Thursday, July 31, 2014

Exodus 2014

By Moshe Feiglin

Newsweek’s front page this week is about the exodus of European Jewry from Europe – now, in 2014.
“Remaining in Belgium was not really an option,” says Moriah, a new immigrant to Israel pictured on the front page.
The war in Israel did not stop thousands from making aliyah (immigrating) to Israel over the last month. The new immigrants are mainly from France and the US – but not exclusively. Not only did the war not curb the wave of aliyah, it even quickened its pace. The war raging now in Gaza brought anti-Semitism throughout the world to the surface, making it clear that the only place for Jews is the Land of Israel.
As opposed to ‘Exodus’ in the forties, the coming decade’s Exodus will meet a strong Jewish State of Israel; an Israel that opens its gates to the new immigrants and protects them – if it will only realize who it is and who are its enemies…
I repeat once again: 1.5 million Jews will be immigrating to Israel in the coming decade. They will change our entire geo-political perspective from its very foundation.
For every miserable family in Gaza, there is a Jewish home being vacated in Paris and Belgium.
The Land of our Forefathers is waiting with open arms for every Jew in Paris and Belgium – and the rest of the world.

May I sit and cry with you? HaRav Nachman Kahana on Parashat Devarim 5774

Parashat Devarim 5774
Rabbi Nachman Kahana

May I sit and cry with you?

We are now entering the 22nd day in this round against the Hamas wing of Amalek. If left to their own devices, Hamas could present a strategic threat to the Medina, which doesn’t seem to bother the American President or most of the world.
We are paying a huge price in our efforts to crush the head of the serpent; 53 of our holy soldiers have died.
Each was a world unto himself; their beautiful young faces on the front pages of the newspapers brings one to tears.
The following is part of the message I wrote for parashat Acharei – Kedoshim in the year 5767-2007.

“Memorial Day and Yom Ha’Atzma’ut
…Last Sunday night, Jerusalem’s Convention Hall was filled to capacity in order to pay homage to the memory of the 22,305 soldiers and the thousands of citizens who were murdered by Arab and Islamic terrorism.
The “event” lasted over three hours and was replete with very moving moments. David Chatuel spoke of the murder of his wife, Tali and their four daughters in Gush Katif, and Dr. Nimrod Adi, assistant head of emergency medicine at Ichilov hospital in Tel Aviv described the battles in the last war in Lebanon.
There were many opportunities to cry. But despite my personal losses of an aunt and two cousins who were murdered in 1938 on the way to Tzfat, my only brother, HaRav Meir, who was murdered in 1990, and his son and daughter-in-law who were murdered in 2000 – I did not cry.
I was sitting near our youngest son, a very senior infantry officer, who took part in almost every major confrontation in the last sixteen years. At the most dramatic heart rending moments of the evening, when surely his thoughts were on the too many young soldiers and officers whose funerals he attended, I could not discern a tear nor an emotion. His face was stolid and his body language composed, but he was deep in thought.
I looked around the cavernous hall and noticed that, although there were some who cried, most were like me and our son – pensive and controlled.
I have known for a long time, being here 45 years, the reason for this, so called, lack of emotion. Soldiers don’t cry in the thick of battle. The release of emotions comes when the cannons are finally silent and the cost becomes known. We in Eretz Yisrael have been in the thick of battle for 100 years, so the time for tears has not yet come.
When the Mashiach appears, Jews the world over will congregate in their shtiblach and in the sanctuaries of the great synagogues to break out the cases of 18 year old scotch to drink l’chayim. There will be dancing and rejoicing in the streets of Williamsburg and Lakewood, in Golders Green in London and in the diamond centers of Belgium.
But here in Eretz Yisrael weeping will be heard; for the battle to re-establish our presence in our holy land will have been won; so now the soldiers can cry.
Who are these soldiers? They are every man, woman and child in this country. We are all soldiers, for here even the home front is part of the battle field.
In the midst of the tumult of song and dance in the great Torah centers of the galut, the Mashiach will quietly slip away and come to David Chatuel and to Libby Kahana and all the others, and in a bashful whisper will say, ‘May I sit and cry with you?’” 

