He Ru Follow us: Make a7 your Homepage
      Free Daily Israel Report

      Arutz 7 Most Read Stories

      Fundamentally Freund
      by Michael Freund
      An alternative approach to Israeli political commentary.
      Email Me
      Subscribe to this blog’s RSS feed
      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.
      Nisan 26, 5766, 4/24/2006

      Lebanon Chooses Terror


      Thanks to the expansionist designs of its Syrian neighbor, Lebanon has come to be seen as a victim in the eyes of much of the world in recent years, generating widespread sympathy abroad for the government of that divided country.

      But before you take out your handkerchief and wipe away a tear, it is worth recalling that the Lebanese government openly supports terrorist attacks against Israel.

      Indeed, a meeting held this past Friday underlined precisely that, when Lebanese Defense Minister Elias Murr met with Hassan Nasrallah, the Secretary-General of the Hizbullah terrorist group.

      Hizbullah_terrorist According to a report in the Beirut Daily Star, the purpose of the get-together was “to discuss the means of cooperation between the army and the resistance [i.e. Hizbullah] to defend Lebanon.”

      In a statement afterwards, Murr said, “The army supports the resistance and the resistance is an integral part of the people, the country and the army.”

      To fully appreciate how outrageous this statement is, we need to bear in mind that when Hizbullah and the Lebanese government speak of “resistance”, they are referring to firing rockets at towns and cities in northern Israel, kidnapping Israeli soldiers and civilians, and training other terrorist groups in the use of weapons and explosives.

      In effect, the Lebanese government is saying that it supports the murder of innocent Jews, and when it says it wants to “cooperate” with Hizbullah, it is giving aid and comfort to a ruthless and lethal terrorist organization.

      As President George W. Bush once said, “you are either with us or with the terrorists.” Looks like Lebanon has made its choice patently clear.



      Nisan 23, 5766, 4/21/2006

      Al Capone for Chief of Police?


      Talk about inviting the cat to guard the milk.

      In yet another sign that the new Hamas-led Palestinian Authority (PA) aims to continue attacking Israel, the Palestinian terrorist behind ongoing rocket barrages against the Jewish state has now been appointed to oversee the Palestinian security forces.

      Jamal Abu Samhadana, head of the Palestinian Popular Resistance Committees and number two on Israel’s list of most wanted terrorists, was chosen on Thursday to serve as Director-General of the PA Interior and National Security Ministry.

      This will place Abu Samhadana in a powerful position, where he will effectively be in charge of the tens of thousands of armed gunmen serving in the various PA police and military wings.

      Capone It is the equivalent of appointing Al Capone to head the FBI, or Tony Soprano as Chief of Police.

      Abu Samhadana is a career terrorist, responsible for countless attacks against Israel, including firing thousands of Qassam rockets and mortar shells at Jewish communities.

      With his new promotion, Abu Samhadana will now be able to marshal far greater manpower and weaponry toward his lethal aims.

      This is just one more reason why it is essential that Israel move quickly to dismantle the PA and sweep Hamas from power once and for all, because all indications are that they are gearing up for an escalation in attacks.



      Nisan 15, 5766, 4/13/2006

      A Plea to US Christians - Stop Iran & Save Israel and the West!!


      The clock is ticking, yet no one wishes to hear it. The countdown to a nuclear Iran has begun, and with each passing day the nightmare scenario draws ever closer to becoming a reality.

      In just a few months' time, if all goes according to plan, the tyrant of Teheran will preside over a celebration of terrifying, and history-altering, significance.

      His goal, as he has stated repeatedly in recent weeks, is to complete the installation of thousands of centrifuges, the devices used to enrich uranium, by the end of March 2007.

      This will give the ayatollahs the ability to start producing nuclear weapons, and to spread nuclear terror far and wide, threatening the existence not only of Israel, but of Western civilization itself.

      The would-be Hitler of Persia has already made it abundantly clear that he plans to wipe Israel and its millions of Jews off the map. And last week he told Western leaders that their turn would soon be next: "If you do not respond to the divine call," he warned, "you will die soon and vanish from the face of the earth."

      Three months. That's all we've got. That's all that stands right now between the world as we know it, and one in which the Persian executioner will be able to put his finger on the nuclear button.

      This can not be allowed to happen. The danger is too great, the peril is too real.

      Now is the time for all those who love Israel to stand up and be counted. Now is the time for pro-Israel Christians everywhere, and especially in the US, to rise up and cry out on behalf of God's people.

      Storm the heavens with your prayers, and the White House with your pleas. Speak out now and urge US President George W. Bush to eliminate the Iranian nuclear threat once and for all.

      BY NOW it should be clear: Nothing less than US military action is going to deter Teheran from pursuing its nuclear goals. Threats of sanctions and finger-wagging have failed to do the job.

      Europe is hopelessly weak and conciliatory, and the United Nations is completely inept. There is one man, and one man alone, whom God has put in a position to stop Iran, and that man's name is George W. Bush.

