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Emanuel Shilo, 'Besheva' Editor in Chief
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Tamar Yonah is one of Israel's most popular English-speaking radio show hosts. She made Aliyah from Southern California and after serving in the Israeli army began a prolific career in radio, including production, news and program development. She was the original creator and producer of 'The Aliyah Show' and still works whenever she can in that field. Tamar is a political activist, wife and mother residing in Judea and Samaria and currently hosts the top-rated shows of The Weekend Edition & The Tamar Yonah Show. Her award winning blog covers current events, religion, politics and anything else that's on her mind.
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I don't understand people who hate themselves.
הפגנה בתל אביב מול הקריה שמאלנים צורחים אפרטהייד
Demonstration in Tel Aviv opposite the Kiriya (military headquarters)
One of the comments left under the video by an Israeli stated this:
"Come to Ashdod and yell it during the sirens, you pieces of 'Zero' that live 200 kilometers from the south while you eat your sushi in Tel Aviv, and shout it from your megaphones like a bunch of retards. Why don't you go to Gaza and make a diplomatic campaign/trip? They'll slaughter you there, you pieces of zero."
Tonight I was under attack. More about that in a minute.
The headlines all say 'Escalation in South'.
But this is wrong. This is the method of 'divide and conquer' or 'divide and weaken/dull the senses. Because some Israelis, even only an hour's drive away, are not seeing or feeling these attacks. I certainly wasn't until this weekend (as they don't feel the threat of rock and shooting attacks on the roads in YESHA).
We are all going on, life as usual, with only news reports about what others are experiencing, but the rest of us are not feeling that we are ALL under threat. Divide and weaken. "Attacks on YESHA roads" "Missiles on the South" Missiles on the North", etc... And so instead of saying that ISRAEL is under attack, and that a war has been waged against it, the media says that what is happening right now is an 'Escalation in the South', the southern region of Israel.
I am thinking maybe the shrill sound in the night is just traffic outside below the window, but then I hear furniture moving around in the apt. above us -or next to us- and people scrambling.... and I realize.... we are under a rocket attack from Gaza! I shake my husband awake and tell him there's a siren and then I hop out of bed and run to the living room to wake one of my kids (a teenager) who I knew went to sleep on the couch.
But he sleeps like a rock.
We turned on the TV to see the news and they were reporting from Be'er Sheva, Ashkelon and Ashdod simultaneously. On the screen, with reporters in each city, they go from one to the other. They announce, "No school tomorrow for these cities under attack.
In any case, it was Saturday night now and we had to pack up and leave Ashkelon to get back home for school the next day for my kids. It's dark outside, and on the way out of the parking garage, I am sure I hear another siren. But no one else in the car hears it, so again, I think I am possibly imagining it, or maybe it was far away coming from the city of Ashdod, but I doubted I could hear a red alert signal from Ashdod all the way to Ashkelon. In the meantime, we leave the parking garage and started on the way home. After about 3-4 minutes, we drive just past Ashkelon's central bus station, and are approaching an intersection where the light is about to turn red. All of a sudden we hear a very loud and clear siren. No mistaking it this time. Cars stop. Some drivers and passengers get out of their cars in the middle of the street and leave them there and run for cover. Most though stayed in their vehicles. Some opened their doors and stood or crouched near their cars. We stayed in the car and looked out the windows, and THERE!!!! Up in the sky, headed DIRECTLY our way is a rocket/missile -whatever, glowing yellow and fire-like in the sky. Flying, flying getting closer and closer to us. I open my car door and stand outside watching, thinking if it will hit our car or not, but I see it is a little to the right of our vehicle and if it slams into us, it will be maybe a hundred meters or so away, safe enough I believe not to have to run for cover (...but what do I know?) and then to my amazement, the flying bomb explodes in mid-air and dissipates into blackness. (The 'Iron Dome'?) However, as this is all happening, my husband says he sees another one coming, but this one from the north, and then I look up and see another fiery orb flying in the sky above and since it is coming from the north, I realize it won't hit us, so stand and watch, as that too ultimately explodes in mid air.
My friends, schools are closed, a million and a half Israeli citizens will be in bunkers/safe rooms, whatever, having to take cover from these fiery orbs flying over their heads looking to murder as many as possible. Yet life in other parts of the country, - even the 'Wild West Bank' (Judea and Samaria) ;-) -will go on as usual. We need to remember that this is not an 'escalation on the south' as the media labels it. Rather, this is a war front opened up on... the State of Israel!
All of us need to be incensed that WE are under attack. Our media divides the country by saying it is an escalation on the 'southern' region' - as if it is a problem someone else is having, and we can all go about our business while the government makes some retaliations and tries to keep 'damage control'.
My Facebook Limerick....
There once was a gal who went berserk,
When people begged her to do the 'social network',
But everyone told her,
Your reach will be bolder,
So she finally capitulated and said she'd try it, and then put it on 'private settings' and then made herself too hidden so no one could find her and then she tried to fix it and this doesn't rhyme at all anymore.
