Come to think of it, I think I know the guy on the left....
Jerusalem kids all believe that they have the God-given right to throw snowballs at anything that passes with a motor. And while that may sound relatively harmless, with the 'Palestinians' it has become a deadly game.
But Muslim extremists found a way to make use of the snow to
threaten Jewish drivers specifically - by coating the rocks they threw
at vehicles driven by Jews. Throwing rocks at Jews has become a daily pastime for Muslim youths in certain neighborhoods in the capital in recent years.
Two hareidim who drove through the Beit Hanina neighborhood in
northern Jerusalem thought that the white projectiles being hurled at
their car were snowballs, and were surprised when they came crashing
through their window.
When they subsequently inspected the car they realized that the
“snowballs” were rocks packed in snow. As they looked at the damage,
they were again attacked by Muslims in what apparently was a planned
ambush. They managed to escape without injury and filed a police
Unless you're ready to deal with this sort of thing, I'd suggest not driving through Arab neighborhoods unless it's absolutely necessary.
And by the way, we have white-out conditions here in Jerusalem this evening. Around 7:30, I took one of my sons to the synagogue to study some Torah and say our evening prayers. When we left, there was heavy wet snow coming down, but nearly all of this morning's snow had melted. When we came back, around 9:00, the streets were totally impassable for cars. 2-3 inches of snow on the ground, more falling rapidly, and apparently one snow plow had gone through a few minutes earlier. Hmmm.
The poll, conducted among 900 Americans by Luntz Global, found a huge
majority of both Republican and Democratic respondents want stiffer
sanctions imposed on Iran. The finding comes just as US President Barack
Obama's administration reportedly has "killed" new sanctions against Iran from being passed in the Senate.
Obama's move is in contradiction to the public will expressed in the
poll, which revealed 77% of Americans support the ongoing 6 month
negotiations "while imposing sanctions and increas[ing] financial
pressure and sanctions." In fact, only 14% said they would vote for a
senator that would reduce pressure on Iran during negotiations.
Furthermore, the poll discovered that there is deep-seated distrust
over the intentions of the Iranian regime. Only 7% trust the Iranian
claim that their nuclear program is peaceful.
Moreover, 86% of voters think Iran will break its promises during the
negotiations, and 84% think Iran is manipulating negotiations to stall
"as they continue to develop their ability to make nuclear weapons."
If the American people knew the truth, they might really be up in arms against Obama. The truth is that Obama wants Iran to go nuclear and to have nuclear weapons because he wants to weaken America.
Another benefit of today's snowstorm: No concessions
Israel will not make any concessions to the 'Palestinians' today. That's because as a result of today's snowstorm, US Secretary of State John Kerry's meetings with Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Peres were canceled.
US Secretary of State John Kerry's scheduled meeting with President
Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem on
Thursday has been postponed due to the snowstorm which hit the capital,
American sources told The Jerusalem Post.
Kerry, who is due to
arrive on Thursday, is still expected to meet with Palestinian Authority
President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah.
If you're on Facebook and you're Haredi (I know - that's supposed to be a contradiction in terms), you might want to consider changing your profile picture to the one above. It's protesting against the abuse of Haredim on Facebook.
Dr. Emily Landau, who heads the Arms Control and Regional
Security Program at the Institute for National Security Studies, expressed concern
over the White House’s ongoing silence in the face of Iranian attempts to
redefine the Geneva agreement after its signing.
Landau cited recent
examples of Iranian interpretations of the agreement that contradict claims put
forward by the US, including the “immediate Iranian rejection of the White House
fact sheet [on the Geneva interim accord].”
According to Iran’s
publication of its own interpretation of what was achieved in Geneva and an
announcement by Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, within days of
the agreement, Iran will continue construction work at Arak.
Landau noted, Iran announced that it is testing its advanced new-generation
All the while, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei is
continuing to air “horrific rhetoric,” Landau said.
Well, yeah, unless the Iranian interpretation is the real one and Obama and Kerry are just lying. Where have I heard that possibility before?
Congress continuing to press for more Iran sanctions after all
US Congressional representatives on both sides of the aisle continue to be unimpressed with President Hussein Obama's Iran diplomacy. At the beginning of next week, Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Mark Kirk (R-Il) are to introduce legislation that would toughen sanctions against Iran and deny President Obama the ability to waive them. While that bill could draw a veto from Obama, if it passes 100-0 like the legislation the two introduced in 2011, it won't matter.
Robert Menendez, the Democratic chairman of the Senate Foreign
Relations Committee, and Republican Senator Mark Kirk are finishing
legislation that would target Iran's remaining oil exports and foreign
exchange and seek to limit President Barack Obama's ability to waive
However, the measure would impose the new sanctions
only if the interim deal has gone nowhere in six months or Iran violates
terms of the agreement. Supporters said that would comply with the
administration's request to allow negotiators to pursue a comprehensive
diplomatic solution to the Iran nuclear crisis.
But the measure faces an uphill battle to become law.
[John Kerry] was met with widespread skepticism from both sides of the aisle,
as Republicans and Democrats expressed worry that he had set in motion a
process that will not stop the Iranians and might undermine the
economic restrictions that had already been put in place. The members of
the committee also were puzzled as to why passing a bill that would not
go into effect until after the six-month period that is covered by the
interim accord signed in Geneva would in any way inhibit the ongoing
negotiations with Iran. Indeed, a number of them pointed out that having
these sanctions in place and ready to be enforced if the talks failed
would actually strengthen Kerry’s hand in talks with Iran.
Kerry’s answer to these well-taken points was to say that passing
sanctions now would “break faith” with Iran as well as with the other
members of the P5+1 group that had negotiated the deal. It would, he
said with a tone that clearly illustrated his disdain for his critics,
show that the U.S. “wasn’t playing by the rules.” Though he continued to
insist that the deal wasn’t based on trust but rather on an interest in
testing the intentions of the Iranians, he seems to think they would
either be scared away from talks or use the sanctions as an excuse to
break off negotiations. Given that the only reason the Iranians have
been forced to the table was their worries about the impact of the
existing sanctions, this makes little sense. If their goal were to lift
the sanctions, why would the threat of more cause them to give up the
only way of causing the West to drop the ones they are already
struggling to deal with? The real answer to the question would likely
undermine support for his diplomacy.
