Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Nabil Sha'ath, the current chief of international relations for Fatah, penned a piece in Haaretz today. I was actually interested in seeing what he had to say but I stopped reading after the opening paragraph:

Let us be clear: Palestinians long ago recognized Israel and its right to exist in peace and security. Twenty-two years ago, to be precise. The peace process that began 17 years ago has repeatedly reaffirmed Palestinian recognition of Israel and its right to exist over 78 percent of our historic homeland.

I didn't realize Hamas, the 'winner' of the first Gaza elections and a prominent player in Palestinian politics, recognized Israel. Care to remind me why their charter still talks about the destruction of Israel? Shouldn't that have been removed if we were 'recognized'? And though Mr. Sha'ath claims that this happened 21 years ago, how come the PA (who Sha'ath represents) openly promotes teaching that cities like Haifa, Akko and Yaffo are 'Palestinian cities'? Shouldn't those be 'Israeli' if you want to recognize us? There are many examples like these two but the point is obvious.

I think the Palestinians, and Israelis, need to be a tad bit more honest with each other. Neither side really recognizes the other - and won't do until a deal is ironed out. Now that deal may change this reality, it may not. Until then though, what's the point of these 'games' (to quote Sha'ath)?

Lastly, I always thought 'historic Palestine' included Jordan ... I guess that part of the dream is officially over.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Yitzchak Rabin, 15 years later

Fifteen years ago (Hebrew date), Yitzchak Rabin z'l was assassinated.

I believe that a memorial service to acknowledge the man and his legacy is essential. He is, and always will be, an important figure in our history, be it for his role as a soldier, a peace maker, a Chief of Staff or a Prime Minister. Attempts to forget the man, even those pushed by his own party, should be frowned upon and rejected.

I think it's imperative however that the memorial of Rabin be devoid of politics. Far too often, Rabin's memorial is used by Israel's left as a stage to bash and incite against the Right and religious Jews. There's a reason why so many people feel that this day shouldn't be 'observed'. In it's current format, I'm one of them. I will take a few minutes over the next 24 hours to remember the man, and remember the horrific crime supposedly only committed by one man. But attend an official memorial? Nope - sorry, I don't need to be told 'I' killed Rabin because of my political leanings or the kippah on my head.

Rabin's death was a tragedy for the Jewish people. Yes I know Rabin was a part of many incidents we wish we could forget (The Altalena, being forced - his own words to the New York Times' William Safire, in '92 - into Oslo, or not having time, as his daughter said, to stop the process). But still, his murder was a horrific catastrophe. We should never have allowed ourselves to reach a point where there was such hatred brewing that a crime of this magnitude could have happened.

I would suggest that the Left uses this day (as it currently seems to be 'theirs') as a rallying call to Israel. A rallying call not for political agendas or anti-religious statements, but a rallying call to Am Yisrael to heed the dangers of internal strife (I will write a longer piece about this in the coming weeks). A rallying call to building bridges amongst ourselves and unifying our fractured nation.

What a Feeling

I dropped Nissim off at gan today. After a few words with the ganenet, I gave Nissim a kiss and started walking out. I turned around just to see if he was ok, he smiled at me and said, 'Bye Abba!' Talk about the perfect way to start the journey to work!

Below is the first photo we snapped after his first haircut:


Thursday, October 14, 2010

Pre Shabbat Read, IV

Haven't done this in a long time ... So here goes!

* Let's start with a laugh. Imagine going shopping dressed as a robber ... Laughs a plenty.

* Some amazing photos from the rescue of the Chilean miners, who were underground for over two months.

* Bibi 'predicted' this kind of mine collapse some 23 years ago ... How about he now predicts peace too?

* Ari Shavit on recognition.

* An interesting take on the 'Loyalty Oath' by Shlomo Avineri

* Howard Jacobson wins Man Booker Prize with his book, 'The Finkler Question'.

* An Arab Israeli serving in the IDF? And an officer? Interesting story about Hisham Abu Varia.

* Last but not least, well done to the Texas Rangers for finally winning a playoff series. They beat the Rays in 5 and start the ALCS tomorrow night against the Yanks. Let's go Rangers!

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Yossi's Injury

The Israeli FA confirmed today that Yossi Benayoun will be out for months, possibly the whole season, after rupturing his Achilles tendon. The news has rocked the Israeli national team, with two critical games this upcoming week against Croatia and Greece in Group F qualifications for Euro 2012. Yossi Benayoun has been Israel's best player for the past half decade. His goals have led Israel to solid showings in the last few campaigns, but never to the major tournaments fans have hoped to see Israel perform in. Things look pretty bleak, eh?

While this is obviously not the best way to start preparations for the two biggest games of the campaign, but I think that this may turn out to be a blessing in disguise. The national team has too often relied solely on Yossi for important breaks in games. Players always seemed to want to feed Yossi the ball, it always had to go through him. As Eduardo, the Brazilian born Croatian striker, commented earlier this week, "We hope Yossi can play. If we stop him, we beat Israel." So what I'm hoping for is that with Yossi on the sidelines for the next few games, the other players step out of his shadow and make Israel a far harder team to play against. With the likes of Rafaelov, Shechter & Vermut, Israel may actually have the attacking talent needed to surprise.

The next two games, as I mentioned earlier, are against our main rivals in the group: Croatia and Greece. I'm cautiously optimistic. Here's hoping.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

מלבוש מלכים

להלן (ג, כא) כתוב: ,'ויעש ה' אלקים לאדם ולאשתו כתנות עור וילבישם'. מובא בזוהר הקדוש (בראשית לו, ב) כי קודם החטא היו לבושים כמלאכים, היינו מלובשים בכותנות אור, אולם לאחר החטא היו הכותנות שניתנו להם עשויות מעור

התיבה ה-25 בתורה, היא "אור" - 'ויהו אור'. ה"אור" הזה נסתלק מהאדם אחר החטא, והפך ל'עור'. הענין רמוז בפסוק שלפנינו: 'ויאמר לו איכה', ופירושו: אי כ"ה? - היכן ה'אור', שהוא מספר כה' למניין תיבות התורה הקדושה

This is taken from פניני הבן איש חי.