Who is Obama to diss PM Netanyahu? How’s his own “lead from behind” foreign policy doing?

(Israel as US’s finest aircraft carrier with no US boots on the deck!)

Obama’s Criticism of Netanyahu Exposes Palestinian Issue

http://israel-commentary.org/?p=5720

Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, “Second Thought: a US-Israel Initiative”

From: “Israel Hayom” (Israel’s most read daily newspaper)
January 18, 2013

President Obama’s criticism of Prime Minister Netanyahu – on the eve of the January 22, 2013 Israeli election – underlines the secondary role played by the Palestinian issue in shaping US-Israel strategic cooperation.

Since March, 2009, Obama has systematically scorned Netanyahu’s policies on the Arab-Israeli conflict in general and the Palestinian issue, Jerusalem and the construction of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, in particular. However, since March, 2009, irrespective of harsh disagreements over the Palestinian issue, the mutually-beneficial US-Israel strategic cooperation has expanded, especially in areas which feature the distinctive Israeli added-value: intelligence-sharing, counter-terrorism, homeland security, missile defense, training, battle tactics, joint exercises, pre-positioning of military hardware, medical treatment of soldiers and civilians, research and development, space, commercial and defense industries and high tech in general. Neither Israel nor the US intends to subordinate primary interests to secondary issues by cutting off their noses to spite their faces.

The volcanic eruption of the Arab Winter since 2010 – independent of the Palestinian issue – has exposed the unpredictability, instability, violent volatility, unreliability, inefficiency, intolerance and anti-US terrorism and hostility on the Arab Street. It has highlighted Israel’s unique features as the only stable, predictable, reliable, capable, democratic and unconditional ally of the US.

Mutual threats to the US and Israel – such as nuclear Iran, Islamic terrorism, proliferation of advanced missile and nuclear technologies, and the clear and present radical menace to pro-US Arab regimes – transcend the Palestinian issue. Moreover, pro (and anti) US Arab leaders have never considered the Palestinian issue a cardinal matter on their agenda. They are currently traumatized by the lethal Iranian nuclear threat, raging Arab Winter, emboldened Islamic terrorism and the erupting Iraqi, Syrian and Muslim Brotherhood lava, which might trigger their downfall.

Notwithstanding Obama’s distrust of Israel’s Palestinian policy, US defense and high tech establishments trust Israel’s unique contributions to US national security and the economy as a matchless source of cutting-edge technologies, a sterling beachhead in a vital region, a battle-tested laboratory, and the largest US aircraft carrier which does not require US boots on board. Such attributes are doubly crucial while the US reduces its power projection and severely cuts the defense budget.

Obama’s criticism of Netanyahu is not unprecedented. Prime Minister Shamir’s policy on the Arab-Israeli conflict, including the Palestinian issue, was ruthlessly criticized by the US Administration. However, in April, 1988, at the height of President Reagan’s brutal criticism of Shamir’s handling of the 1st Palestinian Intifadah, Israel was elevated to the status of a Major Non-NATO Ally. A Memorandum of Understanding was concluded, enhancing US-Israel strategic cooperation in an unprecedented manner. It aimed at leveraging Israeli capabilities in the face of joint regional and global challenges, which superseded the Palestinian issue.

In fact, from 1948 until 1992, all Israeli Prime Ministers faced rough US pressure on Arab and Palestinian-related issues. In most cases, the pressure was repelled, criticism was sharpened, but strategic cooperation surged beyond expectations. Middle East reality overpowered oversimplified policy and moral-equivalency.

While President Obama rebukes Israeli policy-makers, the US constituency demonstrates its overwhelming support for the Jewish State. A December, 2012 poll, conducted by the Pew Research Center shows that Americans support Israel over Palestinians by 5:1 ratio, similar to a 59%:13% ratio documented by a November, 2012 CNN poll. While the Executive branch of government is in the habit of criticizing Israel, the co-equal, co-determining Legislature, the most authentic representative of the American people, has been a bastion of support for Israel since 1948 and for the idea of a Jewish State since 1776.