Kerry’s line dovetailed with the threats issued by the Iranian
foreign minister who has already warned the U.S. that he will walk away
from the process if Congress votes for more sanctions. Kerry fears the
Iranians will torpedo negotiations because, contrary to his
characterization of the talks, they are not acting out of weakness or
fear. By getting sanctions relief of any sort without giving an inch on
enrichment or dismantling a single centrifuge, let alone giving up their
stockpile, they have operated as if they, not the U.S., are in the
driver’s seat. By expressing the worry that the Iranians will “race” to a
bomb if more sanctions are passed, Kerry is accepting this equation in
which it seems as if they are doing the Americans a favor by deigning to
negotiate with him. Like the president, Kerry believes it is impossible
to force Iran to give up its nuclear program. Under these
circumstances, it’s difficult to believe the follow-up talks have much
chance of helping the administration make good on its promise never to
allow Iran to get a bomb.
The disconnect between the secretary and his congressional critics is
clear. Kerry thinks the only point of sanctions was to create room for
diplomacy, not to put Tehran’s feet to the fire. As a number of
committee members noted, they did not pass sanctions merely for the sake
of negotiating but to pressure Iran to give up their nuclear ambition.
Kerry’s only coherent argument was an appeal for more time. In six
months, he said, we would see whether he was right that a serious
process that would make the world safer had been initiated. Indeed, we
shall. But given his less-than-candid briefing on the terms of the
agreement in which he exaggerated the difficulties Iran would have in
re-converting its uranium stockpile to dangerous levels, Congress should
be prepared to be told that diplomacy was still viable next summer no
matter what actually happens in the months to come. Indeed, if, as Kerry
says, the Europeans abandon sanctions merely because of the possibility
that the U.S. will toughen them, how can he argue that they will stick
with the restrictions in the coming months once he has already begun to
Still waiting to see if the Democrats are finally able to oppose Obama....
At 5:00 am, they said they hadn't decided whether there would be school this morning.
At 7:00 am, they said there would be school, and that they would re-evaluate at 12:30, so we sent the kids.
At 8:00 am, the two youngest kids (who are not always reliable) called and said that the bus driver told them that the buses are stopping in an hour. They were 80% of the way to school already, so we told them to go to school and sort it out. A few minutes later we heard that at 8:00 am (!!!) the city decided to cancel school. We can't reach the kids because they don't have cell phones (school doesn't allow it and we wouldn't want them having them anyway).
What kind of morons run this city? Let them decide by 6:00 am and stick to it. Anything else means we don't know where we stand.
The snow was late in coming to Jerusalem and until 7 a.m., it seemed
as though the previous decision to keep schools open, would be final.
However, in the last hour, snow has begun to fall in the capital-
and seems to be sticking.
However, Jerusalem's children were overjoyed to hear that the municipality has cancelled school for the day.
do not have snow tires or chains for their cars in Israel, as snow is
infrequent, so that they are advised not to attempt to drive.
does fall, even what would be considered just enough to be annoying in
New York, people brave the cold and traffic jams to come from Tel Aviv
and the south to savor the experience. The joy of the youngsters
throwing snowballs and hoping to build snowmen, is palpable. In heavy
snowstorms, there have been most-original-snowman contests in Jerusalem.
Normally, I drive the two younger boys to school, but the car broke down yesterday and is currently with the mechanic at the other end of the city (where it may be stuck until Sunday at this rate).
Official PA TV News reported that Abbas, in order "to honor the founding
leaders and the first generation of the Palestinian revolution and the
PLO, and out of loyalty to their history of struggle," chose to decorate
Abu Jihad with "the highest order of the Star of Honor."
At the ceremony, Abbas handed the award to Abu Jihad's wife.
Secretary-General of the Presidential Office Tayeb Abd Al-Rahim read
aloud the "decree" signed by Abbas, calling terrorist Abu Jihad "the
model of a true fighter and devoted leader," and praising him for "his
honorable national role":
"Abu Jihad shall be granted the highest
order of the Star of Honor in recognition of his honorable national role
and his history of struggle as one of the founding leaders of the
Palestinian revolution, and out of great appreciation for his high
position and significance in the defense of Palestine as a country, a
nation, and a cause. He was the model of a true fighter and devoted
leader [and] through his commitment and contribution he left his mark on
the history of the Palestinian revolution and the PLO."
"If there's a proposal to break up the partnership, it will pass," [Deputy Defense Minister Danny] Danon said.
said there could end up being secret-ballot vote of central committee
members next Thursday. That could result in a proposal to separate from
Yisrael Beytenu passing by an even wider margin, which Netanyahu could
find more difficult to ignore.
The central committee, which is
more hawkish than the general Likud membership, is also expected to pass
proposals backing annexing Judea and Samaria and endorsing Jewish
prayer on the Temple Mount.
But unlike what had been expected
previously, the committee will not vote on a proposal that would make it
harder for Netanyahu to get elected to a third consecutive term as
There will also not be a vote yet on a controversial
proposal to prevent Likud politicians from running for re-election if
they vote against convention decisions in the cabinet or Knesset.
Two comments. First, the guy you have to thank for this is Moshe Feiglin who, although he still has not managed to unseat Netanyahu, has succeeded in pushing more right-wing candidates to the forefront of both the central committee and the Likud's Knesset delegation.
And second, for those of you who are looking for Netanyahu to pull an Ariel Sharon and leave the Likud to start his own party, it won't happen. Sharon had enough of his own loyalists in the Likud in 2005 to take a sizable portion of the faction with him. Netanyahu is one of only 2-3 Likud MK's who backs a 'Palestinian state' and is unlikely to take more than a handful of MK's with him. And he can't pull this off by suddenly becoming the head of Yisrael Beiteinu because Liberman is extremely unlikely to step down to let Netanyahu in.
Here in Jerusalem, we're supposed to get some mixed precipitation tonight and tomorrow morning (what's called Meorav Yerushalmi after a very popular meat sandwich) and then tomorrow night, we're supposed to get the real thing.
So here's the Snow Song, which is the Hebrew version of Let it Snow.
Former Labor MK excluded from 'Peace Now' conference because she opposes delegitimizing Israel
Former Labor party MK Einat Wilf was uninvited from a 'Peace Now' conference because in addition to supporting 'territorial compromise' with the 'Palestinians' she also opposes delegitimizing Israel.
weeks ago I was approached by Peace Now to speak at their annual
conference on a panel discussing whether international pressure on
Israel is necessary to promote peace. I was specifically told that my
point of view (which opposes such pressure and certainly the domestic
efforts to invite it) would be very appreciated in this discussion.
