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      Fundamentally Freund
      by Michael Freund
      An alternative approach to Israeli political commentary.
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      Michael Freund is Founder and Chairman of Shavei Israel (www.shavei.org), which reaches out and assists "lost Jews" seeking to return to the Jewish people. He writes a syndicated column and feature stories for the Jerusalem Post. Previously, he served as Deputy Director of Communications & Policy Planning in the Israeli Prime Minister´s Office under former premier Benjamin Netanyahu. A native of New York, he holds an MBA in Finance from Columbia University and a BA from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. He has lived in Israel for the past decade.
      Tishrei 29, 5768, 10/11/2007

      Palestinians Now Demand the Western Wall!!



      This is a natural outcome of the Israeli government's rush to make concessions to our foes. The Palestinians see that Mr. Olmert is desperate for a deal, and is ready to give away the store to get one.
      In an interview with the website of the Israeli newspaper Maariv, an adviser to Palestinian Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has now issued a new demand: the Palestinians want control over the Kotel, the Western Wall!

      Here is what Adnan al-Husseini said: "We are talking about the city of Jerusalem, which is the capital of the Palestinian state, and we are talking about full and not partial sovereignty...we are referring to east Jerusalem, which consists of 9 square kilometers and which includes the Old City and the holy sites."

      When the Maariv reporter asked al-Husseini specifically about the Kotel, Abbas' adviser said: "The Wailing Wall is a fence of the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque. It is a sacred Islamic trust and there is no place for making concessions over it." You can find the article - in Hebrew - here.

      Surprised? Don't be. This is a natural outcome of the Israeli government's rush to make concessions to our foes. The Palestinians see that Mr. Olmert is desperate for a deal, and is ready to give away the store to get one. Sensing his weakness, the Palestinians are pushing for still further Israeli capitulation, confident that they have nothing to lose in the process.

      We must stop this insanity - so wake up! Speak out! Do something - before it is too late, and we are left glancing at the Western Wall from afar, wondering how we could possibly have let it slip through our hands yet again.....



      Tishrei 27, 5768, 10/9/2007

      Does Anyone Care About Jerusalem?



      Have we forgotten so quickly and so completely how our people longed for Jerusalem and prayed to return to her for over 1900 years?
      Well, now it is official.

      Leading members of the government of the State of Israel have expressed their readiness to do the unthinkable: to divide the Holy City of Jerusalem just four decades after its reunification.

      The last official red-line has been crossed, the final bit of consensus has been shattered. Everything is now up for sale, as Israel's government prepares to make unprecedented concessions to our foes.

      Yet what is perhaps even more disturbing than the government's weak-kneed approach is the near silence with which it has been greeted both in Israel and abroad. There have been no rallies, no mass demonstrations, no expressions of outrage by American Jewish organizations - just one big yawn is all that has greeted the news that Israel is willing to divide Jerusalem, the heart of the Jewish people.

      Have we become so apathetic, so utterly disconnected from all that is precious and sacred, that we no longer raise our voices and cry out against such nefarious plans? Have we forgotten so quickly and so completely how our people longed for Jerusalem and prayed to return to her for over 1900 years?

      Now is the time to speak out against the Government's plan - call your friends, your relatives, your neighbors, your elected representatives, your local synagogue and Jewish organizations, and get them to speak out as well. And pleasae pray - pray for Divine mercy for Israel and for G-d's Holy City.

      We can not allow Jerusalem to be divided again - we can not allow this dangerous and self-destructive proposal to become a reality. We simply can not allow it to come to pass.



      Tishrei 25, 5768, 10/7/2007

      Turn the Tables on Gaza's Terrorists



      Israel should launch a large-scale and prolonged ground offensive into Gaza with the aim of uprooting the terrorist infrastructure once and for all. The longer we wait, the greater the chances are that a stray Palestinian rocket will kill untold numbers of Israelis.
      For the second time in the past year, Palestinian terrorists in Gaza have fired a longer-range missile into Israel. And for the second time in the past year, Israel's government failed to respond.