President Obama’s preoccupation with the Palestinian issue, and criticism of Israel, is out of the American mainstream.

Shabbat Shalom and have a pleasant weekend

What you didn’t know about Chanukah

Chanukah 2012 Guide for the Perplexed

By Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger

http://israel-commentary.org/?p=5386

1. Chanukah is the only Jewish holiday which commemorates a Land of Israel national liberation struggle, unlike Passover (the Exodus from Egypt), Sukkot/Tabernacles & Shavouot/Pentacost (on the way from Egypt to the Land of Israel), Purim (deliverance of Jews in Persia), etc. Chanukah is the longest Jewish holiday (8 days) with the most intense level of Light (8 consecutive nights of candle lighting).

2. The key Chanukah developments occurred, mostly, in Judea and Samaria: Mitzpah (also Prophet Samuel’s burial site), Beth El mountains (Judah’s first headquarters), Beth Horon (Judah’s victory over Seron), Hadashah (Judah’s victory over Nicanor), Beth Zur (Judah’s victory over Lysias), Ma’aleh Levona (Judah’s victory over Apolonius), Adora’yim (a Maccabees’ fortress), Elazar & Beit Zachariya (Judah’s first defeat), Ba’al Hatzor (Judah defeated and killed), the Judean Desert, etc. Unified JerUSAlem was the Capital of the Maccabees. Chanukah is not a holiday of “occupation.” Chanukah highlights the moral-high-ground of Jews in their ancestral land.

3. Shimon the Maccabee – who succeeded Judah and Yonatan the Maccabees – defied an ultimatum by the Syrian emperor, Antiochus (Book of Maccabees A, Chapter 15, verse 33), who demanded an end to the “occupation” of Jerusalem, Jaffa, Gaza, Gezer and Ekron, Shimon declared: “We have not occupied a foreign land; we have not ruled a foreign land; we have liberated the land of our forefathers from foreign occupation.”
(Sound familiar?)
4. Chanukah’s historical context (Books of the Maccabees and the Scroll of Antiochus)

Alexander The Great -who held Judaism in high esteem and whose Egyptian heir, Ptolemy II, translated the Torah to Greek – died in 323 BCE following 12 glorious years. Consequently, the Greek Empire disintegrated into five, and thirty years later into three, kingdoms: Macedonia, Syria and Egypt.

The Land of Israel was militarily contested by Syria and Egypt. In 198 BCE, Israel was conquered by the Syrian Antiochus III, who considered the Jewish State as an ally. In 175 BCE, a new king assumed power in Syria, Antiochus (IV) Epiphanies, who wished to replace Judaism with Hellenic values and assumed that Jews were allies of Egypt. In 169 BC, upon his return to Syria from a war against Egypt, he devastated Jerusalem, massacred the Jews, forbade the practice of Judaism (including the Sabbath, circumcision, etc.) and desecrated Jerusalem and the Temple.

The 167BCE-launched rebellion against the Syrian (Seleucid) kingdom featured the Hasmonean (Maccabee) family: Mattityahu, a priest from the town of Modi’in, and his five sons, Yochanan, Judah, Shimon, Yonatan and Elazar. The heroic (and tactically creative) battles conducted by the Maccabees, were consistent with the reputation of Jews as superb warriors, who were hired frequently as mercenaries by Egypt, Syria, Rome and other global and regional powers.

5. The Hasmonean dynasty

*Mattityahu son of Yochanan; the priest-led rebellion – 166/7 BCE

*Judah the Maccabee, son of Mattityahu – 166-161 BCE

*Yonatan the Maccabee, son of Mattityahu – 161-143 BCE

*Shimon the Maccabee, son of Mattityahu – 143-135 BCE

*Yochanan Hyrcanus son of Shimon – 135-104 BCE

*Mattityahu Antigonus – 40-37BCE

6. The name Maccabee (מכבי or מקבי) is a derivative of the Hebrew word Makevet (מקבת), Power Hammer, which described Judah’s tenacious and decisive fighting capabilities. It could be a derivative of the Hebrew verb Cabeh (כבה), to extinguish, which described the fate of Judah’s adversaries. Another source of the name suggests that Maccabee, מכבי, is the Hebrew acronym of “Who could resemble you among Gods, Jehovah” (“Mi Camokha Ba’elim Adonai” מי כמוך באלים י).