Yesterday, I received a call from the head of Peace
Now disinviting me. Even though Yariv Oppenheimer noted that he
personally did not want to disinvite me, he was outnumbered within his
own organization. The reason, he explained, was due to the fact I am a
member of the International Advisory Council of NGO Monitor (along with
other “human rights offenders” such as Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Elie
Wiesel and Alan Dershowitz). Putting aside the way in which dogmatic
thinking seems to blind people to the importance of good manners, and
the inability of those who preach tolerance to hear a point of view that
is not their own, I am issuing the following response:
Israeli Left has no place for those who support a two-state solution
and who also wage battle against those who seek to delegitimize Israel,
it will not return to lead the country. Leadership is not built through
self-flagellation. Defending Israel and Zionism can and should be part
of supporting peace and a two state solution. Israel is under attack for
its very legitimacy and the human-rights discourse serves various
groups to undermine the foundational idea of Zionism that the Jewish
People have a right to a sovereign state in their ancestral homeland. If
people, whose work for human rights is indisputable such as Elie Wiesel
and Alan Dershowitz, find it proper to fight against the demonization
of Israel, then I am proud to wage this battle with them."
So is Israel's suicidal Left intolerant or is its intolerant Left suicidal? Anyway, kudos to Wilf for having a brain unlike most of her colleagues on the Left.
William Jacobson relates the sad saga of the vote - nearly completed - of the American Studies Association to boycott Israel.
The BDS movement does not care whether the ASA boycott itself is
effective. What is important to the BDS movement is isolating Israel in
every way possible. BDS will take watered-down symbolic isolation if
that is what it can get. That is why BDS also seeks boycott resolutions
from non-academic professional groups and to prevent the sale of hummus and coffee by Israeli companies. It’s not about supporting academic freedom for Palestinians, it’s about destroying Israel.
The ASA boycott, if approved by the membership, will not be a wall around Israel, but it will be a brick in the wall.
It is against that background that we should consider how we got to
the point that the most academically-free nation in the Middle East is
the only nation subjected to an academic boycott by academics in the
The ASA proposed boycott provides a prime example in the form of
Claire B. Potter, Professor of History at The New School for Public
Engagement, whose specialty is “feminism, political history and cultural
criticism.” She blogs at the Tenured Radical column at The Chronicle of Higher Education.
Potter, an ASA member, originally took a principled stand against the
ASA boycott of Israel. While paying homage to many of the false anti-Israeli tropes, she nonetheless expressed concern with an academic boycott.
Goldberg spoke with Potter about the change of position, and updated her post as follows (emphasis mine):
Update, December 7, 2013, 5:30pm: After I posted
this piece, I learned that Claire Potter had changed her position on
the ASA resolution and voted yes. Reached by phone, she explained how
the shift in her thinking came out. When she first expressed
qualms about the academic boycott, she says, “The response was
overwhelming. There were massive numbers of people, including a lot of
people I know, just writing these nasty things on my blog about what a
horrible person I was.”
As the debate about BDS and academic freedom has moved forward, she
looked for a way to engage in it constructively, but increasingly felt
like she couldn’t do so from outside. “The problem, when you hold to a
position so rigidly, you yourself become part of the polarization,” she
says. “I all of the sudden became a cause célèbre for all kinds of other people, when that is really not what I intended at all. I would like to have a conversation about academic freedom within this strategy.”
A couple of things convinced her that that was possible. First, the
ASA National Council adapted the boycott resolution to make its
commitment to academic freedom clearer. And then, rather
than simply passing the resolution itself, it took the unusual step of
putting it to a vote of the ASA membership, which struck her as an
effort at compromise. “If there had been concessions on
both sides and they had been able to come to a consensus around this
vision, I felt like I should support them, because compromise is hard
Essentially, she decided to give her colleagues the
benefit of the doubt. “It has become clear to me that there is a shift
in political concerns, that maybe I need to see how it works,” she says.
“Everybody in BDS says this is not a restriction of academic freedom,
that individuals will not be targeted. I’m going to take a leap of faith
and say ok, lets see if this does in fact work out the way you say its
going to work out.”
I reached out to Potter as to the pressure on her, which she emailed
had no effect on her. I doubt that, given the Twitter history and
Potter’s comments to Goldberg, but here’s what Potter wrote to me:
WAJ: In Michelle’s writing she mentions how you were
concerned about the reaction to your initial position. Reading through
your Twitter timeline and blog comments, it does appear that there was a
rather furious reaction to your initial position. Is that a fair
characterization? Did the reaction cause you, at least in part, to
Potter: No– I have plenty of experience with strong responses to my
views. I did engage with several people who were critical of my stance,
and that was productive.
Read the whole thing. Sadly, academics can no longer be trusted with academic freedom. It has become yet another casualty in the struggle for a 'Palestinian state.'
EU 'discovers' it's paying for no-show jobs in Gaza
I don't know how they could have missed it until now, but the European Union has 'discovered' that it is paying the 'salaries' of thousands of 'Palestinian Authority employees' in Gaza who are paid to stay home.
Since 2008, the EU's largest program in PA territorry has been
PEGASE DFS, which provided approximately $1.4 billion (1 billion euros)
in funding from 2008 to 2012. PEGASE DFS seeks to help the PA to meet
its obligations to civil servants, pensioners and vulnerable families,
maintain essential public services and improve public finances.
“While the Commission and European External Action Service (EEAS)
have succeeded in implementing the support to the Palestinian Authority
in difficult circumstances, there are a number of aspects of the current
approach that are increasingly in need of an overhaul” stated Wessberg.
“Although some important results have been achieved, there is a need
for major revisions such as encouraging the PA to undertake more
reforms, notably in relation to its civil service. Furthermore, a way
needs to be found to bring Israel to take the necessary steps to help
ensure that PEGASE DFS is effective”.
The European Union has provided more than $7.7 billion (5.6 billion euros) in assistance to the Palestinian people since 1994.
The report recommends that an agreement be reached with the PA for
the funding of salaries and pensions from PEGASE DFS for civil servants
in Gaza to be discontinued and redirected to Judea and Samaria.
It also recommends that Israel be pressed to find ways to make PEGASE
more effective. In this, it is reminiscent of a Dutch EU report also
released Wednesday, which blames Israel for the fact that Palestinian institutions are not democratic enough.
