Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Glenn Beck presents Exposed

Thanks to Gilly for this link. Shocking stuff. Why is this stuff always ignored by the main stream media?

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Was it so long ago?

Truly hard to believe that it's already over 10 years since my Granny passed away after a long battle with cancer. It was an incredibly difficult time for all of my family. Nothing we could do would help this wonderful woman as she fought a losing battle against this killer disease ...

Alone as I sit and watch the trees
Won't you tell me if I scream will they bend down and listen to me
And it makes me wonder if I know the words will you come

The first 3 'deaths' that truly affected me all somehow involved Gran. It was on her porch in 1991 that my mother told me that a close family friend in Istanbul had been shot down by Dev Sol militants. Andy Blake, a young father of 2, was gunned down in the prime of his life for no good reason. All I can remember was the shock, the difficulty of dealing with the fact that his two young children would be fatherless. To this day, I still find it extremely hard to look at the few pages in one of our family albums that has articles about his death. Only a year later, I would seek comfort from Gran as I dealt with the loss of my great grandmother, Nonna Lea. 'Alone' in England, I only felt comfortable breaking down with her - she would console me and assuage my fears that I hadn't taken advantage of having this woman in my life for over 12 years.

And I know I'll never see you again

It was a few weeks after my Bar Mitzvah (early 1994) that my Granny discovered she had cancer. I struggle to remember what exactly I was told - but even as a 13 year old, I knew that her time was limited. It didn't stop me from praying every night though, begging for a miracle as I contemplated a life without a woman who's mere presence put such a smile on my face. Granny was a special special woman - full of life, always smiling and helping. We spent hours watching cricket (Still remember going crazy with her after Jonty's famous run out of Inzamam Al Haq during the 1992 Cricket world cup), tennis and any other sport that was on the Telly . She would always have her cabinets stocked with my favorite treats, be it fudge, meringues or peppermint crisps. It was her, along with Gramps, Nonnou & Nonna, that made Cape Town what it was to me. It just couldn't be taken away from me ...

You see I'm tired of feeling this pain

No matter how difficult this was for me, I can't possibly even begin to contemplate what my mother went through. She was extremely close to Gran - talking to her daily it would seem. Gran was one of her 'pillars'. I know that Gran would always comfort my mom with regards to her worries about me and my 'problem child' ways - she had faith in me and I know that helped my mom (raising me must have been a right pain!). How can I even try to put into words what my mother was going through? The pain must have been unbearable - but credit to my wonderful mother; she managed to still raise 3 kids in another foreign environment while dealing with the situation ...

Does he realize he came down here
And he took you too soon

Leicester, 1996. My cousin's bar mitzvah. The effect of the chemo had left Gran exhausted but yet again, she showed her strength of character by making the 12 hour flight with Gramps to be with all of us for the occasion. The only thing I remember about those few precious weeks were when we said goodbye. My mom, dad, sister and I were crying. It was extremely difficult to say goodbye. And in this moment of sadness, my little 8 year old brother innocently asked, "Why are you all crying?" We all smiled despite our drenched eyes ... As we drove away, I knew I'd never see her again ...

I lay down with memories of you keep that keep me going on, going on
It makes me wonder as I sit and stare
Will I see your face again

October 14th, 1996. I awoke on Monday morning to the sound of my sister crying. That's all I had to hear to know she was gone. Seeing my mother that day was difficult. I don't remember her crying or anything, obviously just as strong as her now departed mother was. I don't think my mom has ever 'truly' been the same. While I can't see it as my mom has remained the same loving, happy, caring mother she's always been, losing such an integral part of your existence obviously changes you. I think in death, you can tell a lot about how a person lived. Nelson Mandela once said, "When we were born we cried and the people around us smiled. Live life so that when you die you are smiling and the people around you are crying." At least I know she's smiling from up above ...

(All the quotes are from Hootie & the Blowfish's Not Even the Trees)

The Palestinian ceasefire

held for exactly ... brace yourself ... 57 minutes.

Yup, within 57 minutes of a ceasefire 'brokered' by Israel and Hamas, a quassam rocket struck one of our towns. Shocking really ... I mean, who would have expected it?

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Elders' logic?

It was the last thing I thought I'd hear out of this Indian girl's mouth. While having a chat in the office, she told me that the reason why Israel was allowed to bomb Lebanon was because of pressure exerted on the US by the Jews who control the US's financial institutions. Her 'simple' logic kinda startled me and I smiled and said, "You don't honestly believe that, do you?" To my dismay, she was being dead serious. Not sure if she was weened on any Elders of Zion literature or it's just the 'norm' nowadays to think this way, but it rather disappointed me.

