Defense/Security 2:46 AM 5/22/2013
Inside Israel 6:16 AM 5/22/2013
Jewish World 3:13 AM 5/22/2013
David Wilder was born in New Jersey in the USA in 1954, and graduated from Case Western Reserve University with a BA in History and teacher certification in 1976. He spent 1974-75 in Jerusalem at the Hebrew University and returned to Israel upon graduation.
For over eighteen years David Wilder has worked with the Jewish Community of Hebron. He is the English spokesman for the community, granting newspaper, television and radio interviews internationally. He initiated the Hebron internet project, including email lists of over 15,000 subscribers who receive regular news and commentaries from Hebron in English and Hebrew. David is responsible and continues to update the Hebron web sites, portraying various facets of Hebron, utilizing text, audio, video and pictures. He conducts tours of Hebron's Jewish Community and occasionally travels abroad, speaking at Hebron functions.
David Wilder is married to Ora, a 'Sabra,' for 33 years. They lived in Kiryat Arba for 17 years and have resided at Beit Hadassah in Hebron for the past 14 years. They have seven children and many grandchildren.
Links to sites David recommends:
(others to be added)
Tammuz 2, 5769, 6/24/2009
I received the following text in a recent email. It is fascinating and very scary. Read and pass on. FYI.
To my Friends & Associates:
Last Monday was a profound evening, hearing Dr. Charles Krauthammer speak to the Center for the American Experiment.(The event occured on June 1 - http://www.americanexperiment.org/events/) He is brilliant intellectual, seasoned & articulate. He is forthright and careful in his analysis, and never resorts to emotions or personal insults. He is NOT a fear monger nor an extremist in his comments and views. He is a fiscal conservative, and has a Pulitzer Prize for writing. He is a frequent contributor to Fox News and writes weekly for the Washington Post. The entire room was held spellbound during his talk. I have shared this with many of you and several have asked me to summarize his comments, as we are living in uncharted waters economically and internationally. Even two Democrats at my table agreed with everything he said! If you feel like forwarding this to those who are open minded and have not ‘drunk the Kool-Aid’, feel free.
Obama has a ruthless quest for power... he doesn’t really see himself as President of the United States, but more as a ruler over the world.
Here is his resume from Wikipedia:
A summary of his comments:
1. Mr. Obama is a very intellectual, charming individual. He is not to be underestimated. He is a ‘cool customer’ who doesn't show his emotions. It's very hard to know what's ‘behind the mask’. Taking down the Clinton dynasty from a political neophyte was an amazing accomplishment. The Clintons still do not understand what hit them. Obama was in the perfect place at the perfect time.
2. Obama has political skills comparable to Reagan and Clinton. He has a way of making you think he's on your side, agreeing with your position, while doing the opposite. Pay no attention to what he SAYS; rather, watch what he DOES!
3. Obama has a ruthless quest for power. He did not come to Washington to make something out of himself, but rather to change everything, including dismantling capitalism. He can’t be straightforward on his ambitions, as the public would not go along. He has a heavy hand, and wants to ‘level the playing field’ with income redistribution and punishment to the achievers of society. He would like to model the USA to Great Britain or Canada.
4. His three main goals are to control ENERGY, PUBLIC EDUCATION, & NATIONAL HEALTHCARE by the Federal government. He doesn't care about the auto or financial services industries, but got them as an early bonus. The cap and trade will add costs to everything and stifle growth. Paying for Free college education is his goal. Most scary is his healthcare program, because if you make it FREE and add 46,000,000 people to a Medicare-type single-payer system, the costs will go through the roof. The only way to control costs is with massive RATIONING of services, like in Canada. God forbid.
5. He’s surrounded himself with mostly far-left academic types. No one around him has ever even run a candy store. But they’re going to try and run the auto, financial, banking and other industries. This obviously can’t work in the long run. Obama’s not a socialist; rather he's a far-left secular progressive bent on nothing short of revolution. He ran as a moderate, but will govern from the hard left. Again, watch what he does, not what he says.
6. Obama doesn’t really see himself as President of the United States, but more as a ruler over the world. He sees himself above it all, trying to orchestrate & coordinate various countries and their agendas. He sees moral equivalency in all cultures. His apology tour in Germany and Englandwas a prime example of how he sees America, as an imperialist nation that has been arrogant, rather than a great noble nation that has at times made errors. This is the first President ever who has chastised our allies and appeased our enemies!