Excuse me, but how do they propose that Israel make it 'more effective'? Send in the IDF?
No good deed goes unpunished: South Africans boo Bush, cheer Obama
George W. Bush was booed in South Africa on Tuesday, while Barack Hussein Obama was wildly cheered. Given the facts, the only explanation I have for that contrast is racism. What a shock....
Former President George W. Bush was booed when he appeared on the
video monitor at today’s memorial for Nelson Mandela in Johannesburg,
South Africa, according to the White House pool report, which cited
local press outlets.
Meanwhile, when the images President Obama and Michelle popped up, there was a 30-second “deafening roar,” the pooler wrote.
sad. Bush has done an far greater amount for South Africa than Obama.
But Obama is much better at crafting his public image and saying the
Bush personally saved the lives of millions of South
Africans with his President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, or
PEPFAR, ensuring AIDS drugs are available to South Africa’s impoverished
South Africa, the success ( of PEPFAR) was extraordinary. AIDS killed
roughly 2.3 million in South Africa — once one of the worst-affected
countries in the world — and orphaned about a million children there,
according to the United Nations. Today, rates of infection have fallen
to 30 percent, and nearly 2 million people are on antiretroviral drugs.
Meanwhile, Obama has cut PEPFAR funding and generally been his customary inattentive self. From the same Post piece:
advocates on Sunday said that Obama administration budget cuts that
have slashed hundreds of millions of dollars from PEPFAR threaten to
turn back years of progress in the fight against the AIDS epidemic. Last
year, the administration unveiled a budget that reduces AIDS funding
globally by roughly $214 million, the first time an American president
has reduced the U.S. commitment to fighting the epidemic since it broke
out in the 1980s during the Reagan administration.
Oh wow: Hillel President warns Swarthmore College chapter
Surprisingly, the national Hillel organization is not taking lying down a resolution passed by its Swarthmore College chapter welcoming anti-Israel organizations. Hillel director Eric Fingerhut has written a letter to Swarthmore's leadership warning that they face the threat of expulsion from the national organization.
However, unlike your email, which invites discussion and is welcome,
your resolution simply states that the students at Swarthmore Hillel
“will host and partner with any speaker at the discretion of the board,
regardless of Hillel International’s Israel guidelines.” This position
is not acceptable.
Hillel’s Israel guidelines,
which were developed carefully with a broad coalition of our
organization’s stakeholders, state: “Hillel welcomes a diversity of
student perspectives on Israel and strives to create an inclusive,
pluralistic community where students can discuss matters of interest
and/or concern about Israel and the Jewish people in a civil manner.”
Hillel is also, as the guidelines state, “steadfastly committed to the
support of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state with secure and
recognized borders as a member of the family of nations.”
summary, while welcoming debate on the many important and difficult
questions that Israel faces, a debate that is vigorous in Israel as
well, Hillel International does draw a line. That line is as follows:
“Hillel will not partner with, house or host organizations, groups or
speakers that as a matter of policy or practice: Deny the right of
Israel to exist as a Jewish and democratic state with secure and
recognized borders; Delegitimize, demonize or apply a double standard to
Israel; Support boycott of, divestment from, or sanctions against the
State of Israel; Exhibit a pattern of disruptive behavior towards campus
events or guest speakers or foster an atmosphere of incivility.”
hope you will inform your colleagues on the Student Board of Swarthmore
Hillel that Hillel International expects all campus organizations that
use the Hillel name to adhere to these guidelines. No organization that
uses the Hillel name may choose to do otherwise.
further includes the statement: “All are welcome to walk through our
doors and speak with our name and under our roof, be they Zionist,
anti-Zionist, post-Zionist, or non-Zionist.” This is simply not the
case. Let me be very clear – “anti-Zionists” will not be permitted to
speak using the Hillel name or under the Hillel roof, under any
Hillel recognizes, of course, that “organizations,
groups or speakers that as a matter of policy or practice” violate
these guidelines may well be welcomed on campus, according to the
policies of the particular college or university. The Hillel on campus,
however, may not partner with or host such groups or speakers. This is
entirely within our discretion as an organization, and we have clearly
stated our intention to make these important decisions to protect our
values and our critically important mission. Just as the university
decides who will teach classes, and what organizations it will allow on
campus, so Hillel will decide who will lead discussions in programs it
sponsors and with whom it will partner.
In one of your resolution’s clauses, you invoke “the values espoused by
our namesake, Rabbi Hillel, who was famed for encouraging debate in
contrast with Rabbi Shammai.” Rabbi Hillel was famed for his openness to
others, and his leniency in legal interpretation to advance tikkun olam
– “repairing the world.” This spirit is strong in today’s American
Jewry, and it is strong in the work of Hillel on every campus. However,
Rabbi Hillel is perhaps more famous for his saying in Pirkei Avot, “If I
am not for myself, who will be for me?”
Here's hoping that Fingerhut sticks to his guns. What a refreshing change for an American Jewish organization!
The Swarthmore chapter claims to have its own endowment, and if the result of this brush-up is that they leave the national Hillel organization, that's a good thing. To have Hillel sponsoring events with 'Jewish Voice for Peace' and other anti-Zionist organizations really grates.
Now, if only Israel's Knesset would adopt Hillel's rules....
Senior officials in the administration of President Barack Obama have
conceded over the past few days in conversations with colleagues in
Israel that the value of the economic sanctions relief to Iran could be
much higher than originally thought in Washington, security sources in
Israel told Haaretz.
In official statements by the United States
immediately after the agreement limiting Iran’s nuclear program was
signed in Geneva between Iran and
the six powers at the end of November it was said that the economic
relief Iran would receive in exchange for signing the agreement would be
relatively low – $6 billion or $7 billion. Israeli assessments were much higher – about $20 billion at least.
The United States had originally intended to make do
with unfreezing Iranian assets in the amount of $3 billion to $4
billion. But during negotiations in Geneva, the P5+1 countries
backtracked from their opening position and approved much more
significant relief in a wide variety of areas: commerce in gold, the
Iranian petrochemical industry, the car industry and replacement parts
for civilian aircraft. But the Americans said at the time that this
would at most double the original amount.
