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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.
      Sivan 13, 5766, 6/9/2006

      Investigating Olmert


      Ehud Olmert is in trouble.

      Despite the Government's best efforts to avoid a serious inquiry into its handling of this summer's Lebanon war, it now seems all but certain that wide-ranging investigation will, at last, take place.

      Speaking before the Knesset State Control Committee today, State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss made clear that he has every intention of conducting a thorough examination of the Government's conduct of the war.

      When asked if he would question the Prime Minister too, Lindenstrauss said, "We will investigate everyone who had a hand and leg in the war" (it sounds better in the Hebrew original). He added that he would be submitting an interim report to the Committee soon containing his initial findings.

      This is especially important, because under Israeli law, only two bodies have the power to order the establishment of an official state commission of inquiry: the Government itself, and the Knesset State Control Committee.

      Hence, once Lindenstrauss submits his report, the Committee can then move forward with creating a state commission – a step that is likely to turn up the pressure on Olmert, Defense Minister Amir Peretz and others to resign. Which is precisely what most of the public is clamoring for.

      Stay tuned….



      Sivan 8, 5766, 6/4/2006

      A Palestinian Minister of Genocide


      Since assuming control over the Palestinian Authority (PA), the Hamas terror group has been making it abundantly clear that their strategic goal remains the destruction of Israel.

      Rockets continue to be fired at the Jewish state on a near-daily basis, and Palestinian terrorists persist in their efforts to carry out suicide bombings and other attacks.

      Mahmoud_alzahar_pa_minister_of_genocideNow, if all that weren’t enough, the new Palestinian Foreign Minister has declared that his government’s policy objective will be to replace Israel with a Palestinian state stretching from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.

      Speaking at his first meeting with his subordinates at the Palestinian Foreign Ministry, Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Zahar said that Israel should not be recognized as a state and that the PA’s aim is to establish a Palestinian state in place of Israel.

      This is nothing less than a blatant call to mass murder, and it is time for the international community to stop ignoring Hamas’ lethal intentions. Al-Zahar’s rhetoric should not be dismissed as mere words, if only because Hamas has shown in the past that it is dedicated to killing as many innocents as possible.

      Israel must take action as soon as possible to remove Hamas from power and topple the PA. Failure to do so will only result in still more unnecessary violence and bloodshed.



      Iyar 24, 5766, 5/22/2006

      The Power of Prayer


      Israelis yesterday received a miraculous, if somewhat frightening, reminder of just how much our lives are entirely in the hands of G-d.

      Palestinian terrorists in northern Gaza continued their daily rocket assaults against southern Israel, firing a couple of Qassam rockets at the town of Sderot. One of the explosive projectiles struck a classroom at a yeshiva high school, but thankfully none of the students was inside at the time.

      As a person who arrived on the scene told Arutz-7: "The students were on their way to the classroom after finishing morning prayers and the classroom was still locked. Some students were waiting outside, and the teacher was on his way up - and that's when all of a sudden the rocket crashed in, hitting the teacher's chair. The teacher was very emotional, seeing that it had crashed exactly where he would have been sitting minutes later."

      One of the reasons why the teacher and some of the students were not yet there was because he had kept them after morning prayers for a few extra minutes to give them a schmooze – a short speech on a Torah-related subject.
      "By miracle," a local woman told Arutz-7, "no one was hurt - but how long can we rely on these miracles, merely because of our leaders' foolish decisions enabling the terrorists to shoot at us? Today and Tuesday are market days here in Sderot, just two blocks away from the school, and the hesder yeshiva is two blocks to the other side - it could have landed anywhere and killed people. How long can this go on?"

      Peretz_tours_classroom_hit_by_rocket Indeed – an excellent question. But an even better one is: why is this still going on? And the answer to that is really quite simple: because Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s government has failed to take the necessary steps to stop it.

      But for all of us watching this sorry series of events unfold, we should make sure not to overlook what this incident can teach us. After all, those students in Sderot yesterday were saved because they had been saying their prayers and learning G-d’s Torah.

      However terrifying it may have been for them, for the rest of us it should serve as a timely reminder of the power of prayer – not only to change our lives, but to save them, too.



      Iyar 21, 5766, 5/19/2006

      A Bit of British Humbug


      Talk about good ol’ fashioned British hypocrisy.

      Later this month, educators in the UK are planning to debate a proposal aimed at imposing an academic boycott on Israel because of its policies in the so-called “occupied territories”.

      On May 27-29, the National Association of Teachers in Further and Higher Education (NATFHE) in England, Wales and Northern Ireland will convene to discuss this weighty subject.

      But if the learned British instructors are truly concerned about issues such as expansionism, occupation and colonialism, they might consider looking a little closer to home.

      Falklands

      After all, which country is it that refuses to yield sovereignty over Northern Ireland? Who is it that is stubbornly hanging on to control over Gibraltar? And who waged a bloody war to uphold their occupation of the Falkland Islands two decades ago?

      And they want to preach to us?

      All one can say, as a Dickens character might have put it, is: “Bah humbug.”



      Iyar 18, 5766, 5/16/2006

      Those who celebrate death


      The death this past Sunday of young Daniel Wultz, a 16-year old American Jew who was badly wounded in last month’s suicide bombing in Tel Aviv, was tragic and heartrending news.

      After fighting for his life for several weeks, Wultz succumbed to his injuries, and yet another precious Jewish soul was snuffed out by the merciless cruelty of Palestinian terrorists.

      For anyone out there who may have thought that perhaps the terrorists didn’t mean to murder someone so young, or that maybe they are beset by guilt over the horrific results of their actions – think again.

      Tel_aviv_suicide_bombing_in_april_2006_1 Here is what Abu Nasser, a leader of the Al-Aksa Martyrs’ Brigades, which is aligned with PA President Abu Mazen’s Fatah faction, had to say about young Daniel Wultz’s death in an interview with WorldNetDaily:

      "This is a gift from Allah. We wish this young dog will go directly with no transit to hell… (Wultz) was part of the American support machine that helps our enemy. All these young American Jews come here to support the occupation, they build and live in the settlements... I imagine him as one of these Nazis who live here (in the settlements). There is no difference between him and them."

      Such rhetoric is not only despicable – it is also inhuman. It reveals once again the depths of savagery to which the terrorists have sunk.

      They celebrate death and rejoice in it, and promise only more. It is time for Israel to put an end to this travesty, and to eliminate the Palestinian terrorist threat once and for all.

      We must never forget the nature of those confronting us, nor allow the media to gloss over their evil. Palestinian terrorists are neither “freedom-fighters” nor “militants” – they are ruthless thugs and killers who must be defeated. May it happen soon.

      May Daniel Wurtz’s memory be for a blessing for the Land of Israel and for the entire Jewish people.