7. He’s now handing out goodies. He hopes that the bill (and pain) will not ‘come due’ until after he’s reelected in 2012. He’d like to blame all problems on Bush from the past, and hopefully his successor in the future. He has a huge ego, and Mr. Krauthammer believes he is a narcissist.
8. Republicans are in the wilderness for a while, but will emerge strong. We’re ‘pining’ for another Reagan, but there’ll never be another like him. Krauthammer believes Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty & Bobby Jindahl (except for his terrible speech in February) are the future of the party. Newt Gingrich is brilliant, but has baggage. Sarah Palin is sincere and intelligent, but needs to really be seriously boning up on facts and info if she’s to be a serious candidate in the future. We need to return to the party of lower taxes, smaller government, personal responsibility, strong national defense, and states’ rights.
9. The current level of spending is irresponsible and outrageous. We’re spending trillions that we don’t have. This could lead to hyper inflation, depression or worse. No country has ever spent them selves into prosperity. The media is giving Obama, Reid and Pelosi a pass because they love their agenda. But eventually the bill will come due and people will realize the huge bailouts didn’t work, nor will the stimulus package. These were trillion-dollar payoffs to Obama’s allies, unions and the Congress to placate the left, so he can get support for #4 above.
10. The election was over in mid-September when Lehman brothers failed. Fear and panic swept in, we had an unpopular President, and the war was grinding on indefinitely without a clear outcome. The people are in pain, and the mantra of ‘change’ caused people to act emotionally. Any Dem would have won this election; it was surprising it was as close as it was.
11. In 2012, if the unemployment rate is over 10%, Republicans will be swept back into power. If it's under 8%, the Democrats continue to roll. If it's between 8-10%, it’ll be a dogfight. It’ll all be about the economy.
I hope this gets you really thinking about what's happening in Washington and Congress. There’s a left-wing revolution going on, according to Krauthammer, and he encourages us to keep the faith and join the loyal resistance. The work will be hard, but we’re right on most issues and can reclaim our country, before it's far too late.
Sivan 29, 5769, 6/21/2009
Here, therefore, is a mission for Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar: an educational program that teaches every student the story of Jerusalem and the Jewish People
Working in the field of communications for the past 15 years, I can appreciate all too well the damage anti-Israel, left-wing journalism can be, especially when the forum utilitzed is itself Israeli.
It's no secret that much of the Israeli press is virulently pro-Arab, anti-Yesha, with tremendous influence; influence not only within Israel, but also around the world. Many foreign journalists, not literate in Hebrew, depend on the Israeli English press for information. The English edition of Ha'aretz newspaper is probably the favorite within the foreign press, due to its far-left leanings and opinions.
Within this sea of 'tumah' - impurity, was a drop of 'tahara' - purity. That breath of fresh air was named Nadav Shragai.
For years, probably the only counter to the hate spewed by Ha'aratz was Shragai's clarity, bringing readers the 'true' point of view. Despite being as a minnow surrounded by sharks, Nadav Shragai never raised his hands in despair - rather he pushed on, presenting a 'different' side of current events.
It isn't easy to be surrounded by sharks for two and half decades and survive. Shragia not only survived; he thrived.
Tonight Nadav Shragai announced his parting from HaAretz. I have no doubt that his talents will not lay dormant. He will undoubtedly find a new forum from which he can continue to present current events and opinion to readers in Israel and around the world.
I can only say thank you to Nadav for his years of dedication and hard work on behalf of Am Yisrael and wish him best of luck in his continued career, wherever he should choose to go.
The following article, authored by Nadav Shargai in HaAretz newspaper, was printed on May 30, 2009
A fine dispute over Jerusalem
by Nadav Shragai
Had the United States not condemned Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's policy on a unified Jerusalem, there would be cause for deep concern. After many years of the Israeli leadership raising the expectations of Palestinians, and the entire world, regarding the city - in utter contradiction to its mandate from the Jewish public - Netanyahu and his ministers now have to control their predecessors' extensive damage and lower expectations again.
The last Israeli administration left behind a destructive policy on Jerusalem. But it isn't easy to extract the lamb from the wolf's jaws, to explain that we grant rights to others on the Temple Mount, not the other way around; that we returned to Jerusalem to settle it with Jews and rebuild all its quarters, internal and external; and that the city has no "outskirts" that may be relinquished, because every Arab outskirt abuts a Jewish outskirt, sometimes only a few meters away.