While dining tonight with French Mike, a good friend, yesterday's event came up. His reaction was the polar opposite of mine; he commented, "I'm proud that relative to our numbers, we do have so much power." Come to think of it, although I do think our level of 'power' is vastly exaggerated, I'm also rather proud of how such a small percentage of the world's population has always managed to push itself so far ahead in so many fields.

And while we're on this topic of us 'in control' Jews, a joke:

Rabbi Altmann and his secretary were sitting in a coffeehouse in Berlin in 1935. "Herr Altmann," said his secretary, "I notice you're reading Der Stürmer! I can't understand why. A Nazi libel sheet! Are you some kind of masochist, or, God forbid, a self-hating Jew?"
"On the contrary, Frau Epstein. When I used to read the Jewish papers, all I learned about were pogroms, riots in Palestine, and assimilation in America. But now that I read Der Stürmer, I see so much more: that the Jews control all the banks, that we dominate in the arts, and that we're on the verge of taking over the entire world. You know – it makes me feel a whole lot better!"

Friday, November 17, 2006

Stopping the Rockets

The period leading up to the disengagement was heavily peppered with criticisms that warned of a mini terror state on Israel's border. Despite these warnings, with the most notable one coming from the Moshe 'Bugi' Yaalon (Chief of Staff at the time), Arik Sharon proceeded with the disengagement. It has now been over a year since the move and all the warnings are becoming harsh realities. Despite Egyptian forces 'patrolling' the Sinai/Gaza border, smuggling has drastically increased and Hamas and their ilk now have copious amounts of ammunition and weapons. This harsh reality will only be felt when we face a similar confrontation to the one we handled terribly in Lebanon a few months ago. To add to this already daunting future confrontation, Sderot and other towns close to the Gaza border have been pounded non-stop with quassam rockets - at higher rates than the previous 5 years. Our fellow brothers have become target practice to quassam rocket units (teams of 2 to 4 Arab terrorists) and our government has done very little besides the occasional incursion into Gaza to offset this danger. The ruling brass has led us to believe there is no real way to stop this unless we further capitulate to Arab terror and leave Yehuda and Shomron (commonly referred to as the West Bank).

There is a solution however. Instead of taking action that falls into their hand, Israel should attack this by playing to the IDF's strengths. Normally this would mean sending in our jets, however, our air force strikes have been proven ineffective as the F-16s are not scrambled quick enough to get to the quassam rocket launch sites. With the air force option being ruled out, DEBKAfile makes excellent points in advising that Israel uses commando units to ambush the quassam teams. DEBKAfile suggests that the IDF have commando units undercover at the suspected launch sites waiting to ambush these terrorists. Unlike any other viable options, terrorists would be eradicated before even finishing the set up of the quassam rocket launchers. This also needs to be used on the Gaza-Egypt border. If our 'allies', the Egyptians, refuse to combat the weapon smuggling, we need to assume the responsibility. This tactic can work - and collateral damage will be minimized, which is important to our count, our army and our code of values.

The IDF is blessed with some of the best commando units in the world. There are quite a few benefits for Israel if DEBKAfile's plan is implemented by our government and the IDF:
1) By allowing them to be constantly in action, we'd allow our commando units to be sharp and ready for any other potential conflict.
2) After a few successful strikes on the Gaza-Israel border, quassam rocket launchers won't bother with the tactic anymore. The facts that they'd know the IDF is waiting for them on their territory and the damage they can do is nil (assuming they're intercepted before launching the quassams) would deter terrorists from continuing this tactic.
3) The pyschological effects from such a tactic would alter the mindset of both nations. The Palestinians would yet again realize that 'violence' will not get them results against a stronger, more resolute people. Hopefully that would force their population to weigh a 'change in approach' to their dealings with us, and would lead us to more quiet interactions in an attempt for peace. As for the Israelis, stopping the quassam rocket threat would change the 'scenery' quite a bit. The people of Sderot, Ashkelon and the 'border' towns would feel that they haven't been forgotten. The Israeli population would regain some confidence in our government and the army's morale would also bounce back after the difficulties in Lebanon.

I think this is the time to act. We are facing a very difficult few months now due to a new European iniative (which doesn't require Hamas to recognize the Jewish State), a 'U-turn' Tony Blair (can he be trusted when he says Syria and Iran could play a “constructive role” in the Middle East?), and the return of James Baker to the region (Famous for his 'F**k the Jews' statement, and a member of the the first Bush government that forced Israel into Oslo). Just think, I haven't even mentioned our dear friends in Iran and their continual talk about wiping out Israel. As always, Israel needs to make a stand and show the world 'how it's done'. Talking to supporters of Radical Islamic terror tactics is as idiotic as was the appeasement tactic employed by Neville Chamberlain and Edouard Daladier in 1938 with Adolf Hitler. If only the world could wake up:

Addressing a Harvard University audience Saturday, Army Gen. John Abizaid compared the rise of militant ideologies such as the force driving al Qaeda to the rise of fascism in Europe in the 1920s and 1930s and said: “If we don’t have guts enough to confront this ideology today, we’ll go through World War Three tomorrow.

