Saturday, March 31, 2007

This n' That

A few comments on articles that appeared in the weekend edition of Haaretz:

-Teddy Kollek, Jerusalem's mayor from 1965-1993 who recently passed away, was evidently a spy for the British during the mandate era. Kollek "provided British on a regular basis with intelligence obtained by JA about the Etzel's [the Irgun's] plans, helping the British to crack down on its figthers." Kollek's involvement in 'The Season' needs to be discussed openly, along with others (like David Ben Gurion) who were involved in willingly betraying their Jewish brothers. It still boggles my mind how in a time where Nazi Germany was busy eradicating European Jewry, the Jewish Agency was helping the British hang more Jews.

-Last week, Israel's left was again up in arms over the legal purchase of a house in Hebron by Jews. The two Palestinians who sold the house have both been arrested. It seems that the PA's legal system "
call for a death sentence for anyone found guilty of selling land to Jews." Interesting how this doesn't remotely bother our leftists? A future Judenrein Arab country? Sheesh, Hitler would be proud.

-Another interesting story in this weekend's edition centered around the story of Meir Feinstein (z"l) and Moshe Barazani (z"l), the two Irgun fighters who committed suicide together in Acre Prison rather than be hung by the British. Feinstein had given their British guard, Thomas Henry Goodwin, a bible, where he inscribed, "As you stand guard, before we go to the gallows, accept this bible as a memento and remember that we stood in dignity and marched in dignity. It is better to die with a weapon in hand than to live with hands raised". They asked him to walk away so that the explosion wouldn't hurt him. Goodwin's son will now be returning the bible to Israel. (On another note, Menachem Begin, in his last written words, would ask to be buried next to these two heroes).

Monday night is פסח (Passover). I wish all of you a Chag Sameach and enjoy the matzah and charoset! A cute clip from YouTube in tribute to the festival:

Monday, March 26, 2007

Peyton Manning on SNL

The United Way ads have been a part of NFL broadcasts for as long as I can remember. Here's a fantastic skit from last week's Saturday Night Live, starring Indianapolis Colts QB, Peyton Manning:

Clip courtesy of The Anaconda

Saturday, March 24, 2007

A Bright Future

Despite the lack of attacking play throughout the 90 minutes, Israel's respectable 0-0 draw with England should have left most Israeli fans with a taste of what could very well be a very strong national team in the near future. England, despite a strong line up, failed to create much against a resolute Israeli back line - and were it not for the much expected defensive mentality shown throughout the night, Israel may very well have beaten an England team that was there for the taking. Despite this, Israeli football fans should be excited about a team full of young, up and coming stars who were not afraid to stand up to their far more experienced English opponents.

Three of the young stars that will be representing Israel in the u21 championships in Holland next summer continued to impress on the international level. Toto Tammuz, Yuval Shpungil, and Ben Sahar all played roles in tonight's draw and looked like they belonged. Shpungil, who struggled early on on with Aaron Lennon's pace, managed to contain the dangerous winger rather comfortably the whole second half. Shpungil, who is far more adventurous while playing for Macabbi Tel Aviv, will grow in stature as he develops his confidence in the international game. Tammuz, with his pace and power, was Israel's most dangerous player. He came close to scoring twice in the game, once forcing Robinson into a good save with a good shot and once heading just wide as he beat three English defenders to an Amit Ben Shushan cross. His inexperience is currently his worst enemy, but with time, Israel may have quite a player leading its front line. Tammuz will most likely one day be partnered by Ben Sahar (pictured below), who at 17 is Israel's youngest ever international. Despite only 20 minutes on the pitch, Sahar showed he belonged with some nice touches. The sky is the limit for this kid - it's only that Chelsea are the ones who will most likely benefit.

Although the aforementioned 3 performances were good, Israel's best player on the night was 25 year old Tal Ben Haim. The ragged Bolton defender was phenomenal, continually frustrating England's pacey strike force of Wayne Rooney and Andrew Johnson. Ben Haim was unbeatable in the air and ensured that Israel kept yet another clean sheet on its home field.

Israel's next game is on Wednesday against Estonia. The game is a must win if Israel intends to qualify for the Euro 2008 championships. However, this fan is excited by the best generation of youngsters this country has ever produced, with a majority of them yet to be included in the national team set up. Israel will most likely not qualify for Euro 2008, but with the continued progress of these kids, I fully expect a strong (& hopefully successful) challenge for 2010's world cup.

Friday, March 23, 2007


The plans for the wedding are coming along very nicely. It hasn't all sunk in just yet, but every time we see a wedding while we scope out a band or hall, I get that feeling of excitement as I start aniticpating how exactly my wedding will come along. Last night we finalized the date and hall of our choice. Talya and I will be getting married on July 30th at Limon, a wedding hall near the city of Rosh Ha'Ayin. The next course of action includes finding the band, a photographer and writing out the invitation. Exciting stuff, I know.