Our values have become distorted, and must be straightened out. Complete coordination and capitulation to Washington should not be considered the measure of successful relations. Sometimes, as in the Jerusalem issue, a dispute shows the State of Israel is returning to its senses - that its red line will not retreat to the Green Line.
After so many years of crooked values, it will take time to reinternalize that our birthright of Jerusalem - the city of Jewish memory and justice - cannot be questioned. And that Arabs who arrived only in the past few centuries - as historian and former education minister Prof. Ben-Zion Dinur was correct in noting - have every right in the State of Israel, but none at all to the Land of Israel.
Here, therefore, is a mission for Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar: an educational program that teaches every student the story of Jerusalem and the Jewish People. The Palestinians have done their own version of this for years, by rewriting history, taking liberties with historical chronology and de-Judaizing the city. It is a terrible disaster that the world "buys" this narrative, and the time has come to return fire, at home and abroad.
Nonetheless, it is not enough to change consciousness, and actions "on the ground" will have decisive implications. First, the government must decide how to categorize Jewish-owned lands in the city, particularly the northern areas beyond the separation fence. Are they part of Jerusalem, under Israeli sovereignty? Or maybe, according to the de facto status quo, they are under military administration, their land and population torn from the city, with all the accompanying implications?
Second, Israel must encourage Jewish settlement in every section of the Old City, not only the Jewish Quarter, as was the case less than a hundred years ago. The Mapai government of Levi Eshkol and Golda Meir did so with discretion and wisdom, partly because such a move is a reflection of Zionism, and also because they realized this was a key step in preventing the city's partition.
There is no reason that Likud, of all parties, should abstain from doing the same. Current mayor Nir Barkat must receive backing in turning Jerusalem into one of the world's leading tourist destinations, which would only help its residents and economy.
Most important, the oaths of allegiance for the city on Jerusalem Day can be woven into a golden carpet, but if the city is only exalted in words, and not actions, this will be of little value. The city needs tens of thousands of new jobs and accommodations in order to hold onto even some of the 17,000 Jews leaving it every year.
Sivan 25, 5769, 6/17/2009
Last week I wrote about a special wedding in Hebron (The Cycle of Life), the day after the funeral of a four and half year old, the nephew of the bride. Below is a video cut from the wedding, in which Moshe Zar, the baby's great grandfather, and grandfather of the bride, speaks during the chupa - wedding ceremony. His words and message are quite inspiring. (In Hebrew, for all those who understand.)
Sivan 24, 5769, 6/16/2009
Even when he mentioned the unmentionable two words (hyphenated with the add-on –demilitarized) I wasn’t overly surprised. My immediate reaction was, ‘well, he had no choice, and he’s laid down conditions that are far beyond the capabilities of our next-door neighbors to even attempt to agree to.' After all, we know that they’ll never agree to Israel as a ‘Jewish state’ because that undermines their basic premise that Israel equals Palestine. The Arab's ‘right of return’ demand guarantees that this will not only remain a statement, but rather a not too distant reality.
Clearly, they will also reject a ‘demilitarized state’ because these two terms are seemingly contradictory. A ‘state’ which is sovereign must have the right to a military force, otherwise it really isn’t sovereign. So, one way or the other – is it a state, or not?
Of course, the password, a ‘united Jerusalem’ was almost the icing on the cake. (Except that Netanyahu forgot to add on the final clause, ‘under Israeli sovereignty.’)
Much of the speech was positive, speaking of our rights to our land, speaking complementarily of the ‘settlers’ in Judea and Samaria, and perhaps most importantly, declaring that the major obstacle to peace is Arab rejection of the legitimacy of the existence of the State of Israel.
All well and good.
Then, with a little thought, reality caught up with me.
Clearly Netanyahu believes, and perhaps very rightly so, that Israel’s Arab neighbors will never accept the conditions he has required in order for Israel to agree to creation of a palestinian state. But Bibi has made now the same mistake he made 10 years ago, a mistake first made by one of his predecessors, some 30 years ago.
At the end of last week my wife and I (celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary) spent a couple of days wandering around Jerusalem. One of our stops was the Davidson Center, adjacent to the Western Wall, which presents a fascinating computer reproduction of the vicinity of Temple Mount 2,000 years ago. Still having a couple of hours free Friday afternoon, we decided to visit the Begin Center, not far from the Old City. We had heard that the exhibit there was interesting and decided to check it out.