      But the president is under attack, as the media and his critics do their utmost to tear him down. They hate him and everything he stands for, and will stop at nothing to spoil his remaining time in office.

      The president is a good man, and a man of faith. He knows what needs to be done; but like any leader, he also needs to hear from those who put him in office.

      And that, dear Christians, is where you come in to play.

      With your size and your influence, and yes, with your faith, it is you who can make a difference at this critical juncture for Israel and the West.

      Many of my fellow Jews in the US are largely silent, afraid to be seen as leading the charge. It is as if they learned nothing from the Jewish people's horrific experience in Europe over six decades ago, when silence in America made possible extermination across the sea.

      But you know better than that, and you are not afraid.

      On issues that you care about, you have demonstrated an impressive ability to affect US policy, mustering the passion and power necessary to shape debate. Now, more than ever, is the time to do so again, for the threat to us all is very, very real.

      Flood the White House and Congress with your concerns. Let them know that you fear for Israel and its safety. Urge your elected officials to hit Iran hard, and soon. Not merely with criticism, but with bombs as well.

      Because unless the US Air Force goes into action, the mullahs of Teheran will jeopardize everything we hold dear.

      Israel, as you know, is the "apple of His eye" (see Deut. 32:10 and Zech. 2:12). And G-d has made clear in His Scripture what He expects from people of faith at times such as these, when Israel is in danger.

      "You who make mention of the L-rd," says the prophet Isaiah (Chap. 62: 6-7), "do not keep silent, and give Him no rest until He establishes and until He makes Jerusalem unto a praise in the earth."

      "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem," says the Psalmist, in Psalm 122. "They that love thee shall prosper."

      These aren't just guidelines or recommendations from books of old. They are a command to each and every one of us, Jew and Christian alike, to stand up and speak out when Israel is under threat.

      I have no doubt, not one iota of disbelief, that G-d will save His people Israel. Deliverance comes from Him, and Him alone. But each of us must do our part to help bring it about.

      And you, dear Christians, now have the power, and the opportunity, to do so. To move the president's heart, and to save Israel and the West from a truly diabolical fate.

      So please, don't tarry - we dare not delay. The clock is winding down, the alarm bells are ringing. Raise your voices in prayer and supplication. The time to do something is now, and there is not a moment to waste.

      --- from my column in the December 13 Jerusalem Post



      Nisan 11, 5766, 4/9/2006

      Getting Ready for the Next Round


      Anyone who thought the threat posed to Israel by rocket attacks had passed would do best to think again.

      In a raid carried out in Tulkarem yesterday, Israeli security forces arrested two members of the Fatah Tanzim terror group who were involved in the manufacture of rockets, several of which they unsuccessfully tried to fire at Israel back in July.

      The terrorists were being financed and directed by – you guessed it – Hizbullah in Lebanon, and had a weapons cache that included two rockets in the process of being built.

      Obviously, this was no science project – but a clear-cut example of how the terrorists are simply using the current lull in hostilities to prepare for the next round of fighting, whenever it may come.

      And it would seem logical to assume that the Tulkarem cell that was captured yesterday is just one of several that may be operating in the area, with the aim of preparing to open a second front against the Jewish state should the cease-fire in Lebanon fail to hold.

      So don't let the surface calm fool you – the bad guys are already looking ahead, planning their next, horrific move.

      Let's just hope that next time around, Israel and its leaders will know what to do.



      Adar 29, 5766, 3/29/2006

      The Election Outcome - What it Means


      The results of Israel’s elections are in. As I predicted in yesterday’s posting, the polls proved to be inaccurate, and Ehud Olmert’s Kadima party came in with 28 seats while the right-wing and religious parties did better than expected.

      It will take some time for the dust to settle, and for the demands of the various factions to become clear. But at this stage, it is worth noting the following key points regarding the outcome:

      1 - Olmert did not receive a mandate for further withdrawals. His Kadima party got fewer than a quarter of the votes, which is hardly a ringing endorsement by the electorate for his plan to uproot thousands of Jews from their homes.

      2 – The anti-religious left was nearly wiped off the political map. In the outgoing Knesset, Shinui and Meretz together had more than 20 seats, or over one-sixth of the parliament. In this week’s balloting, Shinui was erased from the political scene, and Meretz dropped to just four seats. This is a stinging slap in the face to these two parties, whose platforms focused on making Israel into a more secular, and less Jewish, state.

      3 – The electorate is growing increasingly disenchanted with “politics as usual”. With 28 seats, Kadima may be the leading party, but this is among the smallest number of mandates ever to be held by the largest faction in the Knesset. A loud and clear protest vote took place, with the joint National Union-National Religious Party receiving just 9 seats, and the Likud getting a mere 11. Votes flowed in large numbers to Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beitenu (13 mandates) and the Pensioners’ Party (7 mandates).

      Obviously, Israelis are tired of being duped by politicians, who promise one thing before the election only to carry out something entirely different afterwards.

      And frankly – who can blame them?