7. The origin of the term – Chanukah – is education-oriented.

According to the first book of Maccabees, Judah instituted an eight day holiday on the 25th day of the Jewish month of Kislev, 165 BCE, in order to commemorate the inauguration (Chanukah, חנוכה, in Hebrew) of the holy altar and the Temple, following Syrian desecration. A key feature of Chanukah is the education/mentoring of the family (Chinuch חינוך and Chonech חונך in Hebrew), commemorating Jewish history. The Hebrew word, Chanukah, consists of two words, Chanu חנו in Hebrew (they rested/stationed) and Kah כה in Hebrew (which is equal to 25, (referring to the Maccabees’ re-consecration of the Temple on the 25th day of Kislev. Some have suggested that the timing of Christmas (December 25th) and the celebration of the New Year 8 days later (January 1) have their origin in Chanukah, which always “accompanies” December.

8. Chanukah is the holiday of light, commemoration, optimism and liberty. Chanukah celebrates the liberation of JerUSAlem. The first day of Chanukah is celebrated when daylight is balanced with darkness, ushering in optimism for brighter future. Chanukah is celebrated in Kislev (כסלו), the month of miracles (e.g., Noah’s Rainbow appeared in Kislev) and the month of security/safety (the Hebrew word Kesel-כסל means security). The first and last Hebrew letters of Kislev (כסלו – כו) equal 26 (in Jewish Gimatriya) – the total numerical value of the Hebrew spelling of Jehovah – יהוה. Moses completed the construction of the Holy Ark on the 25th day of Kislev, as was the date of the laying the foundation of the Second Temple by Nehemiah. The 25th (Hebrew) word in Genesis is Light (OR, אור), which is a Jewish metaphor for the Torah. The word which precedes “light” is יהי (“let there be” in Hebrew) – 25 in Gimatriya. The 25th stop during the Exodus was Hashmona (same root as Hasmonean in Hebrew). Chanukah commemorates one of the early Clashes of Civilizations: the victory of light (Maccabees) over darkness, the few over the many (scarce light can penetrate darkness), liberty over slavery and remembrance over forgetfulness. The Hebrew spelling of darkness – חשכה – employs the same letters as forgetfulness – שכחה.

9. The thirty six Chanukah candles (without the constant candle – the Shamash) represent the 36 hidden righteous persons, whose virtue safeguards human-kind. (Lamed Vavnik) There were 36 hours of divine light, welcoming Adam during the creation, lasting until the end of the Sabbath. Various forms of light, and candles, are mentioned 36 times in the Torah. There are 36 parts in the Talmud. Chanukah is celebrated during the Hebrew month of Kislev, whose spelling consists of two Hebrew words: Throne (כס) and 36 (לו). Candles are lit outside the home, or at the window, in order to spread light. Unlike the Shabbat candles, which are lit inside since they target the family, the message of the Chanukah candles targets the world at large.

10. Eight days of Chanukah represent divine capabilities and optimism. The ancient Temple Menorah consisted of seven branches, which commemorated the seven days of creation. The Chanukah Menorah has eight branches, reflecting the additional level of divine capabilities. The eight day celebration could be intended to make up for the holiday of Tabernacles, which could not be celebrated due to the war of liberation. The shape of the digit 8 represents infinity: no end to divine capabilities, as evidenced by the survival of the Jewish People against all odds. The root of the Hebrew word for 8 (Shmoneh, שמונה) is “oil” (Shemen, שמנ), which is also the root of “Hasmonean” (Hashmonayim, חשמונאים). The Aramaic name of the month of Kislev is Kislimo, which is “heavy” in Hebrew. The spelling of “heavy” is identical to the spelling of “oil” – שמן.