This weekend, England will be playing Israel in a Euro 2008 qualifying match. I have a good feeling about the game - I think a 2-1 win is in the cards. It's going to be a rocking atmosphere and some of Israel's brightest young talent will have another chance to shine and show their mettle. Toto Tammuz, Ben Sahar and Amit Ben Shushan may all feature in a game that the losing team will bid adios to their chances of qualification for Euro 2008. Good Luck to Israel!

Friday, March 16, 2007

I finally agree with Olmert

In yesterday's speech to Kadima Party's governing council, Ehud Olmert finally said something that I can back unequivocally. After the non-stop barrage of lies & flip flops over the last few months, my trust in this government had eroded to absolute nil. However, that didn't stop me from agreeing with Olmert, who correctly claimed last night:

I'm an unpopular prime minister, the polls say so. I think they are right, I am indeed an unpopular prime minister."

Unfortunately, that was not his entire speech. He continued to say:

"Even though some think this is hunting season, I am sorry to disappoint my detractors, but I am here to work. I have no intention of betraying the trust that was given to me, and let there be no mistake: I intend to be working for you for a long time yet."

Well, Olmert does have work to do. He has to write a resignation speech and be prepared to clean out his office and for the sake of this country, I hope that this man's 'long time' is a few weeks or months.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

If I forget thee, O Jerusalem

Matisyahu's Jerusalem:

"If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand wither, let my tongue cleave to my palate if I do not remember you, if I do not set Jerusalem above my highest joy." (Psalm 137, 5-7).

Monday, March 12, 2007

The Truth Behind Tom & Jerry

Just when you thought you've heard it all ...

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Engagement Party I

Well, part 1 of 3 was a lot of fun. Click here for some photos from the night. Enjoy!

Monday, March 05, 2007

When will he return ...

“Please do your best to get me out of here, because Lebanon is no place to be, and I really want to see you all -- no one should have to remain in captivity when there are other alternatives... Yom Kippur is approaching and I will be praying together with you.... Let’s hope that He will help the leaders make the right choices. But you can also help.”
Ron Arad in a letter to his wife, Rosh Hashana 1987

"The sword is worse than death, famine is harder than the sword, captivity is worst of all..."
Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Bava Batra 8b

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Happy Purim

I wonder what the Jews of Persia thought a thousand years ago when a suddenly modest queen was beheaded. Did they realize an amazing rescue operation was in the works against a sworn enemy, or did they just chalk it up to coincidence? Fast forward to today, and we have another Persian death sentence hanging over our heads. But call me an optimist, I am not in slightest bit worried. Many have tried as Mark Twain so famously pointed out, and all have failed. So, I bid all of you celebrating in the 'walled cities' Happy Purim and may we all celebrate many more happy occasions in Israel.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Why I love the Druze ...

Yup, they never cease to amaze me with their loyalty and love of Israel:

Druze, Circassian forum: Israel should remain a Jewish state
By Yoav Stern, Haaretz Correspondent

The chairman of the forum of the Druze and Circassian authority heads, Nabiah Nasser A-Din, on Thursday criticized the "multi-cultural" Israeli constitution proposed by the Israeli Arab organization Adalah, saying that he finds it unacceptable.

"The state of Israel is Jewish state as well as a democratic state that espouses equality and elections. We invalidate and reject everything that the Adalah organization is requesting," he said.

Adalah recently wrote a proposed constitution classifying the State of Israel as a "bilingual and multicultural" country rather than a Jewish state.

Adalah's proposal essentially abolishes the Jewish elements of Israel, but allows the Jewish majority to maintain its character through educational and cultural institutions.

According to Adin, head of the Kasra Adia municipality, the fate of Druze and Circassians in Israel is intertwined with that of the state. "This is a blood pact, and a pact of the living. We are unwilling to support a substantial alteration to the nature of this state, to which we tied our destinies prior to its establishment," he said.

"All the members of the forum stand behind me on this issue, but want to see full equality with the Jewish population of the state," he added. "I hope that the state of Israel will treat us differently, better than it does today."

The proposal, entitled "The Democratic Constitution," also states that Arab Knesset members will be able to bring about the disqualification of bills that impinge on the rights of Arabs, and calls for majority and minority groups to split control of the government in such a way that will strengthen the Arab minority on issues relating to the character of the state.

The following is not a knee jerk reaction, but one that was formulated after seeing their villages and befriending a Druzi guard in Arad ... The Druzi community is still not adequately taken care of by the Israeli government despite an active and positive role within our country. This needs to change - they deserve better and our government should make the necessary adjustments in the budget to start providing more support to the Druzi population in Israel.