However according to the Israeli version, the
Americans now concede in their talks with Israel that the sanctions
relief are worth much more. According to the security sources:
“Economics is a matter of expectations. The Iranian stock exchange is
already rising significantly and many countries are standing in line to
renew economic ties with Iran based on what was already agreed in
Geneva.” The sources mentioned China’s desire to renew contracts worth
some $9 billion to develop the Iranian oil industry and the interest
some German companies are showing for deals with Tehran. “In any case,
it’s about 20 or 25 billion dollars. Even the Americans understand
this,” the sources said.
One of the problems with the Obama administration that has never been addressed is a basic lack of competence. It starts with Obama himself, who was and is too inexperienced to be President, and it continues with appointments that didn't even consider whether the appointee was suitable for the position (Van Jones, Chas Freeman, Janet Napolitano, Wendy Sherman, and yes, John Kerry, all come to mind off the top of my head).
It's clear that Obama's negotiators didn't do their homework before showing up in Geneva. And they expect Israel to pay the price.
Mrs. Carl and I have very close friends who have a sign up in their kitchen which we never tire of repeating to our children:
The following words shall not be heard in this house: "It's not fair."
Defense Minister Moshe 'Boogie' Yaalon said the same thing to a group of high school students in Dimona on Tuesday.
“There’s tremendous importance in hareidi enlistment, preferably to
military service, but also to civilian national service,” Yaalon said.
“A problematic reality has been created here over the course of 65
years, a reality that nobody meant to create, of an entire sector of
society that does not serve,” he continued. “This is a sensitive issue.”
“You won’t hear me inciting against this population or delegitimizing
it, because I don’t believe in forced enlistment,” he informed the
He empathized with their situation, saying, “You’ll say, ‘It’s not
fair, I have to do mandatory service, and they don’t.’ You’re right. But
in my experience – and I have some experience in this matter – the
right way is to allow hareidi men to serve, not to drag them from their
benches in yeshiva and put them in jail.”
The IDF started attracting hareidi-religious recruits in 1999, he
said. “Back then we had 90 [hareidi] soldiers. Last year there were
2,000 serving in the IDF and another 1,500 in civilian national
service,” he related.
“It’s contagious,” he added. “Once, you wouldn’t have seen a young
man in uniform in Bnei Brak or in certain neighborhoods of Jerusalem,
and suddenly it’s becoming a natural thing, you see soldiers’ laundry in
“And it doesn’t have to be ‘hareidi equals poor’… Because when they
get out of the army, 91% of the former soldiers from the hareidi sector
are employed… So even if it costs as more, and it does cost us more for
them to serve for all sorts of reasons, it’s worth it down the line,” he
Well, yeah, but there are still some non-Haredim left who don't want Haredim to serve.
He addressed concerns that if more hareidi men serve in the IDF, it will
affect opportunities for female soldiers, due to the strict gender
segregation in hareidi society. There is no reason women’s service
should suffer, Yaalon said.
You can't have your cake and eat it too. That's what compromise is about.
As Kerry readied to give testimony on Tuesday to the House Foreign
Affairs Committee on the administration's controversial interim nuclear
deal with Iran, core senators said there is little chance Congress would
approve new sanctions this year.
inclined to support [Secretary of State] John Kerry” and hold off for
now, Senate Banking Committee Chairman Tim Johnson (D-S.D.) told The
Hill. “We'll see. Not this year.”
Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), an Iran hawk and member of the Armed Services
panel, said he was working on a new bipartisan bill but acknowledged it
might not be ready until next year, though.
“I'm looking for a sanctions bill to pass either next week or the early part of next year,” he said.
administration has warned that new sanctions could undermine the deal
with Iran, which has been criticized for allowing that country to
continue to enrich uranium.
It has urged Congress to hold off on mandating new sanctions, and it appears it will get its way.
hawkish senators had all but given up on passing legislation through
Johnson's committee and were instead hoping to do it as an amendment to
the pending Defense bill.
Leaders of the House and Senate Armed Services committees poured water on that plan on Monday when they unveiled a joint, bipartisan bill with no sanctions attached and called for a quick vote before the House leaves town on Friday.
Their bill was an initial signal this week that the chances of new sanctions were slim.
As you read this post, please keep in mind that Britain held on to Hong Kong for 99 years before turning it over to China when the lease expired... barely. And China and Hong Kong (and the British) were not at a state of war.
The 'Palestinians' were offered to have the Jordan Valley returned to them after only 10 years! Even that was couched in terms of the 'Palestinians' needing time to train an army. There is currently a state of war between Israel and the 'Palestinians.' But fear not. The 'Palestinians' turned it down.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has reportedly shot down a proposal by US Secretary of State John Kerry
to maintain Israeli presence in the Jordan Valley for ten years
following the signing of an Israeli-Palestinian peace accord, a
Palestinian official told Al-Ayyam.
During this time, according to the paper, PA security forces would be trained to assume control over the Jordan Valley.
Quoting an unnamed Palestinian official, the paper said that Kerry’s
ideas also include “invisible” Israeli presence at the border crossings
between the West Bank and Jordan. In addition, the Americans would
install early warning systems on hilltops in the West Bank, the official
told the paper.
The Palestinians, however, rejected the offered
American security "ideas," saying the arrangements proposed were totally
The official described the meeting between Kerry
and Abbas last week as being “worse than bad,” and added that the
American stance on the subject is a step back from proposals made in the
He added that the Palestinians “will never accept Israeli presence in the valley.”
official accused the Americans of “abandoning” ideas previously
presented by former US security coordinator Gen. John Allen. Those
ideas, the official pointed out, talk about the deployment of US-led
NATO troops in the Jordan Valley with no Israeli presence.
They really do never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity. Heh.
Mooch Obama jealous over another woman? UPDATE: She's Denmark's Prime Minister Helle Thorning Schmidt
Notice the look on Mooch Obama's face in the two pictures above, which were taken at Nelson Mandela's funeral today (Hat Tip for pictures: MFS- The Other News).Notice the change in seating arrangements from the first picture to the second one.
Could it be that Barack Obama was a little too friendly to the blonde in the first picture and that Mooch insisted that they change seats?
Note that the blonde looks a lot less happy in the second picture.....
UPDATE 11:49 PM
The woman in the pictures is Denmark's Prime Minister Helle Thorning Schmidt. Here's a 'selfie' of Schmidt, Obama and David Cameron from today's funeral. Note, again, that Mooch doesn't look very happy.
Maybe Obama thinks he's a Hapsburg and that he can form a new Holy Roman Empire... without Mooch.