11. The statue of the head of Judah the Maccabee is displayed at the West Point Military Academy, along with the statues of Joshua, David, Alexander the Great, Hector, Julius Caesar, King Arthur, Charlemagne and Godfrey of Bouillon – “the Nine Worthies.”

12. “In God We Trust” is similar to the Maccabees’ battle cry, which adopted Moses’ battle cry against the builders of the Golden Calf. A literal translation of Moses’ battle cry: “Whoever trusts G-D; join me!”

13. Patrick Henry’s “Give me liberty or give me death,” and New Hampshire’s “Live Free or Die,” followed the legacy of the Maccabees’ sacrifice and political-incorrectness. The Maccabees followed in the footsteps of Abraham, Phineas the High Priest, Joshua & Caleb, King David and Elijah the Prophet, who knew that swimming against the stream gets one closer to the source!

14. “Rebellion against Tyrants is obedience to God” was proposed, as the US seal, by John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin. It reflected the legacy of the Maccabees who were a tiny minority of “rebels” – condemned by the “loyalists/pragmatists” – rising against an oppressive super-power. They demonstrated the victory of the few over the many, right over wrong, moral over immoral, truth over lies, faith over cynicism and opportunism. Paul Revere’s nickname was the “modern day Maccabee.”

15. “Chanukah has a special significance in Montana these days. In Billings in 1993, vandals broke windows in homes that were displaying menorahs. In a response organized by local church leaders, more than 10,000 of the city’s residents and shopkeepers put make-shift menorahs in their own windows, to protect the city’s three dozen or so Jewish families. The vandalism stopped” (New York Times, Dec. 4, 2009, Eric Stern, senior counselor to Gov. Brian Schweitzer).

Shavua tov, Happy Chanukah

Netanyahu’s response after PA/Hamas ugly embrace?

MK Danny Dayan to Netanyahu: “Admit Oslo Is Dead”

By Israel International News Service (Arutz Sheva) staff
April 29, 2011

Yesha Council Chairman Danny Dayan called on Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to cancel his upcoming Bar-Ilan II speech and annex Area C in Judea and Samaria. “The prime minister must cancel Bar-Ilan II and say one thing,” Dayan said. “That Bar-Ilan I is off the table – a Palestinian state will not arise.”

Bar Ilan I is a reference to a speech given by Netanyahu at Bar Ilan University in June 2009 which he laid out his criteria for the creation of a PA state. Among those criteria were the exclusion and destruction of Hamas, defensible borders for Israel, recognition of Israel as a Jewish state, and Jerusalem as Israel’s united capital.

On Wednesday PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas agreed to admit Hamas to the PA, and PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said the PA would begin moving unilaterally to make eastern Jerusalem its capital.

Netanyahu’s upcoming speech at Bar Ilan, dubbed Bar Ilan II by pundits, was expected to be an updated installment of his original Bar Ilan speech for the Israeli public before Netanyahu travels to the U.S. where he will address Congress.

But Israeli politicians and pundits alike have been left guessing about the content of his Bar Ilan II speech as it comes after two years of stalled talks and the PA decision to abrogate the Oslo Accords and seek a unilateral declaration of PA statehood by the United Nations in September.

Dayan says he hopes Netanyahu will seize the maximum benefit from new developments. “There are now two crises,” Dayan said. “The PA has chosen to cancel all agreements with Israel and go to the U.N. and they also decided to admit Hamas to their ranks. Every crisis is also an opportunity. The prime minister should say he no longer consents to a PA state, that we are released from Oslo, and move to fulfull Zionist dreams.”

Dayan believes the annexation of Area C is now a required step. “It’s not enough for Israel say she no longer consents to a Palestinian state, but it’s time to exert Israeli sovereignty and annex the open spaces and Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria. It is time we become citizens with equal rights like citizens in any other place in the country. The Palestinians launched a political war against us, but it’s not strong enough in real terms to win.”

Dayan called on politicians to restore the confidence and sense of security of Israelis in Judea and Samaria, who he says were often abandoned to the PA police under Oslo. “I’m having a lot of meetings with Central Command and the commander in Judea and Samaria,” Dayan said. “And in meeting with them I begin with a warning about security cooperation with PA security forces. The notion is completely surreal and the proof is what we saw happen at Joseph’s Tomb.”