So,,,,,, if you want to be my friend on FACEBOOK, now's your chance (before I might sneak out in the night, never to returnnnnnnnnn!).
and I will be posting -every so often- some things that I think you will like and will interest you.
There once was an A7 reader,
Who added me on his news-feeder,
The stuff that he got
Made him laugh till he dropped
And now I rate the top of his meter.
A 'Limerick' Tamar cannot write.
Her prose is as bad as a bite.
She cannot keep beat,
She should accept her defeat,
and just give up the darned fight!
Be my FACEBOOK friend?
They come with Chariots and Horses, But We Come With the Name of the Lord!
As I say goodbye to my son when he goes off to the army (he is a paratrooper in the IDF) I think of my father who fought in Israel's war of independence, and then think of the similarities and differences of the generations.
My father is a holocaust survivor. When the Nazis marched out to war and went to commit the genocidal 'Final Solution' of the Jewish People, the Jews of Europe didn't have guns to protect themselves. The Jews of pre-WWII didn't have an army. We didn't have a Jewish State.
After surviving the war, my father came (illegally) to the Land of Israel, then called the British Mandate of Palestine. Again, it was forbidden for Jews to have a gun, and we were left defenseless from the soon to be Arab onslaught of the Jews.
But It was time.
It was time in history for the Jews to have a state. And even though 5 Arab armies ( Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Iraq - backed by Saudi Arabian and Yemenite contingents) attacked Israel in order to drive the Jews into the sea and annihilate the Jewish people, we won. How could a country that barely had arms, training, and even uniforms for all its fighters, possibly defeat 5 Arab armies, including a fifth column of Arabs already living inside Israel? It was a miracle. And I will never forget my father's story, as he was cleaning WWII rifles, packed in crates filled with grease, which came from Czechoslovakia. While sitting on the ground with his fellow fighters and wiping the grease off the rifles, they found the rifles had swastikas engraved on the butt of the guns. They realized that these rifles were used rifles from the Nazi German army, used against them!
Everyone at that time had lost family from the genocidal Nazi regime, and possibly from guns like these. When asking my father about it, I was very cautious, and I wanted to be sensitive to how he must have felt holding guns that may have been used to kill Jews. I leaned in and very hesitantly asked him, "How did you feel holding guns in your hands that were used by the Nazis?"
His answer surprised me. He looked at me, lifted his eyebrows and said incredulously, "We didn't care about the swastikas or who used the weapons, WE WERE JUST GLAD TO HAVE GUNS!!!!"
Yes, who could believe.... a Jew with a gun? A Jew who could fight?
It was a miracle. 1948 brought the war of independence. And G-d delivered our enemies into our hands. And since then, Israel has become strong, a world power, a world leader in technology and agriculture. Israel is the light in this dark middle east.
We have been blessed, as G-d has made miracles for this tiny land and His people. So though we have leaders today who act weak, and though we have post-Zionists and others here who seem to work against the redemption and our raison d'etre, let's remember that there is a G-d in this world, and He has a plan. He guards us and never sleeps.
Read the Psalms, specifically Psalm 20:7 "They come with Chariots and Horses, But We Come With the Name of the Lord!"
Psalm 121 From whence shall my help come? My help cometh from the LORD, who made heaven and earth. He will not suffer thy foot to be moved; He that keepeth thee will not slumber. Behold, He that keepeth Israel doth neither slumber nor sleep.
Now, you are ready to view this VERY INSPIRING film on miracles that happened to Israel and the Jewish People.
Countless Jews and even Gentiles are appalled and dumbfounded by Israel’s Government. Its prime ministers exclude God from the domain of statecraft. We hear nothing of His Name in the pronouncements and policies and diplomacy of Israeli prime ministers. They cannot understand how Jewish prime ministers, backed by an undefeated army, could so utterly ignore Scripture by surrendering Judea and Samaria, the heartland of the Jewish people. And to whom? To thugs! What else are we to call those who elected a villain like Yasser Arafat as their president? And what should we say of Arabs who used their own children as human bombs?
(Please note: This piece is a guest post from Prof. Paul Eidelberg)
But if these Arabs are beneath contempt, what shall we say of Israeli prime ministers who have consorted with these scoundrels, and have even given or rewarded them with Jewish land despite their having murdered Jewish men, women, and children? Such ignominy boggles the mind. Do you see Jews with down cast heads, let alone in sacks and ashes?
I am further appalled by an unanswered question. In view of the shameless behavior of Israeli prime ministers, what other events occurring in Israel are as important as to preempt the attention of journalists—the best and the brightest? And why don’t we hear outcries from Israel’s rabbis? Are these rabbis suffering from aphasia or spiritual laryngitis? Why haven’t they assembled and denounced one government after another for desecrating God’s Name?
Alas, all this was foreseen by the prophets and sages of old. They predicted that in the end of days the Jews would have a paltry government, that Israel would be ruled by “scorners” of the Torah. These scorners, said the Prophet Hosea (12:1-3), will fill Israel with lies and deception. They will strive after wind (“peace”) and make alliances with Israel’s enemies. And no one rebukes them.