If not stopped, said the general, “extremists would gain an advantage to gain a safe haven, to develop weapons of mass destruction, to develop a national place from which to operate. And I think that the dangers associated with that are just too great to comprehend.”

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Odd but True ...

Thought I'd share the following article I found on Yahoo! News ...

Pair Use The Force For Jedi Religion

Two self-styled Jedi Knights are stepping up an intergalactic campaign for formal recognition. Umada and Yunyun, also known as John Wilkinson and Charlotte Law, want the UN to acknowledge "The Force" is worthy of being called a religion. The couple claim to be part of the UK's fourth largest religious group, after 400,000 people recorded their faith as "Jedi" in the 2001 Census.

They say that as a religion, they deserve tolerance and respect. November the 16th is the annual International Day for Tolerance.

And as part of a global battle worthy of Luke Skywalker's efforts against the Empire, the band of self-styled Jedis want the UN to re-name the day as Interstellar Day of Tolerance.

More people claim their religion to be Jedi in England and Wales than those who follow Sikhism, Judaism and Buddhism. And the cause has global support.

There are also 70,000 Jedi knights in Australia, 53,000 in New Zealand, and 20,000 in Canada.

This is Umada and Yunyun's letter to the UN Association:

To whom it may concern,

For the last ten years the United Nations has marked today as the International Day of Tolerance.

While we support this important work, we feel the UN needs to move with the times.

In the 2001 UK census, 390,000 people identified themselves as Jedi Knights, making us the fourth largest religion in the country.

We have a proud heritage dating back 195,000 years to our first Jedi, the blue haired, blue eyed Kaja Sinis, who was born on Coruscant.

Like the United Nations, the Jedi Knights are peacekeepers, and we feel we have the basic right to express our religion through wearing our robes, and to be recognised by the national and international community.

We therefore call upon you to change the 16th November to the United Nations Interstellar Day of Tolerance, to reflect the religious make-up of our twenty-first century civilization.

Tolerance is about respecting difference where ever it lies, including other galaxies. Please don't exclude us from your important work.

May the Force be with you.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Culture Shock!

One of the things that I'm really having a fun time getting used to in England is the etiquette here when coming off the metro or the buses. The people waiting to board the bus/metro will queue near the door and wait for all the passengers to exit before actually boarding their ride. This is the complete opposite of Israel, where the 'rush is on' when the doors open on buses and trains. I thought that I'd prefer the 'jolly' good manners of the Brits - but I somehow find myself missing the aggressiveness of the Israelis. Perhaps I find that more 'human' or 'real' ...

I can just imagine my first conversation with an Israeli on the subway about this phenomenon:

Avram: Can you believe these people?
Israeli: friarim (suckers)

Until next time ...

Sunday, November 12, 2006

From Up Above

Landing at Heathrow on Thursday night was amazing to say the least. I was truly taken aback by the gorgeous view - disappointed me that for such a beautiful world, we still remain the only species who continually destroy it.

The reason for being in London is actually ... business! My new employers, IDT Europe, have sent me here for 2 weeks of training. The first three weeks on the job as a wholesale pricing analyst have been challenging and fun. I've actually started coming to work with a smile on my face, eager to learn and continue on the learning curve. Quite a change, needless to say. Training starts tomorrow ...

As for my first weekend in London since the turn of the millennium - I spent it in Golders Green with my sister (who lives in London) and my 'rents (who made the 6 hr trek from New York). It was really nice to catch up - and just a pity we couldn't have Eitan with us. Golders Green is quite a nice place, heavily influenced by the Jewish & Israeli world. I actually felt quite at 'home' with the food and atmosphere in the area.

That's about it for now - I'm off to get my stuff ready for my first day of school, I mean training. Should be fun -

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Kashtan's Statement

The 'Golden Generation' of Israeli football bought a lot of optimism to Israelis in the late 1980s and early 1990s. With names like Haim Revivo, Eyal Berkovic, Avi Nimni, Tal Banin and Itzik Zohar, Israel finally had the 'star power' they needed to compete on the international level. All these players performed well domestically, and were equal to the task abroad (Revivo was part of Spain's Team of the Season in in 98/99, Banin played in Serie A & Berkovic was a mainstay for West Ham, Celtic and Pompey), however, they failed to make an impression on the international level. From the games I watched, it seemed that it was the players' attitudes, and not their abilities, that hampered the team's progress. The players' attitude seemed to be that Israel was 'lucky' to have them playing for her, and not visa versa. Not surprisingly, with the exclusion of Avi Nimni from Dror Kashtan's first squad for the Euro 2008 qualifying, the 'Golden Generation' left Israelis wondering yet again 'what if?'

