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      Blessings from Hebron
      by David Wilder
      Personal Reflections on Hebron, Eretz Yisrael, Friends, Family and anything else that comes to mind.
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      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 35 years. They lived in Kiryat Arba for 17 years and have resided at Beit Hadassah in Hebron for the past 15 years. They have seven children and many grandchildren.

      Links to sites David recommends:
      www.davidwilder.net
      www.hebron.com (English)
      www.hebron.org.il (Hebrew)
      www.machpela.com
      www.ohrshlomo.org (Hebrew)
      www.ohrshalom.net (Hebrew)
      www.womeningreen.org
      www.zoa.org
      (others to be added)

      Tammuz 9, 5769, 7/1/2009

      Israeli car crashes in Hebron due to rock-throwing



      What a welcome to Hebron!
      Ben Yosef Livnat (Limor Livnat's nephew), a student at the Ohr Shlomo Kollel, was today moving into his new home in Beit Hadassah in Hebron. However, while driving from Kiryat Arba into Hebron via Tzir Tzion - the Zion Road, Arabs pelted his car with rocks, causing him to lose control of the vehicle and crash into a wall. Fortunately he wasn't badly hurt, but, G-d forbid, it could have been much worse. What a welcome to Hebron!

      Tzir Tzion has been closed to Arab traffic for years, due to security threats on the road. The army was planning on opening this street to Arab traffic, but was stopped at the last minute due to oppostion from the head of Israeli intelligence Yuval Diskin. Subsequently, the Knesset Security and Foreign Affairs Committee requested that the road not be opened until they had a chance to examine the issue.

      If this is what happens when the road is closed, what would happen were it to be opened to Arab tra
      What would happen if the Zion Road was opened to Arab traffic?
      ffic?







      Tammuz 2, 5769, 6/24/2009

      Charles Krauthammer on Obama's presidency


      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:           
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Krauthammer

      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

      Thank you to Nadav Shragai



      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
      Ha'Aretz
      http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1089213.html


      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

      Moshe Zar speaking during wedding in Hebron (Hebrew)


      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.)