Dayan argued that despite mistakes made since the Oslo Accords were signed, the Israeli army is a strong army and can solve the problems that now exist. “Of course we made mistakes and will pay them a price,” Dayan said philosophically. “We were wrong. But we should not scare ourselves. We should now restore confidence. If Hamas will take over the cities of Judea and Samaria, we must make it clear we will go back to them – Hevron, Shechem, and Ramallah – and return them to Israeli control.”

“We need to pressure Netanyahu to use the situation to Israel’s advantage… to declare the Oslo process, which was the biggest strategic mistake Israel ever made, dead. We’ve paid with over 1,000 dead already. Withdraw immediately the government’s assent for a PA state. The army needs to announce all security cooperation agreements are off and take full responsibility for all Israeli citizens’ security today, not tomorrow.”

“This is the responsibility of political leadership,” Dayan said. “The prime minister is the one who must take the decision. He should show he is committed. It is time to return to Zionist activism and leave the dark days of Oslo behind us.”

What Hallucinogenic Drugs Are Shimon Peres, Benjamin Netanyahu And Ehud Barak On?

I. On Friday night, in the city of Itamar, there was a horrific terror attack in which 5 members of the Fogel family were brutally murdered. They were deliberately slaughtered by Palestinian Arabs with knives, while lying asleep in their own home.
The Victims included the Parents Rabbi Udi and Ruth and three of their children Yoav, 11, Elad, 4, and Hadas, 3 months. Their crime? – Being Jews in the land that G-d had given to his people over 3500 years ago.

At the funeral yesterday, attended by some 20,000 people, the former Chief Rabbi of Israel, Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau, quoted from the book of Iyov (Job) 2:1
“So they sat down with him upon the ground seven days and seven nights, and none spoke a word unto him; for they saw that his grief was very great.”

No words can rationalize or provide comfort for such a tragedy. The only words worth sharing are those of the parents and siblings of Udi and Ruth who said that such acts of terror don’t weaken their resolve and love for Eretz Yisrael. “This land is our life, we cannot be separated from it.”

The Fogel family was murdered on Friday night of Shabbat Parshat Vayikra, when we begin reading the discussion of the sacrifices which were offered to G-d in the tabernacle…

Hashem Yenakem Damam – May G-d avenge their blood.

Rabbi Shneur Silberberg, Bais Chabad, West Bloomfield, MI

II. What hallucinogenic drugs are Shimon Peres, Benjamin Netanyahu and Ehud Barak on?

By Yehudit Tayar

What we so obviously see from here (Judea and Samaria – “West Bank”) that they are not willing to see from there! (Jerusalem, Government of Israel)

Just this past week my family sadly commemorated the brutal murders of Rabbi Elnatan and Dina Horwitz, my cousins HY”D, who were murdered in their home in Kiryat Arba, Hevron, Friday night Erev Shabbat Kodesh in 2003.

Then, just like this past Erev Shabbat, the brutal murders of the Fogel family, mother, father and three children as they slept innocently took place. The murdering terrorists went from one member of the family to the next and slaughtered them with blind hatred.

We hear Prime Minister Netanyahu, President Shimon Peres, and of course Ehud Barak – the “Minister of Defense” — condemning these horrific murders. They have the audacity to stand in front of us and demand condemnation from the world for these actions, while they along with all of the heads of the Israeli governments since the signing of the Oslo Accords in September 1993, refuse to see or accept the truth.

They continue to meet with the heads of the PLO and plan to continue to make “painful concessions” while willfully ignoring the reality that the hatred is bred inside of the official education facilities of the PLO. That no matter what Israel is willing to do in order to achieve the long anticipated and longed for “peace,” the other side will never stop hating us and trying to destroy us.

How blind can these heads of government be? We open the official web sites of the PLO and learn what they are teaching their people including the lessons of hatred and lies to their children. We learn what their maps show – that there is no Israel – not only Yesha or Jerusalem, but they do not recognize our entire Land or our existence.