The Prophet Isaiah (28:14-18) chastises these insolent Jews. He foresaw that they will make a “covenant with death,” but that this covenant will not protect them. Remarkably, the Targum translates this covenant with death as a contract with “terrorists” (mechablim)!
Indeed, the Zohar (Exodus 7b) predicts that in the end of days certain Jews in Israel will make an alliance with the enemies of the Jewish people. The Israel-PLO Agreement manifests that alliance, which was consummated by the Labor Party and upheld by the Likud. How shameless! Has any Israeli prime minister been held accountable for its murderous consequences?
The Babylonian Talmud (Sanhedrin 98a), tells us that in the end of days Israel will have the “cheapest” government. How else are we to describe politicians who hobnob with terrorists responsible for the murder and maiming thousands of Jewish men, women, and children? Do these politicians display any remorse or sense of guilt?
Let me cite and paraphrase the conclusions of Mishna Sotah (49b), and excuse me for my frankness:
“With the footsteps of the Moshiach, arrogance shall increase and honor will dwindle. The government shall turn to heresy [moral equivalency] and there shall be none to utter reproof. The council-chamber [the Knesset] shall be given to corruption…. [T]he dwellers on the frontier [in Judah, Samaria, and Gaza] shall go from place to place with none to take pity on them.
The wisdom of their writers [journalists and academics] will become insipid and degenerate [will become morally neutral, even anti-Jewish], and they that shun sin shall be despised. The truth shall nowhere be found [silenced in the universities steeped in nihilism]. Youth shall shame their elders, and elders shall stand up in the presence of youth [so commonplace in democracies] ... The face of this generation is as the face of a dog [impervious to shame] ... Upon whom, then, can we rely? Only on our Father in heaven.
● Is it not obvious that Jews in Israel cannot rely on political parties to save them from disaster?
● Is it not obvious from the Arab assaults in Lebanon and Sderot that Jews cannot rely on the Israel Defense Forces, given its policy of “purity of arms” and “proportionality”?
● Is it not obvious that Jews cannot rely on rabbis who pontificate about pikuach nefesh while saying nothing about the IDF’s suicidal “rules of engagement” which favor the enemy?
● Is it not obvious that Jews cannot rely on political and strategic analysts to stop the suicidal course of Israel’s government so long as these analysts lack the fire of the Torah?
● Is it not obvious that Jews cannot rely on the United States or on information campaigns (hasbara) to save them from the successors of the Nazis who have yet to be identified by their real names?
● And what shall we say of Jews who cling to Christian precepts such as “love your enemy,” “resist not evil,” “turn the other cheek”—which wise Christians know do not apply to war. Have not these apolitical precepts emasculated Israel?
Finally, and since I have not yet succumbed to desperation, allow me to call your attention to Rashi’s commentary to Genesis 1:1: “If the nations of the world should [question Israel’s title to Eretz Yisrael] and say: ‘You are robbers in that you have seized by force the territories of the seven nations,’ Israel can retort: ‘The entire world belongs to the Holy One, Blessed be He. He created it and gave it to whomsoever it was right in His eyes. It was His will to give it to them and it was His will to take it from them and give it to us.’”
To whom are these words of many centuries ago addressed? Of course to you and me, the ever-young in heart. For unlike the senescent prime ministers of Israel, we have chosen life, and having chosen life the future is ours. The words of Rashi are therefore alive, alive with truth. So we are not dismayed that no Israeli prime minister has girded his loins and cited this Rashi. Neither has any religious party, when signing a government coalition agreement, insisted on the inclusion of this Rashi! But the words of Rashi, like truth, will prevail.
Of course, it will be said the nations will mock these words of Rashi and laugh at us.” I reply: What have Israeli prime ministers offered in their place? Have their countless repetitions about “security” won the admiration of nations and made Israel more secure? Have their constant intoning he word “democracy” earned the respect of the democratic world? Has their willingness to yield Jewish land appeased the voracious appetites of Janus-faced Arab despots?
Has Israel won the respect of nations by yielding land to these pagans? Therefore I declare it is precisely because Jews have not based their claim to Eretz Yisrael exclusively on Rashi’s cosmological commentary on Genesis 1:1 that Israel is so often disdained and condemned by the nations!
Not that citing Rashi will convince any nation that the Jews have a God-given title to Eretz Yisrael. The task of the Jews is not to convince the nations of anything! This has been the compulsion of assimilated Jews. Too many Jews—religious included—want to win the approval of the nations rather than the approval of God.
Legions of Jews rely more on the empty rhetoric of politicians than on Holy Scripture and the God of Israel. This is why the above Mishna indicates that in the end of days, when Jews have exhausted the heresies and vanities of our time and feel utterly helpless, they will turn to their Father in heaven!
This is not a counsel of despair. It is a plea for rational analysis of what we have already experienced year after year with flawed governments and the plethora of dismal political parties. Stop relying like drug addicts on failed ideas and flawed politicians. Get out of the mire of democratic politics. Put God back into the domain of statecraft, Start proclaiming and insisting that God alone has given the Jews an eternal title to Eretz Yisrael—and never mind the scorners! Just do it and leave the consequences to our Father in heaven, Who alone is the Master of war and peace.□