It was a moment of high symbolism. More than 50 years after the Cuban
Revolution, the United States and Cuba still do not have diplomatic
relations. The President has eased some of the economic embargo and
travel restrictions that the administration of President George W. Bush
strongly enforced, but relations still are tense. Cuba continues to
imprison an American citizen, Alan Gross, who was arrested in 2009 on
charges of attempting to destabilize the Cuban government.
Obama knew, of course, that Castro would be on stage. But refusing to
shake Castro's hand would not have been in keeping with Mandela's
legacy of reconciliation. And it was not the first handshake between
American-Cuban leaders. In 2000, at the United Nations, then-President
Bill Clinton shook hands with Fidel Castro, the leader of the Cuban
Revolution, its first revolutionary president, and Raul's brother.
Obama says he wants to improve relations with Cuba, but disagreements
over human rights violations and other issues continue to keep the
The handshake came before Obama's speech, in which he made remarks about reconciliation.
Somehow, I think Ronald Reagan would have avoided that handshake. And somehow, if Netanyahu or Peres had shown up, I can think of a lot of 'world leaders' who would have avoided shaking their hands.
Our conversation was supposed to be “off the record,” meaning it
couldn’t be reported publicly, but what she said was so important that I
asked her to clarify the ground rules and she said I feel strongly
about this and I want it out.
“I don't trust Obama.”
Deputy Speaker Gamliel went on to say, “We may need to look around to
find another friend,” because “It looks like America does not want to
be the dominant leader of the free world.”
Think of it friends, the President of the United States is not
trusted by the Deputy Speaker in the parliament of the only democratic
nation in the Middle East and arguably our most reliable ally in that
Whether you agree with my old friend Dr. James Dobson “that Israel is
covenant land,” and that Christians should support Israel in a battle
between good and evil, or you agree with another old friend, Pat
Buchanan, that Israel has too much influence in American domestic
politics and that ''Capitol Hill is Israeli-occupied territory,'' I’m
sure you will agree that the American President must be trusted by our
allies – and especially by our foes.
Think of what Deputy Speaker Gamliel’s assessment means for our
foreign policy and America’s ability to lead in an increasingly
dangerous Middle East.
Even the failed Jimmy Carter was trusted by Egyptian President Anwar
Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin (founder of Gamliel’s
Likud Party) to broker the Camp David accords that ended the state of
war between Israel and Egypt and established a workable peace between
the two countries.
But during his remarks at the Saban Forum on Saturday, Obama let the
cat out of the bag. Gaza, he admitted, is a separate entity. A peace
deal, he explained, “is going to have to happen in stages.”
As he sees it, a peace deal will involve an Israeli withdrawal from
Judea and Samaria. A post-Israel Judea and Samaria will be so wonderful
that the Gazans will decide to join it.
Obama explained, “If there is a model where young Palestinians in Gaza
are looking and seeing that in the West Bank Palestinians are able to
live in dignity, with self-determination, and suddenly their economy is
booming and trade is taking place because they have created an
environment in which Israel is confident about its security and a lot of
the old barriers to commerce and educational exchange and all that has
begun to break down, that’s something that the young people of Gaza are
going to want. And the pressure that will be placed for the residents of
Gaza to experience that same future is something that is going to be I
think overwhelmingly appealing.”
Israeli demographics and Palestinian nationalism have been the basic
assumptions upon which the peace process has been based. But the
Obama-recognized fact that Gaza is a separate political entity
demonstrates the emptiness of both.
The truth is that the “demographic time bomb” is a PLO-concocted lie.
In its 1997 census, the PLO falsified its data and inflated the number
of Palestinians by 50 percent. They then projected natural growth and
immigration rates that bore no relation whatsoever to reality.
In truth, demography is one of Israel’s strongest advantages, not an
existential threat. Were Israel to absorb the Palestinian populations of
Gaza and Judea and Samaria tomorrow, Israel’s Jewish majority would be
reduced from 78% to well over 50%. While Israel’s Jewish identity would
not be in doubt, it would be weakened.
On the other hand, without Gaza, there is no demographic threat to
Israel’s Jewish majority. If Israel applies its sovereignty over Judea
and Samaria and offers a path to citizenship to its Palestinian
residents, Israel would still retain a two-thirds Jewish majority. And
if current fertility and immigration rates hold, within 15 to 20 years,
Jews could well restore their 80 percent majority overall.
Prime Minister Netanyahu is being criticized here in Israel for saying it was too expensive for him to fly to South Africa for Nelson Mandela's funeral. The number I heard bandied about was $7 million, and that iss a lot of money.
On Israel Radio this morning, they interviewed a former Israeli ambassador to South Africa, who said that while protocol would call for Netanyahu to go, the reality is that support for the 'Palestinians' is a domestic - rather than foreign - policy issue in South Africa, that there is no hope of it changing, and that if Netanyahu showed up, he would be be treated to all the proper protocol by a country that is just going through the motions.
President Barack Obama’s expected 10-minute speech at Nelson
Mandela’s memorial will cost taxpayers at least $500,000 per minute.
That’s not counting any cakes and coffee he and his inner circle
consume aboard Air Force One during the 18,000-mile round trip to
Johannesburg, via Dakar, in Senegal.
The 28-hour two-way flight will cost $5 million because the
four-engined Boeing 747 costs roughly $180,000 an hour to operate,
according to a May 2012 report by the Congressional Research Service.
The cost includes jet fuel and subsequent maintenance of the aircraft’s engines, electronics and hotel-class facilities.
Obama has been accompanied by the First Lady, Attorney General Eric
Holder, national security advisor Susan Rice and confidante Valerie
However, Obama will get numerous free mementoes of his trip ,
including photographs of him telling the world’s dignitaries his
personal feelings Mandela’s legacy and how it affected his own
Read the whole thing. I'm happy Netanyahu didn't go. Can't wait to see how much of Obama's 'eulogy' is about himself.
By the way, are there no whites in the Obama administration who would have been interested in going? Joe Biden was otherwise engaged?
Your federation money at work? Swarthmore Hillel allows funding for groups that deny Israel's right to exist
Defying Hillel's national rules, the Swarthmore College chapter has decided to allow funding and resources for organizations that deny Israel's right to exist as a Jewish and democratic state.
