Egyptian Roulette and Casino Chaos

I would think that the very idea of having one's body left to rot and/or be desecrated in Mitzrayim (Egypt) would cause any Jew in touch with their soul to cancel their travel plans.

Ellen W. Horowitz

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Would he [Ariel Sharon] be toppled by the "Greek island affair" allegedly involving millions of dollars in bribes and plans to build an exotic casino on a tiny island in the Aegean Sea? (The Guardian, January 22, 2004)

Netanyahu: Eilat will have a casino; Benny Elon: Not while I'm Minister of Tourism. (
Yediot Ahronot , February 24, 2004)

Horse races envisaged near 'Armageddon' (The
Washington Times, August 10 2004)

Sharon Advisor Planning Casino on Ruins of Gush Katif? (, September 28, 2004)

PA's partner in the Jericho casino is Sharon's buddy, new report finds (
Haaretz March 2, 2003)

"I was in the casino when it happened. There was a massive explosion and the left wall came down." (Israeli guest at the Taba Hilton, as recorded on October 7, 2004)

Eleven years ago, a good portion of the Jews both in Israel and the Diaspora had adopted the mantra "Give Peace a Chance". Meanwhile, I was busy drawing placards which depicted a guinea pig and a pair of dice, and read, "Taking a chance, or a reckless gamble?" A year later, I drew Yasser Arafat as a grinning game show host standing next to a certain former prime minister who was about to spin the roulette wheel. Instead of numbers, this wheel of fortune had stabbings, shootings, lynchings, bombings, Molotov cocktails, grenade attacks and rocks as the possibilities.

A lot of blood has been dumped over the bridge since then, so the debate as to whether or not our government's travel advisory with regards to Sinai was sufficient is not really relevant in a country where boarding a bus or ordering a cappuccino is risky business. In spite of the terror, Israelis have become normalized, business-as-usual kind of folks. Our leaders encourage this, but I'm wondering if that's so healthy.

As of this writing, the Israeli government, Israel's president and Egyptian authorities were having difficulty stemming the exodus of Israeli tourists into Egypt, despite the repeated warnings and recent attacks. Granted, who isn't drawn to the majesty, grandeur and, up until a few days ago, tranquility of Sinai? But it appears that this type of recklessness is indicative of something that's gone terribly wrong. This is fatalism in its extreme. And I place the blame squarely on our leaders, or lack thereof.

Traditionally, Jews have not been a people who throw caution to the wind. We try to make wise choices and to act responsibly. When necessary, we take calculated risks. Gambling is not mentioned in the Torah and a professional gambler is forbidden from acting as a witness in a Jewish court. Rambam (Maimonides) frowns in a big way on those that "play with dice". At worst, he sees it as theft, at best, it's a waste of time. I think Rambam would plotz if he saw how today's Jewish leaders gamble with Jewish lives and wheel and deal in body parts.

Getting bodies and bones out of Egypt has never been a simple matter - not for ancient Hebrews nor for modern Israelis. I broached this subject last summer in "Mere Flesh and Bones". At the time, we were haggling over our soldiers' body parts, which ended up on the Egyptian side of the Rafah border after an attack.

I would think that the very idea of having one's body left to rot and/or be desecrated in Mitzrayim (Egypt) would cause any Jew in touch with their soul to cancel their travel plans.

It's nothing short of insane that stipulations in a peace agreement with Egypt prevented us from possibly saving lives or tending to the expedient burial of our brethren. We should reserve the right to aggressively (if necessary) send our rescue teams, fire fighters, ambulances and defense forces over the border in order to save the lives of our citizens and take control of an out-of-control situation. It appears that in the case of the Taba Hilton catastrophe, the Egyptians lacked the equipment, know how and will to respond. Their lack of urgency may not be mere coincidence, as it could have something to do with the attack having occurred on the anniversary of the Yom Kippur War.

We've seen this before. Nineteen years ago, on October 6, 1985, an Egyptian policemen fired on a group of Israeli tourists in Sinai. Four children, two women and a man were killed. It seems our paramedics were prevented from tending to the wounded and the victims bled to death. Does anyone recall how in October 2000 one of our soldiers bled to death at Joseph¹s tomb in Nablus while Ehud Barak was negotiating his rescue with our "peace partners" in the Palestinian Authority?

Our leaders and their financial backers in the Diaspora have developed a real taste for gambling with lives and money. They seem to prefer, and even crave, Egyptian-type bondage over national sovereignty. Read any of the articles linked at the end of this piece to get a gist of just how corrupt, out-of-control and dangerous Israel's obsession with both literal and figurative gambling has gotten.

Follow the money trail and you'll come to an understanding as to why it's so necessary to draw well-defined personal, national and international red lines, boundaries and borders, and why globalization is more of a disease than a cure.

You may come to realize how, in our quest to be like others, we've lost our sense of nationhood and of self. As a result, the value of human life has depreciated greatly.

These articles should also give you some insight into how inverted and deluded the peace process really is.

Remember our goal as a people has always been based on Isaiah's vision: "...and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks...."

Based on those prophetic words, it seems that those Jews who have exerted their efforts towards developing agricultural settlements in Judea, Samaria, Gaza, the Golan and the rest of Israel, as well as those who adhere to the founding ideas behind Zionism, have been on the true path towards peace.

But as long as a number of Israelis and their leaders continue to prefer craps tables to plowshares, and the Arabs choose to funnel their proceeds into swords, it appears that the peace process will remain the biggest gamble and the most dangerous game in town.

Recommended Reading:

1. "Rubbing Elbows With Arafat" by David Bedein.

2. "Does Weisglass Want To Make Room For P.A. Casino?"

3. "Austrian bank linked to Sharon loan holds Jericho casino stake" by Baruch Kra.

4. "The Ginnosar File" by Ben Caspit