6 Kislev 5778
24 November 2017
Happy Thanksgiving to all of our readers who celebrate the holiday! We hope you are having or had as festive an evening as we had here in Ashdod last night with turkey, dressing, corn pudding, green bean casserole, funeral potatoes, sweet potato souffle, homemade cranberry sauce–all topped off with pecan pies, apple tarts, pumpkin pies and more.
Quote of the Day:
“War on Zionists is a primary Muslim duty, and fighting against the Zionists is the key to overcoming the enemies of Islam.”
Grand Ayatollah Khamenei of Iran (whom Barack Obama was fond of calling “Supreme Leader”)
Of course when Khamenei says “Zionists”, he means “Jews”.
The News on the Israeli Street
Palestinian terror yesterday . . .
A cell of 5 terrorists operating out of Deheishe and Elazah has been captured. The five Palestinians were responsible for a series of IED attacks against Israelis in the tunnels leading to and from Jerusalem.
Numerous terror attacks occurred: “rocks” and Molotovs were thrown near Modi’in, Tekoa, the Hafsa Junction, between Kiryat Arba and Beit Anun, east of Gush Etzion near Refida, Kassar, Medea, Psagot, Gania, Nabi Saleh, and at a host of other locations.
The above information comes from residents’ reports at Rescue Judea and Samaria.
Whatever happened to Hamas-Fatah reconciliation? . . .
As regular readers of israelstreet know, Egypt has been heavily involved of late attempting to broker a deal between Hamas and Fatah (PLO). You may remember that when this effort started, your humble servant predicted it would end in failure–because there is simply no way that Hamas will give up control of Gaza.
Yet, the last two weeks have seen Fatah take control of the Rafah Crossing from Egypt into Gaza. The reconciliation appeared to be moving forward.
However, last night, the Arab news reported that reconciliation talks in Cairo have ground to a halt and have, in fact, failed.
More light on the authors of the Dead Sea scrolls . . .
At the meeting of the American School of Oriental Research in Boston last week, Dr. (anthropologist) Yossi Nagar of the Israel Antiquities Commission reported that an examimination of 53 skeletons from the ancient cemetery of Qmran reveals that virtually all of the skeletons are those of men.
According to Nagar, the finding reinforces the belief that the skeletons belong to the Essenes, a celibate order that lived in Qumran and authored the scrolls. The skeletal remains are of the same type generally found in cemeteries of Byzantine era monasteries which did not include women among their religionists.
Massive effort to reduce prices here . . .
Minister of Finance Moshe Kahlon announced yesterday that the atrocious import taxes that Israelis pay on such items as shoes, cosmetics, electrical appliances are going to be canceled in the near future.
This startling information comes on the heels of another announcement two days ago from Transportation Minister Katz that the ridiculous import tax that Israelis must pay on cars will be dramatically reduced.
If the import taxes are removed, it is difficult to imagine the impact that would have on Israeli consumer spending. All you have to do is walk into any shoe store, electronics store, and car dealership, and you will see that the prices are approximately 3.5 times higher than those in the U.S. and elsewhere.
How the average Israeli can afford almost anything is beyond your humble servant.
Three Cheers for Tzipi Hotovely!
Let’s begin this morning with the context.
Tzipi Hotovely is Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister. In the absence of an actual foreign minister, she has been one of the leading spokespeople for Israel’s foreign policy since the inception of the current Netanyahu government. Because she speaks English relatively well, she has appeared on numerous television programs and made many speeches.
It was the cancellation of a speech she was supposed to make at Princeton that most recently put her in the news.
Why was that speech canceled?
For one thing, Hotovely is adamant in her support of the Jewish communities of Judea and Samaria. For another, Hotovely is an orthodox Jew, and she does not support the effort of Reform and Conservative Jews to change the status quo at the Kotel.
These facts have made her the sworn enemy of the Left.
All of which brings us up to yesterday, when she had an interview i24 news. In that interview the person from i24 asked her to talk about the “abyss” that seems to be growing between American Jews and Israeli Jews. Specifically, she was asked whether she understands why many young U.S. Jews no longer feel connected to Israel.
“I can’t understand that. Maybe they are too young to remember how it feels to be a Jewish person without a Jewish homeland.”
Of course, Hotovely is exactly correct.
“But there is another issue, and I think it is not understanding the complexity of the region.”
Of course, Hotovely is exactly correct.
“People that never send their children to fight for their country, most of the [U.S.] Jews don’t have children serving as soldiers, going to the Marines, going to Afghanistan, going to Iraq–most of them having quite convenient lives–they don’t know how it feels like to be attacked by rockets. And I think part of it is to actually experience what Israel is dealing with on a daily basis.”
Of course, Hotovely is exactly correct. Obviously there are Jews fighting in the U.S. Armed Forces; my own son was at one time one of them. But when my son was in basic training and on various deployments, he was often the only Jew in his group. It is certainly fair to say that most U.S. Jewish parents don’t have children in the U.S. Armed Services, and that most Israeli parents do have or have had children in the IDF.
By the way, note that Hotovely did not mention lone American Jewish soldiers serving in the IDF.
And it is completely accurate to say that Americans don’t know what it feels like to be attacked by rockets–and that comparatively speaking their lives are more convenient than those of Israelis who have to deal with terrorism up close and personal everyday.
“An egalitarian prayer space already exists at the Kotel, but it stands empty because most of the time those people [Reform and Conservative American Jews] are not interested in going to the Kotel.”
Your humble servant cannot speak for the interests of Reform and Conservative American Jews, but it is absolutely correct that the egalitarian section of the Kotel is empty most of the time–as attested to by the various videos I have shot at the section.
For Hotovely saying what she said, the Jerusalem Post blared this headline this morning in bold letters:
Hotovely insults US Jewry,
then apologizes under pressure
And the subheading:
Facing Diaspora fury,
PM threatens termination
Has the world gone completely crazy? Has Netanyahu fallen off the deep end? Nothing that Hotovely said was insulting in the least; her words were an absolutely accurate statement of facts.
For Netanyahu to publicly rebuke one of our best spokespeople is absurd.
Three cheers for Tzipi Hotovely who is not afraid to speak the truth.