Press release: Swarthmore Hillel is an Open Hillel
Unanimously adopted by Swarthmore Hillel Student Board, December 8, 2013
Whereas Hillel International prohibits partnering with, hosting, or housing anyone who (a) denies the right of Israel to exist as a Jewish and democratic state with secure and recognized borders, (b) delegitimizes, demonizes, or applies a double standard to Israel, (c) supports boycott of, divestment from, or sanctions against the State of Israel;
And whereas this policy has resulted in the barring of speakers from organizations such as Breaking the Silence and the Israeli Knesset from speaking at Hillels without censorship, and has resulted in Jewish Voice for Peace not being welcome under the Hillel umbrella;
And whereas this policy runs counter to the values espoused by our namesake, Rabbi Hillel, who was famed for encouraging debate in contrast with Rabbi Shammai;
And whereas Hillel, while purporting to support all Jewish Campus Life, presents a monolithic face pertaining to Zionism that does not accurately reflect the diverse opinions of young American Jews;
And whereas Hillel’s statement that Israel is a core element of Jewish life and a gateway to Jewish identification for students does not allow space for others who perceive it as irrelevant to their Judaism;
And whereas Hillel International’s Israel guidelines privilege only one perspective on Zionism, and make others unwelcome;
And whereas the goals of fostering a diverse community and supporting all Jewish life on campus cannot be met when Hillel International’s guidelines are in place;
Therefore be it resolved that Swarthmore Hillel declares itself to be an Open Hillel; an organization that supports Jewish life in all its forms; an organization that is a religious and cultural group whose purpose is not to advocate for one single political view, but rather to open up space that encourages dialogue within the diverse and pluralistic Jewish student body and the larger community at Swarthmore; an organization that will host and partner with any speaker at the discretion of the board, regardless of Hillel International’s Israel guidelines; and an organization that will always strive to be in keeping with the values of open debate and discourse espoused by Rabbi Hillel.
The way to show the hypocrisy of this policy is for a Neturei Karta group to apply for membership and see if they are accepted. Unfortunately, that is unlikely to happen.
What, if anything, can the national Hillel organization do about this? According to my sources, very little. The Hillel officials claim that the term 'Hillel' is too generic to have ownership. Personally, I don't buy that (Hillel isn't exactly Kleenex or Xerox), but it means that they're unlikely to take any enforcement action to stop the Swarthmore branch from using the Hillel name.
But Hillel's national organization also claims that the Swarthmore Hillel does not receive any funds from Hillel, and that their funding all comes from the Swarthmore Endowment for Jewish Life.
Obviously Swarthmore's Hillel still enjoys many resources from Hillel.
But that doesn't mean that Hillel will act against the Swarthmore chapter. Hillel is simply too afraid to lose any Jewish students over the issue of Israel. And according to my local source, the executive director of the Philadelphia area Hillels is a fire-breathing Kahanist compared to the 'Mr. Inclusive' who will succeed him in a few months. If action is unlikely now, it's less likely later.
Jewish Voice for Peace, which is mentioned in the screed cited above, describes itself as the 'Jewish wing' of the 'Palestinian' solidarity movement. But that doesn't bother Swarthmore's Hillel or much of the rest of the American Jewish community. Multi-culturalism uber alles.
None of this will change until the American Jewish community finds leadership that isn't afraid of its shadow. Of course, to do that, they'd have to have a much stronger Jewish identity than is currently the case. Don't expect that to happen anytime soon....
Iran is threatening to walk away from its agreement with the P 5+1 if the US Senate passes sanctions, even if the sanctions don't take effect until after the 'interim deal' has ended.
In a transcript of the interview, which was conducted on Saturday and posted online on Monday, Time said it asked Zarif what happens if Congress imposes new sanctions, even if they do not go into effect for six months.
to the magazine, he replied: "The entire deal is dead." Zarif was
referring to a Nov. 24 agreement with six world powers under which
Tehran would curb its nuclear program in exchange for limited relief
from economic sanctions.
"We do not like to negotiate under
duress," Zarif added. "If Congress adopts sanctions, it shows lack of
seriousness and lack of a desire to achieve a resolution on the part of
the United States.
Zarif's comments had little effect on US
Senators who are preparing legislation to impose new sanctions on Iran
in six months if the deal reached in Geneva goes nowhere.
Here's hoping the Senate kills the deal. It's a lousy deal anyway.
"For an artist to go and play in a country that occupies other people’s
land and oppresses them the way Israel does, is plain wrong. They should
say no. I would not have played for the Vichy government in occupied
France in the Second World War, I would not have played in Berlin either
during this time," Waters said in the interview with online magazine
Waters compared artists playing concerts in Israel to those who
performed in Nazi Germany.
"Many people did, back in the day. There were
many people that pretended that the oppression of the Jews was not
going on. From 1933 until 1946. So this is not a new scenario. Except
that this time it’s the Palestinian People being murdered."
said that there were parallels between Germany in the 1930s and Israel
of today, citing the ideas of extremist rabbis an example.
believe some very weird stuff you know, they believe that everybody that
is not a Jew is only on earth to serve them and they believe that the
Indigenous people of the region that they kicked off the land in 1948
and have continued to kick off the land ever since are sub-human. The
parallels with what went on in the 30’s in Germany are so crushingly
obvious that it doesn’t surprise me that the movement that both you and I
are involved in is growing every day."
I hope that if Dr. Mengele has a son or grandson, he will experiment on Waters. Then this miserable worm will see that Israel is nothing at all like Nazi Germany.
The US is sending its president and two former presidents to
anti-apartheid hero and former South African president Nelson Mandela's
funeral Tuesday. The UK and France sent its prime ministers, as did
another 88 countries. Oprah and the Dalai Lama were set to attend.
Israel, however, came close to sending no one, in an awkward diplomatic
situation that developed throughout Monday.
In the end, Knesset
Speaker Yuli Edelstein will fly to the funeral, along with the first
female Ethiopian MK Pnina Tamano-Shata (Yesh Atid), as well as MKs Dov
Lipman (Yesh Atid), Nitzan Horowitz (Meretz), Gila Gamliel (Likud
Beytenu) and Hilik Bar (Labor).
Edelstein, a former prisoner of
Zion in the USSR, said he's "happy that in the end Israel has
representation at this important event. As a former prisoner of
conscience, I had the privilege of meeting Mandela as a minister in
1996, and we shared experiences from prison and the fight for our
rights. This is a sort of closure for me."
But even this delegation almost didn't make it.
