Tevet 3, 5769, 12/30/2008
"We have an all-out war against Hamas and its kind," he said, as if to suggest that the government will stop at nothing less than the demise of the terrorist regime now ruling Gaza.
But less than 24 hours later, Barak himself issued a mystifying order granting permission for 100 trucks carrying humanitarian aid to enter the Hamas-controlled territory. The trucks are carrying food and medical supplies that were donated by Jordan and Turkey, and will be allowed to pass through even though the border crossings with Gaza are ostensibly closed.
What is going on here? Why on earth is Israel allowing aid shipments to be sent to Hamas under the guise of "humanitarian support"?
If the goal is truly to dismantle the Hamas regime, then there is simply no rhyme or reason for such "gestures" to be made. Israel should stop all aid to Hamas, humanitarian or otherwise, and compel the thugs to capitulate.
Until then, the only thing that should be entering Gaza is the Israel military, so that once and for all the nightmare of Qassam rocket fire can at last be brought to an end.
Kislev 30, 5769, 12/27/2008
It is of course refreshing to see the Jewish state finally taking action to defend itself after Palestinian terrorists in Gaza had made life unbearable for tens of thousands of Israelis in the south of the country.
Since the start of the year, Palestinians in Gaza have fired more than 2,900 rockets and mortar shells at Israel. That is an average of eight rockets per day, every day, since January 1. This is simply intolerable, and no country in the world would put up with such a situation.
So the obvious question that comes to mind is: what took so long for Israel to act? Why wasn't more done to stop the rocket fire 3 or 6 or 9 months ago?
And the equally obvious answer is: elections are looming in just over 5 weeks, and if the polls are accurate, Defense Minister Ehud Barak's Labor party is going to get walloped. Barak's approval ratings are remarkably low, and he is immensely unpopular with the public. And there is no better way to boost those poll numbers than by flexing some muscle and appearing firm in the fight against terror.
One can only hope that Israel will not bend to international pressure and cut short the operation before it achieves its goals. And those should be nothing less than the toppling of the Hamas government and the reassertion of complete Israeli military control over Gaza. That, after all, is the only way to prevent a renewal of the threat to the south.
But don't hold your breath - because as much as the current campaign is militarily-motivated, it is being guided by politicians. And as we know all too well, they have a tendency to put their own interests before those of the country they were elected to defend.
Kislev 7, 5769, 12/4/2008
Israel's government today sent the security forces into Beit Shalom in Hebron and forcibly evicted its residents, despite overwhelming evidence that the building was legally purchased from its previous Arab owner.
In a shocking display of ruthlessness, the government has trampled on the property rights of the Jewish owners, tossing to the wind one of the foundations of democracy and civil society.
Since there is no better way to try and win the hearts and minds of the far-left than by sending in baton-wielding troops to smash up "the settlers", that is what took place today - broadcast live courtesy of Israeli television.
Whatever one thinks of the Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria, all can and should agree that what happened today in Hebron was an outrage. It was an act of treachery and tyranny by a caretaker government with no mandate and no moral justification.
Shame on those who made the decision - and shame on us, the public, for not raising our voices more loudly to prevent it from happening.
Kislev 3, 5769, 11/30/2008
The move was described as a "goodwill gesture" to the Palestinian Authority (PA), but no explanation was given as to just why Israel owes the PA any "goodwill", let alone any more "gestures".
The Palestinian Authority headed by Mahmoud Abbas is essentially a government in name only - it has no power beyond the edge of Abbas' desk, has done nothing to fight terror, and regularly incites against Israel and Jews. So there is simply no point in appeasing it or trying to curry favor with its leaders.
Meanwhile, Shalit has been held by Hamas for over two years. The prisoners being released by Israel could have been used as "bargaining chips" to try and win the kidnapped soldier's freedom. Instead, the criminals and terrorists will now be set free, while Shalit remains in captivity.
What a complete and utter disgrace.
Kislev 1, 5769, 11/28/2008
Over 125 people have been killed, and hundreds of others injured, in a series of coordinated terrorist attacks that began on Thursday on civilian targets throughout the city.
Watching the scenes unfold (there is a live feed available at: http://ibnlive.in.com/videos/video_streaming.php), I recall the numerous times I have visited the city, with its bustling streets, beautiful synagogues, and kind and warm people.
Indeed, India and Israel share a great deal in common: both are vibrant democracies in seas of tyranny, both have restive Muslim populations, and both have been the targets of Islamist fundamentalist terror.
While the terror in Mumbai's streets may seem thousands of kilometers away, the drama unfolding there as Indian commandos battle the gunmen is all too familiar.
We pray that the Indian forces will prevail over the terrorists as quickly as possible, and that the hostages being held by the gunmen - including Chabad-Lubavitch emissaries Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg and his wife Rivkah - will soon be set free.