The Center itself, I found to be enchanting. Tremendous thought and work were invested in telling the story of the life of Menachem Begin, a most significant character in pre-State, and later, post-State Israel. The exhibit was broken up in various periods in Begin's life. I can honestly say that I enjoyed the content, up to a point.
When the program was over I told my wife that twice during the presentation I almost cried: when Begin was elected Prime Minister in 1977, and later, seeing a destroyed home in Yamit, with Begin quoted as having said that the pain of the destruction would remain with him till his dying day. She dittoed my thoughts.
Begin surely opposed a Palestinian state. He suggested only 'palestinian autonomy.' The magnetic magnitude of peace surely took precedence over a few thousand people in Yamit and the other Sinai communities. So Begin thought. But he never took into account the historic significance of the precedents he established with those fateful decisions in the early 1980s. Autonomy has translated into sovereign statehood and Yamit into the legitimacy to obliterate Gush Katif and north Samaria communities four years ago.
One of the most serious repercussions was not only the actual decisions, but the person who made and implemented them. Menachem Begin was the leader of the Israeli right, with a capital T. He set a precedent, not only for Rabin-Peres, but also for Binyamin Netanyahu in 1997 in Hebron, and for Ariel Sharon in 2005. Netanyahu and Sharon were also undisputed leaders of the right. If the right can do it, than what can they possibly say when the left takes power and follows in their footsteps?
This was the trap set for Binyamin Netanyahu again, now, in 2009, and he fell for it, hook, line and sinker.
When Bibi opened his mouth and spilled out the mantra - palestinian state, despite the fact that he hyphenated that phrase with the word 'demilitarized,' he too acknowledged and sanctioned this vile concept as legitimate, even in the eyes of the Israeli right. This is an historic error of which the ramifications are beyond measure.
In 1997, prior to finalizing the Hebron Accords, Bibi met with Hebron leaders. He promised them explicitly that should the community come under attack from the hills or neighborhoods abandoned to Arafat, he would 'send in the tanks.' Bibi made many mistakes, but one of the most serious was his illusion that he'd be Prime Minister forever. When the shooting did start, he was far, far from the Prime Minister's office.
As is was then, so too it is today. It might be assumed that Netanyahu really doesn't want a Palestinian state and that the conditions he set down will prevent creation of such a terrorist entity for the time being. At least during Netanyahu's reign. But what about after Netanyahu? He will not be Prime Minister for eternity. Just as Begin's autonomy has filtered into 'a sovereign state,' so too, Netanyahu's demilitarized Palestinian state will transform into a 'palestinian state' with the 'demilitarized' lost in the paperwork. So too, his demand that Israel be recognized as a "Jewish state' will fade into 'acceptance of Israel, leaving the door open for tens, if not hundreds of thousands of so-called 'palestinian refugees' to 'come home.' Where will we be then? After all, THE LEADER - a RIGHT-WING LEADER, gave his stamp of approval!
I have no doubt that the 10 spies, some 3,500 years ago, had no idea of the damage they would cause when they rejected Eretz Yisrael, as we read in last week's Torah portion. Had they an inkling of the historic backlash of their words, I'm sure they would have acted differently. But that cannot be an accepted excuse. We are held accountable for our actions, and serious errors can have even more serious aftereffects. Utterances are not just words. They are predecessors of deeds.
So too with Binyamin Netanyahu's decision to acquiesce to King Hussein in the White House. He has placed the gods of the 'international situation' above the G-d of Israel. He spoke of the intrinsic value of Eretz Yisrael, while in his next breath admitting that part of our beloved homeland would be sacrificed to the idols of 'peace.' He praised residents of Judea and Samaria, but… what about Hebron and Kiryat Arba, what about Shilo and Beit El, what about Eli and Tapuach, what about Beit Hagai and Maon? What will be the fate of Ma'arat HaMachpela, or more importantly, Temple Mount?
Netanyahu's acceptance of a palestinian state in the heart of Eretz Yisrael is the ultimate betrayal of our land, our people, our Torah, our G-d. He has placed himself on a very short list of ignominious people.
Binyamin Netanyahu – the latest eleventh spy.
Sivan 20, 5769, 6/12/2009
My fellow countrymen,
Yesterday, on the holy day of Shabbat, worshipping at a synagogue close to my Jerusalem home, I listened intently to the weekly Torah portion. It tells the story of 12 spies, sent by Moses, to study Eretz Yisrael and its residents, prior to the Israelites entering into the Land.
