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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.
      Adar 28, 5766, 3/28/2006

      Today's Election - A Prediction


      Every once in a while, a newspaper headline succeeds in capturing the true significance of an historical moment.

      “Future borders at stake as Israel votes” reads the front page of today’s Jerusalem Post, summing up the importance of this election.

      Vote Many on the right are still gripped by despair, disillusionment and disbelief over the events of the past few months and the failure of our representatives in the Knesset to live up to the principles which they were elected to uphold.

      I fully understand these feelings, and I share the sense of frustration.

      Nonetheless, we can not just sit back and wallow in hopelessness and despondency. Anyone who can vote must go out and do so.

      The future of the country is at stake, and if enough right-wing voters head to the polls, there is a still a chance of preventing the left from obtaining a majority in the Knesset. This would seriously hinder Ehud Olmert’s plans to uproot tens of thousands of Jews from their homes in Judea and Samaria, and possibly prevent more territory from being handed over to the Hamas-run Palestinian Authority.

      So, here’s my prediction for the results of the election:

      Mr. Olmert and his Kadima party will win 25 to 30 seats, but the right-wing and religious parties will have a much stronger showing than the polls anticipate. Olmert will be unable to form a stable ruling coalition without reaching across the political spectrum to the right. His desire to rush headlong into extensive unilateral retreats will prove politically impossible to carry out.

      But that, of course, depends on whether each and every one of us who loves the Land of Israel gets out there and votes. So please make sure that you do so.



      Adar 23, 5766, 3/23/2006

      Iran's War on Israel


      At the same time that they are striving to develop a nuclear capability, the Ayatollahs in Iran are also busy intensifying their war-by-proxy against the Jewish state.

      With Israel’s elections just days away, the Teheran terror-masters are urging their Palestinian cohorts to carry out a major attack.

      Indeed, just the other day, Israeli police foiled a suicide bombing when they heroically captured a Palestinian terrorist on the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv highway who was on his way to his target.

      And now, Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz has revealed that the Iranians transferred $1.8 million to the Islamic Jihad terrorist group to carry out attacks against Israel.

      This, Mofaz noted, is the largest short-term transfer of cash that Iran has ever sent to the Palestinian terror organization.

      Iran_sucks So let there be no mistake about what Iran’s intentions are: they want to kill as many Jews as possible, whether by funding terror attacks or obtaining more lethal non-conventional weapons systems.

      Thus, however frightening or alarming the idea of a military operation against Iran may seem, we should have no doubts about why such an undertaking may have to be carried out. Quite simply – there may be no other way to stop the mullahs from pursuing their madness to the end.



      Adar 19, 5766, 3/19/2006

      Blaming it all on the Jews


      A new anti-Israel screed, posing as a serious academic “study”, is causing a stir in the United States, accusing the pro-Israel lobby AIPAC of essentially dictating American foreign policy in the Middle East.

      Authored by two prominent professors, the document goes so far as to claim that it was supporters of Israel who pushed America into the Iraq war, and who regularly compel the US to act against its own national interests.

      In other words, like anti-Semites have done throughout the centuries, they are blaming all of their country’s troubles on… the Jews.

      Sadly, this wretched bit of propaganda will undoubtedly garner a great deal of attention, if only because its authors teach at Harvard University and the University of Chicago, two of the nation’s premier institutions.

      The Palestinians are already using the document to score political points, distributing it as widely as they can.

      But perhaps the most upsetting part of this sorry tale is to be found in the following line of the Ha’aretz story on the study, which describes the sources used by the authors of the report: “They rely mainly on an analysis of Israeli and American newspaper reports and studies, along with the findings of the Israeli human rights group B'Tselem” (emphasis added).

      So there you have it – Israel’s foes relying on material provided to them by an Israeli organization in order to besmirch the Jewish state.

      It’s about time that groups such as B’Tselem stop playing into the hands of those who hate us.



      Adar 16, 5766, 3/16/2006

      Stop Palestinian Rocket Attacks


      Though you would never know it from reading the Western press, Palestinian rocket attacks from Gaza on Israeli towns and cities have become almost a daily occurrence of late.

      On Wednesday of this week, there were at least 12 rockets fired by Palestinian terrorists at the Negev.

      Fortunately, their accuracy and aim is way off the mark, but that does not justify the manner in which these attacks go almost entirely unreported.

      Worse yet – the Israeli government has thus far refrained from undertaking a serious military operation in order to bring about an end to these assaults.

      Qassam_terror_2 Instead of sweeping into northern Gaza and eliminating the terrorist infrastructure behind these attacks, Israel has largely confined itself to occasional pinpoint assaults. But as Wednesday’s rocket barrage demonstrated, this approach has been completely ineffectual.

      Now comes word that instead of adopting an offensive posture, Israel will be investing in a more passive tactic. As Yediot Aharonot reports, the army has decided to install 11 shelters in Kibbutz Nir Am, near the town of Sderot, which has been a regular target of the rocket assaults. As the kibbutz residents told the paper, this is not enough to meet the kibbutz’ need, nor is it even clear whether there will be sufficient funds available to repair and establish the shelters.

      But all that is largely beside the point. The question which Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert needs to address is: why are Israel’s citizens being made to hunker down and hide in shelters, rather than the terrorists who are shooting at them?



      Adar 15, 5766, 3/15/2006

      15 Rockets and Counting...


      A cease-fire may have gone into effect in Gaza last week, but that doesn't seem to have stopped the Palestinians from continuing to attack Israeli towns and cities.

      Just this morning, Palestinian terrorists fired yet another Qassam rocket into southern Israel. The projectile hit an open field next to a kibbutz, but thank G-d no one was injured in the attack.

      This is the 15th rocket that the Palestinians have launched at Israel since the start of the cease-fire, and yet the government continues to refrain from going into Gaza to halt the assaults.

      Qassam_rocketSpeaking at the weekly cabinet meeting this morning, Defense Minister Amir Peretz said that the Palestinians are "partially keeping" the cease-fire - I guess he means the "fire" part, because they have certainly been ignoring the "cease".

      In any event, the ongoing rocket attacks demonstrate once again the futility of relying on wishful thinking in the formulation of Israeli defense policy.

      Hoping that the Palestinians will stick to the cease-fire, despite their track record of violating every previous one, was both fool-hardy and dangerous, and it has now left Israel with its hands tied diplomatically behind its back.

      Indeed, how many more rockets will it take for our leadership to realize that the only way to stem the violence is to hunt down its perpetrators, rather than negotiate with them?