Middle East 5:43 AM 3/7/2014
Global Agenda 2:15 AM 3/7/2014
Middle East 6:12 AM
Life Lessons with Judy Simon
with the Israeli media and public now busy talking about topics such as failed leadership, lack of strategic acumen and disastrous policymaking, perhaps it is at last time for a full-blown investigation of an even greater mess: the Oslo "peace process" with the Palestinians?
What a mess.
Essentially, the findings of the Winograd Commission only confirm what most of us have suspected all along: that the Government failed miserably in the prosecution of last summer's Lebanon war.
Only time will tell if Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defense Minister Amir Peretz will pay the ultimate political price for their actions and be sent into early retirement.
But with the Israeli media and public now busy talking about topics such as failed leadership, lack of strategic acumen and disastrous policymaking, perhaps it is at last time for a full-blown investigation of an even greater mess: the Oslo "peace process" with the Palestinians?
Since the signing of the Oslo Accords back in September 1993, Israel has endured increasing Palestinian terror and violence, yet successive governments have continued down the path of concessions, withdrawal and retreat.
Even more than the fiasco in Lebanon, this series of pull-outs has damaged Israel's security, weakened its deterrence, and underminded the nation's morale. Worse yet - it has resulted in the deaths of hundreds of innocent Israelis, thanks to the misguided and short-sighted policies that have been carried out over the years, from Yitzhak Rabin's handshake with Yasser Arafat down to Ariel Sharon's expulsion of Gaza Jewry.
I say it is time for a commission of inquiry to be established to investigate just how the country has been led down the Oslo path of disaster over the past 14 years.
We the people deserve to know just why and how our government chose to give away parts of the homeland, even as our enemies continued to perpetrate unprecedented atrocities.
I have no illusions that this will occur any time soon - but that should not stop us from continuing to press for a full and complete accounting.
Sitting with folded hands won't stop Hamas, Fatah and Islamic Jihad from attacking the Jewish state
Talk about a bombshell revelation.
Speaking at the UN the other day, Israeli Ambassador Dan Gillerman let the international community in on an amazing little secret.
To the astonishment of those in attendance, and the surprise of those who live here in Israel, Mr. Gillerman declared, "There is a limit to Israel's restraint".
Mr. Gillerman's announcement will come as news to those of us who have been following the events of the past few months with increasing concern, apprehension and dismay, as Israel has failed to respond to numerous Palestinian terror attacks.
These have included suicide bombings, stabbings, shootings, attempted kidnappings of Israeli soldiers, and the bombardment of the Negev with mortar shells and rocket fire.
Pardon me for sounding cynical, but in recent months it has begun to seem that there is in fact no limit to Israel's restraint – and that is precisely the problem.
By failing to hit back at the terrorists, Israel's leadership has demonstrated unpardonable weakness, which only serves to invite further violence and aggression.
Sitting with folded hands won't stop Hamas, Fatah and Islamic Jihad from attacking the Jewish state – launching a major, counter-terror operation aimed at uprooting the terrorist infrastructure is clearly the way to go, and such a move is long overdue.
So while I am glad to hear that "There is a limit to Israel's restraint", I'll be more convinced when those words are translated into action.
I am proud to say that this blog - "Fundamentally Freund" - has been nominated for three awards in the annual "Jewish & Israeli Blog Awards".
If you have a moment, please go to the following 3 links and cast your ballot for "Fundamentally Freund":
1 - Best Overall Blog category: http://www.jibawards.com/index.php?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=101
2 - Best Right-Wing Blog category: http://www.jibawards.com/index.php?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=143
3 - Best Pro-Israel Advocacy Blog category: http://www.jibawards.com/index.php?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=138
"Master of the Universe, may I yet merit to raise the flag of Israel over a high place in the Land of Israel."
Sometimes, amid the rush of events here in Israel, it becomes easy to lose sight of the significance of the rebirth of the Jewish State.
We often get so caught up in the headlines, with its political intrigue, diplomatic challenges and security threats, that we fail to keep things in their proper perspective.
So here is a true short story that should jar us into appreciating just how fortunate we are to live in an era of renewed Jewish sovereignty and independence:
"The righteous Rabbi Avraham Yaakov, the late Rebbe of Sadigora, who lived in Tel Aviv, would customarily attend the city's Great Synagogue on Israel's Independence Day and recite the Hallel (prayer of thanksgiving) in public. And when the worshippers danced in the plaza in front of the synagogue, he joined them in the circle and danced with great enthusiasm. And there was a feeling that the Rebbe experienced a special sense of joy on this day. Subsequently, when one of his Hasidim (followers) went to speak with him, the Rebbe told him about the time when he had lived in Vienna, during the period when the Nazis entered the city. Their first order of business was to persecute and humiliate the Jews. And since the Rebbe was considered the leader of the Vienna's Jews, the Nazis chose him to sweep the streets of the city, and they gave him a large broom. While doing the work, the Rebbe turned his gaze heavenward and said, "Master of the Universe, may I yet merit to sweep the streets of the Land of Israel." The Nazis then handed the Rebbe a Nazi flag, and forced him to raise it over a large building in the city. And while he was doing so, the Rebbe again turned to G-d and said, "Master of the Universe, may I yet merit to raise the flag of Israel over a high place in the Land of Israel." Subsequently, after the war, the Rebbe emigrated to the Land of Israel, and wanted to fulfill his promise.... So what did he do on Israel Independence Day? He arose at 3:00am, took a large broom, and went out to sweep the streets. And then he would take an Israeli flag and hoist it high on the roof of the building with great excitement and enthusiasm, for G-d had accepted his prayer. And this was the source of his joy on this day - the day of the establishment of the State of Israel."
(Excerpted from the book Alei Tamar by Rabbi Yissachar Tamar zt"l)
So the next time you find yourself down in the dumps, reading the newspapers and wondering about this country and its leadership - think back to the Rebbe of Sadigora, with a broom in one hand, a flag in the other, and a heart full of gratitude to G-d for the miracle that is the modern State of Israel.
Happy Yom Ha'atzmaut (Israel Independence Day)!!