The Israel Security Agency (Shabak) was concerned about Netanyahu or
Peres visiting South Africa, because of overwhelmingly pro-Palestinian
sentiment in the country.
Next in line to visit was Edelstein, who put together a group of MKs to join him.
the final decision was delayed for hours. First, because of
difficulties finding a free plane. Then, it was unclear that an Israeli
plane would be able to land, due to high air traffic.
three hours before the Knesset delegation was supposed to fly,
Edelstein closed the deal, even reducing the price of renting a small
plane from NIS 2 million to NIS 350,000.
It will be interesting to see what kind of reception the Israeli delegation gets....
This is a great video about the checkpoints between Israel and the 'Palestinian' populated areas of Judea and Samaria. The checkpoints actually first started around 1993-94, and have gotten more imposing since.
Hamas TV explains to the kiddies what 'negotiations' are about
It's been a while since I've shown you a video from Hamas' al-Aqsa Television's children's show Tomorrow's Pioneers. Now, Nahoul the giant bee is back to explain to the Hamas kiddies what 'negotiations' are all about.
Let's go to the videotape.
I hope you weren't expecting 'peace' or something.
More popcorn needed: 'Palestinians' accuse Kerry of 'appeasing Israel' over Iran
I don't think we're going to see John Kerry hugging Saeb Erekat or Yasser Abed Rabbo any time soon. Abed Rabbo attacked Kerry on Monday for seeking to appease Israel over Iran by his positions in the 'negotiations' with the 'Palestinians.'
But Abed Rabbo
told Voice of Palestine radio that Kerry had plunged the process into
crisis by seeking to "appease Israel through agreeing to its expansion
demands in the (Jordan) Valley under the pretext of security."
acquiescence to Israel's security demands was aimed at "silencing the
Israelis over the deal with Iran and achieving a fake progress in the
Palestinian-Israeli track at our expense", he said.
was referring to the Nov. 24 interim accord reached in Geneva between
world powers and Iran, whereby it agreed to some curbs on its disputed
nuclear program in exchange for the easing of international sanctions.
two issues concern both Israel's security and our security and the
interests of all the Middle East, that it be a more quiet and stable
region. But we do not see any linkage in which we seek to give on one
issue and receive on the other," Shapiro told Israel's Army Radio.
Shapiro's comment is pretty ironic given that the Obama administration has tried for the last five years to link Iran to the 'Palestinians,' claiming that Israel would never get the support of the Arab countries for an attack on Iran without their first being a 'Palestinian state.'
has not commented on the US proposals but cabinet minister Yaakov Peri
said on Sunday the government had not yet agreed to them.
That may well be true. But it's clear that the US position on the security proposals is closer to Israel's than to the 'Palestinians.'
However, PA officials who spoke to NRG/Maariv on Sunday said
that the PA negotiating team has received an unexpected message from
Kerry, according to which the next release - scheduled for the end of
December - will be postponed by one month.
According to these officials, Kerry is using the terrorist release as a means of pressuring Abbas, after the PA Chairman rejected all of Kerry’s offers regarding security in the Jordan Valley.
The officials added that Kerry is determined make progress in the
peace talks by January, and as such is planning to postpone the third
phase of the release of the prisoners, as a way of “persuading” the PA
to accept his proposed security arrangements.
Wow. That's the first time that anyone has pressured the 'Palestinians' to do anything since... wait for it... George W. Bush on June 24, 2002. (Don't tell Obama that or he'll make Kerry take it back).
Peace requires a new and different
Palestinian leadership, so that a Palestinian state can be born.
I call on the Palestinian people to elect new leaders, leaders not
compromised by terror. I call upon them to build a practicing
democracy, based on tolerance and liberty. If the Palestinian people
actively pursue these goals, America and the world will actively
support their efforts. If the Palestinian people meet these goals,
they will be able to reach agreement with Israel and Egypt and Jordan
on security and other arrangements for independence.
And when the Palestinian people have new leaders, new institutions
and new security arrangements with their neighbors, the United States
of America will support the creation of a Palestinian state whose
borders and certain aspects of its sovereignty will be provisional
until resolved as part of a final settlement in the Middle East.
Today, Palestinian authorities are encouraging, not opposing,
terrorism. This is unacceptable. And the United States will not
support the establishment of a Palestinian state until its leaders
engage in a sustained fight against the terrorists and dismantle their
infrastructure. This will require an externally supervised effort to
rebuild and reform the Palestinian security services. The security
system must have clear lines of authority and accountability and a
unified chain of command.
Issa Karaka, PA Minister of Prisoner Affairs, said that while an
official confirmation of the postponement has yet to be made, there are
definite American pressures in that direction. Karaka added that Abbas
told Kerry in their meeting last week that he refuses the proposed
postponement, saying the matter could negatively impact peace talks with
Kerry's delay is seen as meant to pressure the PA into accepting
Kerry's proposed Jordan Valley security arrangements made last week,
which PA officials say Abbas rejected as they would not have prevented Israelis from living in the area.
Meanwhile Yasser Abed Rabbo, a top Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) official, told AFP that Kerry's Jordan Valley proposals "will drive Kerry's efforts to an impasse and to total failure."
To date 52 of the 104 terrorists slated for release in "gestures" to
keep peace talks going have gone free. The third batch of terrorist
releases was set to occur in three weeks, although the new reports leave
the timing unclear.
In late November a senior Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) official revealed that the PA is remaining in peace talks only to free all 104 terrorists.
On the flip side of Kerry's pressure on the PA, there are concerns
that the US may pressure Israel to concede to Jordan Valley arrangements
lessening or removing Israeli presence in the region.
I'm hoping that the 'Palestinians' walk away. I don't believe that the Obama administration will suddenly have an epiphany and support Israel if the 'Palestinians' walk away, but I do believe that it will at least force them to take time to regroup - time that could bring us to the end of the Obama administration.
I am an Orthodox Jew - some would even call me 'ultra-Orthodox.' Born in Boston, I was a corporate and securities attorney in New York City for seven years before making aliya to Israel in 1991 (I don't look it but I really am that old :-). I have been happily married to the same woman for thirty-two years, and we have eight children (bli ayin hara) ranging in age from 9 to 30 years and five grandchildren. Our eldest daughter and eldest son are married! Before I started blogging I was a heavy contributor on a number of email lists and ran an email list called the Matzav from 2000-2004. You can contact me at: IsraelMatzav at gmail dot com