s Press, were “What’s Wrong With Dorfman?” and “Millard Fillmore, Mon Amour,” (only available online now). They were both huge bestsellers among the members of his immediate family.