      In today's incident, a group called the Popular Resistance Committee fired a Russian-made Grad missile from Gaza toward the southern Israeli town of Netivot, which is located some 11 kilometers away. Last year, a Grad missile struck the marina at Ashkelon.

      Just four months ago, it was reported in the media that IDF intelligence believes that Hamas and its terrorist cohorts have 50-odd such Grad rockets in Gaza, which have a range of up to 22 kilometers. This of course is in addition to the Qassam rockets, mortar shells and other projectiles that the terrorists have been firing at the Jewish state on a near-daily basis.

      Today's attack marks a serious escalation, and it can not be allowed to pass without a response. The government's failure to react not only undermines Israel's deterrence posture (or the little that remains of it...), but it also invites the terrorists to continue with their assaults, secure in the knowledge that they can act with virtual impunity.

      Israel should launch a large-scale and prolonged ground offensive into Gaza with the aim of uprooting the terrorist infrastructure once and for all. The longer we wait, the greater the chances are that a stray Palestinian rocket will kill untold numbers of Israelis.

      Sadly, the people suffering the most are the tens of thousands of Israelis living in the south of the country. Their daily life has become infused with terror and trauma. It is time to change all that, and to turn the tables on our foes. If anyone should be living in fear, it is the terrorists who fire the projectiles, rather than those who are their targets.



      Av 15, 5767, 7/30/2007

      On Palestinian "Moderation"



      It should be obvious by now that the only difference between "moderate" and "extreme" Palestinians is one of style, not substance
      It seems the celebration in the media was premature.

      Over the weekend, the Left rejoiced after reports that the political platform of the new Palestinian government did not include the word "resistance" - which was code for terrorism against Israel.

      This development, it was asserted, demonstrates once and for all that the "moderate" government of Palestinian Prime Minister Salem Fayad is a partner Israel can work with.

      But those claims were quickly deflated by none other than Fayad himself.

      Speaking to reporters in Cairo, Fayad reaffirmed that Palestinians have the right to use violence against Israel. "Resistance is a legitimate right for the Palestinian people," he said. Plain, simple and clear.

      It should be obvious by now that the only difference between "moderate" and "extreme" Palestinians is one of style, not substance. Their goals are the same, as are their tactics, and we do ourselves and our future a great disservice when we delude ourselves into thinking otherwise.

       



      Av 2, 5767, 7/17/2007

      G-d Bless Dick Cheney!



      Unlike the softies in the US State Department, Cheney understands the threat posed by Iran's nuclear ambitions
      The media hate him, the Left loves to demonize him, but I say: thank G-d for US Vice President Dick Cheney.

      Unlike the softies in the US State Department, Cheney understands the threat posed by Iran's nuclear ambitions, and he appreciates the need for stronger measures to confront them.

      Diplomacy has thus far failed to slow down Iran's drive to get The Bomb, but that hasn't stopped Condi Rice and her team from pressing for more talks, more empty UN resolutions, and more toothless sanctions against Teheran.

      But if this article from yesterday's Guardian proves accurate, then it could very well be that Cheney has now prevailed over Rice in the internal White House debate - meaning that military action against Iran may become a reality.

      According to the Guardian, "The vice-president, Dick Cheney, has long favoured upping the threat of military action against Iran. He is being resisted by the secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, and the defence secretary, Robert Gates. Last year Mr Bush came down in favour of Ms Rice, who along with Britain, France and Germany has been putting a diplomatic squeeze on Iran. But at a meeting of the White House, Pentagon and state department last month, Mr Cheney expressed frustration at the lack of progress and Mr Bush sided with him."

      It should be clear by now that force is the only way to stop the would-be Hitler of Persia from achieving his dastardly aims.

      Thank G-d that Cheney is pushing this line, and let's hope it truly does become US policy, and soon.......