Middle East 8:51 PM 5/25/2013
Middle East 12:11 AM 5/25/2013
Middle East 1:44 AM 5/25/2013
Life Lessons with Judy Simon
Torah Tidbits Audio
Adar 12, 5769, 3/8/2009
Barack Obama has been in office for just over 6 weeks, but he has already declared a quiet war against the heartland of the Jewish people.
A report in Ha'aretz reveals that "Israel is under increased pressure from the United States over settlement construction. In the past month, since Barack Obama was sworn in as U.S. president, Israel has received four official complaints from members of the new administration regarding various issues linked to West Bank settlements".
The "complaints" relate to the demolition of illegal Palestinian homes in eastern Jerusalem and various Israeli construction plans in Judea and Samaria.
So even though Iran is speeding towards construction of a nuclear weapon, North Korea is threatening to test-fire a long-range missile, and Pakistan is engulfed by political turmoil and increasing Islamist terror, Mr. Obama is focusing his sights on pressuring Israel.
It is simply outrageous that the US seeks to interfere in internal Israeli affairs, such as whether illegally-constructed homes should be demolished. Nowhere else in the world would such interference be tolerated - and Israel should pay it no heed.
Judea and Samaria are the cradle of Jewish civilization, the place where our ancestors once walked thousands of years before the advent of Islam or the establishment of the PLO.
What a shame that instead of seeking to bolster the Jewish return to Zion, Mr. Obama prefers to try and stand in its way.
Shevat 26, 5769, 2/20/2009
"Iran holds enough uranium for bomb" says today's Financial Times of London, basing itself on a new report issued Thursday by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
The IAEA found that Iran now has one ton of low-enriched uranium at its Natanz nuclear facility. Should that material undergo further enrichment, it would produce more than 20kg of fissile material, which is sufficent for a nuclear weapon.
In other words, Iran may now be just months away from having the bomb - not years, as some had hoped.
Indeed, the IAEA, which is an arm of the UN, acknowledged that its previous assessments had "underestimated" the quantity of nuclear materials in Iran's possession.
This means there is even less time remaining to stop the Ayatollahs from crossing the nuclear threshold.
Nonetheless, the Obama administration does not seem to be in any particular hurry to stop them.
We must sound the alarm about this threat, and urge our leaders in Israel and the West to take action - and soon - to prevent the would-be Hitler of Persia from obtaining nuclear weapons. For once Iran does cross that threshold, there will be no turning back. And we absolutely can not allow that to happen.
Shevat 21, 5769, 2/15/2009
A new Israeli government has not yet even been formed, but that isn't stopping the Obama administration from turning up the heat on the incoming coalition.
An article in today's Ha'aretz reports that "the U.S. administration is preparing to put heavy pressure on the new government to freeze all settlement construction and keep its promises to lift roadblocks".
Washington, it says, "will demand that Israel avoid creating new facts on the ground that may burden achieving an agreement in the future."
If true, this is shameful intereference in Israel's internal affairs and a defiance of the will of Israel's democracy. The electorate of the Jewish state delivered a loud and resounding "no" to the outgoing Kadima government's proposed concessions to the Palestinians and voted overwhelmingly in favor of a nationalist and religious majority in the Knesset.
By what right, then, does Mr. Obama seek to veto this change in policy? This is nothing less than diplomatic arrogance and it can not be allowed to stand.
Israel's next government should make it abundantly clear from the outset to Mr. Obama and his secretary of state, Hillay Clinton, that the rules of the game have changed, and there will be no more dictates to Jerusalem regarding our national and security interests.
If Obama is serious about his pledge to conduct a less "arrogrant" foreign policy, a good place for him to start would be by not interfering in the return of the Jewish people to their ancestral homeland.
Shevat 17, 5769, 2/11/2009
Sure, Tzipi Livni's Kadima party may have come out ahead of the Likud in terms of the number of seats that it garnered. And yes, just a few weeks ago, the Likud was leading Kadima by a large gap in the polls.
But the bottom line is this: the left-wing parties combined got just 44 seats (not including the 3 Arab parties), while the right came home with 65.
And that number may yet change even more in the right's favor in the coming days, as the votes of the soldiers and security forces are counted as well.
In other words, the right received a whopping 50% more votes than the parties on the left. That, my friends, is what is known as a good ol' fashioned landslide.
Indeed, no matter how one looks at it, the left on its own can not form a coalition. Thus, the unavoidable conclusion is that the people of Israel have spoken loudly and clearly. They have rejected the outgoing government and its policies of appeasment, and voted to replace it with a strong, nationalist administration.
The media, of course, is carefully trying to play down this point, empashizing instead Livni's "victory" and "comeback". But all the spin-meisters in the world can not obscure the reality that the people of Israel have spoken - and they have sent the left packing.
Shevat 16, 5769, 2/10/2009
I just returned from the polling booth, where I had the privilege of casting my ballot.
Yes, it is a privilege and we should never take for granted the freedom that we have. As frustrating as Israel's political system is, as infuriating as its government can be, it is nonetheless a priceless blessing that we have to be able to vote freely.
Would we all be better off if Israeli parliamentarians were accountable directly to their constituency, rather than to a party bureaucracy? Definitely. Would our democratic system work more efficiently if there were a true separation of powers in place between the legislative and executive branches? Of course.
But as flawed and imperfect as the system is, I still thank G-d that after 2000 years of exile, we have a sovereign Jewish state.
May it soon live up it to its prophetic promise.