The end is quite well known; Ten of the spies opposed any attempt to conquer the land, saying that it was filled with giants and well-fortified cities and walls. Only two men, Joshua and Kalev had the courage to reject the spy's slander, and called on all the Israelites to push forward, saying that of course they could conquer Israel.
As a result of the people's rejection of the land G-d decreed that they should spend forty years in the desert. Almost all those alive at that time, died before entering the land and were not privileged to see the Promised Land. The ten spies died horribly tragic deaths. Joshua and Kalev were rewarded for their faith and were later leaders in Eretz Yisrael. And of course, the same day when the Israelites rejected Eretz Yisrael, Jews have suffered through the centuries. That day is Tisha b'Av, the date when the first and second Temples were destroyed.
I have also witnessed, in our generation, the results of forfeiting Eretz Yisrael.
And of course, I cannot forget to mention the fate of Yitzhak Rabin, following initiating and signing of the Oslo Accords.
Ehud Barak agreed to a Palestinian state throughout almost all of Judea and Samaria. As did Ehud Olmert. Events speak for themselves.
In truth, I myself had to deal with the same fate. Following my erroneous and fatal decision to divide Hebron, abandoning most of the city to Arafat, and my subsequent signing of the Wye accords, I was defeated at the polls by a very wide margin. I also had to deal with personal challenges, having been investigated several times by the police for crimes that never occurred.
I have come to a realization that, whatever the price, Eretz Yisrael, the land of Israel, including Judea and Samaria, is an intrinsic element of our people. Our Land is a
Of course, peace is a Divinely defined ideal; but only when peace is real, not phony. Since the Olso Accords were signed, almost 2,000 Jews have been killed in terror attacks, murdered in cold blood, by the very people who were supposed to be at peace with the State of Israel.
We have witnessed to formation of a new terror-entity on our southern border, which continues to fire rockets into our country. We still have no assurances that Hamas will not eventually control the Arab populations in Judea and Samaria, as they have taken over Gaza. Israel will not lend a hand to formation of another terror state on our eastern border.
I am very aware of demands to find a national home for the Palestinians.
First, it should be reiterated: the State of Jordan, which was created by the British after World War Two, has a population which is 80% Palestinian; that is 80% of the population is identical to the 'palestinians' living in Judea and Samaria. It should be recalled that Jordan ruled the west bank of the Jordan River from 1950 until 1988.
Very clearly, Jordan is a Palestinian state and can and should be recognized as such. Any Arabs living in Judea and Samaria who do desire, should be able to receive Jordanian citizenship.
As for the Arabs in Gaza: it would only be natural for Gaza to be absorbed by the State of Egypt. I believe that the issues facing us are international, and should be addressed by all nations of the world, including the Egyptians. Egypt, having received the Sinai from Israel, should be an active participate in the continuing peace process. Therefore, Israel is volunteering any and all assistance to green the Sinai desert, thereby provided both food and employment for tens and hundreds of thousands of Gazans.
Peace is not, and cannot be dependent on any one country or culture. All must play a role in bringing real peace to the world. Therefore, we expect the Arab world, the European Union, the Russians, and the United States, as well as member countries of the United Nations, to partake in funding and implementing this plan, which will allow the Palestinians to live as free citizens of their countries, without continuing to endanger the State of Israel, and without forcing Israel to divide its holy land.
Finally, concerning Jerusalem, there should not be any illusions about Israeli policy. Jerusalem has been the capital of the Jewish people for over 3,000 years, beginning with the Davidic Kingdom. After Jews were exiled from this holy city and from our holy land, Jerusalem was left desolate and abandoned.
Temple Mount is the holiest place in the world, site of the sacred Beit HaMikdash, the Temple. The Jewish people lost this holiest of sites because of our rejection of Eretz Yisrael during the days of Moses. I am sure that only when we, as a country, as a people, officially recognize our allegiance to this site, and via this, to our G-d in heaven, that eventually we will achieve an authentic, eternal peace. Israel will never, ever divide Jerusalem.
My fellow countrymen: We must be aware that there are many who will reject my proposals. In 1948 Israeli independence was rejected by the Arab world. Despite this, despite being surrounded by massive enemy forces, despite attacks on all fronts, we were victorious, because we believed in what we had to do: 100% of the Jews here in Israel believed 100% in our goals.
If we believe in ourselves, in our rights to our land, if we believe in our past and look to our future, if we believe in our G-d - given right to our land, then there is no doubt that we will be victorious again, today.
G-d bless you all.