We witness the official educational texts of the PLO and learn that these are identical to the official Nazi propaganda used before and during the Holocaust in Europe to annihilate six million Jews, including one and half million children.

We hear the heads of the PLO declare that they will never accept that Israel is a Jewish State. So why do our leaders continue to ignore all of this blatant hatred and incitement? Why do they continue to play into the hands of the United States and the rest of the world who do not care if we disappear tomorrow from the face of the earth?

Only a few days ago mass forces were sent with weapons against families living in Chavat Gilad in the Shomron in order to destroy two dwellings. Daily on our roads we are continuously attacked and do not see any proper response from the security forces.

No matter how many cameras, guards etc, we use in our communities in order to try and protect our lives and the lives of our children it will not resolve the problem. The infrastructure of hate that is teaching would-be murderers like those who came in the night and butchered our families will continue to train and direct more murderers like them – that it is acceptable to continue to murder innocent people as long as they are Jews and especially if they are “settlers”.

Let’s face it, the Israeli government led by the Prime Minister and the so called Minister of Defense continue to ignore the real situation in their dangerous and pathetic attempt to pretend that if Israel is only willing to make more concessions and accept a “Palestinian State” we would be left alone.

There is a popular saying, “What is seen from here cannot be seen from there”. This is constantly used to explain that we, the simple folk, are unable to comprehend what our leaders face and how they understand what is needed to be done.

I accept this theory but not in the way the media and government representatives wish for it to be understood. I accept that those heads of the government are disconnected from the reality of the situation and that they TRULY DO NOT SEE THE REAL PICTURE.

It is us, the simple citizens of Israel, who continue to pay an unacceptable horrific heart-breaking price for their refusal to accept the truth. Israel does not have nor will she ever have a partner for peace let alone peaceful co-existence.

I wish to quote a former leader of the Jewish people, David Ben-Gurion, who was also a settler. (Speech to the 21st Zionist Congress, Basil 1937) “No Jew is at liberty to surrender the right of the Jewish Nation and the Land of Israel to exist. No Jewish body is sanctioned to do so. No Jew alive today has the authority to yield any piece of land whatsoever. This right is preserved by the Jewish People throughout the generations and cannot be forfeited under any circumstance.”

Even if at some given time there will be those who declare that they are relinquishing this right, they have neither the power nor the jurisdiction to negate it for future generations to come … Our right to this Land, in its entirety, is steadfast, inalienable and eternal.”

Perhaps if our so-called leaders were reminded of these words declared long before our Nation established a Jewish State in our eternal Land, they would accept the truth. The truth that must Israel stop pretending that there is some Arab leadership, including or perhaps especially the PLO, who will ever be willing to allow us to live safely in our Land.

We do not wish to hear words of comfort, anger or sorrow, unless the remorse of these same leaders prompts them to immediately stop endangering us, and allowing the despicable murderers to come in to our homes and butcher innocent families-including infants and children.

Yehudit Tayar is a veteran spokesperson for the Jewish pioneers who live in Yesha, and lives with her family in Bet Horon in the Benjamin Region of Samaria.

Comment from reader, Rev. Legasi,
March 14, 2011

Dr. Kaufman,

May i extend our condolences to you all who are in grief to the Brutal Murder of the Foggel Family. These Muslims are like the Philistines in the time of King David, They Have NO plan but for the Elimination of Israel. Mr. Kaufman i know it is near because The E.U. is now involved in the peace process. Remember Madam Merkel of Germany betrayed Israel last week by siding with PA. As i watch Prophecy unfolding in the Middle East i felt cold on my spine for what I saw and am seeing. Example, October 14,2009 Turkey, a Friend of Israel, turned her back. Four weeks ago Egypt sold out Israel. They even permitted two Iranian Warship to pass the Suez Canal. Last December Lebanon became the nation of HeZbollah. Time will come when Israel will have no friend but their King, the Son of David and Israel Herself.
Zechariah 14:1-9

Rev. Legasi