And so, this brings us to today's national team. This team seems different - not because of the undoubted talent, but because of their attitude on and off the pitch. Compromised of the youngsters who grew up idolizing the 'Golden Generation', these boys are well on the way to shining brighter, both abroad and internationally. With an influx of players from the talented U21 team, the ever improving national team could very well be the first Israeli team to compete in an major tournament in 38 years.

During last month's 1-1 tie with Russia, there was one surprising omission from the starting line up. Yaniv Katan, Maccabi Haifa's captain and a mainstay of the national team over the past few years, had pulled out due to an injury. Despite the 'injury', he managed to play against Hapoel Tel Aviv only a week later, showing no ill-effects whatsoever during his team's 2-0 loss. Dror Kashtan didn't make any statements regarding the incident until Sunday night when he announced the squad for the November clash with Croatia. Yaniv Katan had been dropped - and although he didn't refer to him directly, Kashtan still made it obvious why the striker would not be lining up next week against the Croats:

Players have to do everything to represent the country, the national team is above all. If we talk a little about Zionism, we live in a country that the representation and defense of her are a necessary value in all. The point is people are always being called up for the country. I have expectations of every player; when he is called up to the flag, he is required to appear. Players to have to be willing to sacrifice themselves for the team.

I like the statement Kashtan is making despite the fact Katan's average start to the season is reason enough for his exclusion from the squad. It should be the pinnacle of any Israeli player's career to be able to wear the blue and white uniform, to sing the national anthem and to play in front of 40,000 cheering Israelis. This loyalty and pride needs to be ingrained in every Israeli player (not to mention any regular citizen) - and if players don't feel that it's a necessity, then they can watch the game, like us fans do, from the comfort of their homes.

Sunday, November 05, 2006


A 'short' 12 minute movie about the scary reality facing 'The West'. I don't think enough people understand how real this threat is to our very existence (and I'm not just talking about Israel here) ...

To learn more, check out Obsession - The Movie

Friday, November 03, 2006

November 4th, 1995

I can remember that day quite clearly. It was basically a normal weekend except for an event that transpired thousands of kilometers across the Atlantic Ocean. At around 2 o'clock, my mother answered the phone and after putting it down, announced, 'Yitzchak Rabin has been assassinated'. Needless to say, we were all in shock. I couldn't believe it. Turning on the TV that night shocked us even further - the man who 'pulled the trigger' was Yigal Amir, a 26 year old law student from Bar Ilan (After reading a few books, watching the 'Kempler' footage and observing the obvious contradictions in this case, I am rather convinced that Yigal Amir was not the only man involved in this - and is most likely not the man who fired the shots that actually killed Rabin.). I cannot really remember my feelings or thoughts during that day besides the shock - Although I didn't really know anything about the man and his role in the country's past, I think I felt a deep loss, a loss of a man who was important to me.

Those feelings of loss & pain haven't changed, but I never thought that my feelings towards his 'memorial day' within Israel would change so drastically. I actually cannot stand the day anymore. This should be a day where we can remember a man who defended this country for decades and strove to lead it to peace. He was a leading figure in the Palmach & the IDF and his decisions as the Chief of Staff (during the 6 Day War) and the Prime Minister (presided over the Entebbe Decision) were critical to our country's safety and standing in the region. Despite the long list of military successes, Rabin also strove for peace as he pushed for dialogue with the Palestinians as early as the mid 1970s and then pushed (or was pushed by George Bush as he told ABC News & William Safire) the Oslo peace process and a peace deal with Jordan. However, despite the fact we should all be united in remembering a towering figure in our short history (one only surpassed by David Ben Gurion and Menachem Begin), the day has been completely hijacked for selfish, political & personal gains by the Israeli left. Finally, the left has a day where it's 'ok' to bash the Right and blame them for Rabin's death and a day where it's 'ok' to bash religious Jews as if we were all to blame. Sadly, this day has veered off the path and lost its supposed meaning. Instead of uniting us in mourning for a man who tried to do what he saw as best for his country, it further widens the obvious cracks between us. While I can never forgive Rabin for his statements regarding the suicide bombings of 1995 ('the price of peace'), I feel he wanted what was best for Israel. So, despite the day's often hateful and cruel rhetoric, I still take the time to pay my respects to a man who did so much for this country.

Below is a nice clip with pictures of Rabin's life, with the song Ha'Reut in the background:

The rather famous eyewitness report - "Rabin put his right leg in the car, and suddenly there were shots", "Rabin was not hit":