Shemita and Redemption

 A Breita (a Tannaic work similar to the Mishna) quoted in the Gemara ( Megila 17b) outlines the structure of the 19 blessings which comprise the Amida prayer (shemoneh esrai). The seventh blessing beginning ראה נא בענינו  (Re’eh na v’ai’nai’ nu) and ending ברוך אתה ה’ גואל ישראל   (Blessed are You who redeems Israel) was inserted into seventh place to allude to the tradition received from Sinai that the redemption of the Jewish nation will occur in a Shemita (Sabbatical) year, which falls in seven year cycles.
The rabbis in the yeshiva at the time questioned the Breita in view of our tradition that Jewish redemption will occur in the year following a Shemita year, not in the Shemita year itself?
And the reply is that the “big” war will begin in the Shemita year, which will signal the beginning of our redemption, to be completed in the post Shemita year.
This does little to increase our understanding of when the redemption will be, because the Gemara does not stipulate to which Shemita year the Breita is referring.

Amelek’s Final Defeat

Predicting the future has always been a precarious business; ever more so when predicting the future of Am Yisrael, as many prophesiers have discovered. But as we draw closer to the “end”, the chances of success become greater.
I would like to try my hand at deciphering the signs of the redemption and the time frame in which it will happen; and in doing so, uncover the disguised intentions of Chazal.
The Gemara in Megilla 14a states that Esther argued before the rabbis that the episode of Purim deserved to be recorded in the Tanach. The rabbis initially denied her request, relying on a verse in Mishlei (24,20)
הלא כתבתי לך שלישים במועצת ודעת
Which by tradition means that Amalek can be mentioned only three times in the Tanach, which are already in parashat Beshalach, parashat Ki Ta’tzei and in the Book of Shmuel. So the addition of the Purim story would bring it to four times. Esther argued that the two times Amalek is mentioned in the Torah — parashat Beshalach and parashat Ki Ta’tzei – should be considered as one, the Book of Shmuel the second, and Megillat Esther the third time. The rabbis accepted Esther’s understanding and proclaimed Megillat Esther as the 24th book of the Tanach.
What does all this mean?
I suggest that the verse in Mishlei, which limits the number of times Amalek may be mentioned in the Tanach to three, is telling us that the final redemption of the Jewish people will come about in the generation of 70 years (Tehilim 90:10) when Amalek will be defeated three times – the number of times that their defeat is mentioned in Tanach.
The Jewish people have a long track record of defeating enemies, beginning with the ancient Egyptians and continuing with the Philistines, Assyrians, Babylonians, Greeks, Romans, etc. But never have we experienced the downfall of an Ameleki empire three times or even twice in one generation.
But there is one generation in which the potential for this to happen exists – the 70 years from 1945 to 2015. In 1945 the arch evil Amalek nation of Germany was defeated. In 1991 the arch evil Soviet Union collapsed. And by next year – 2015, we shall be’ezrat Hashem witness the third collapse of Amalek.
Interestingly, the year 2015 corresponding to our year 5775 is a Shemita year, which brings to mind the above quoted Breita that states that world wars will begin in a Shemita year followed by the total redemption of the Jewish nation.
In addition, next year is known in Hebrew as תשע”ה  a word which means salvation.
And although the Shemita year does not begin until Rosh HaShana, it is similar to Shabbat whose spirit begins to be felt earlier in the day when we begin to be limited in the activities we may begin. So too the spirit of Shemita begins halachically right after Pesach of the sixth year, when we are limited in the agricultural activities, such as the prohibition on planting fruit trees.
So too are we now, several weeks before Rosh HaShana, experiencing the heightening of international tension and ugly rivalries.
Be prepared to witness the third and total destruction of Amalek which includes Islam, from Hamas to Iran, Christianity and all anti-Semites, wherever they might be. The major potential participants are all in place. The United States, Russia, China, Pakistan with its Islamic atomic bomb, Iran and Saudia with their Islamic fanaticism.
Today, July 28, marks the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War. That war contained within it the seeds of the Second World War, and laid down the road map for the pending great war of Gog King of Magog through the artificial creation of national boundaries in Europe and in the Middle East.
I don’t view the present conflict between Israel and Hamas drawing to a close. To the contrary, I see more and more Arab and Moslem nations joining in the frenzy of war, which by necessity will drag in the United States, European states and China, each for its own reasons. By any yard stick, in one year from now the world will be a far far different place than today.
The outcome is already known to us through the prophets. Am Yisrael will prevail through it all by the great miracles which HaShem will provide for His chosen people. And then all humanity will understand that we are HaShem’s chosen people.

Where can a Jew Find Protection?

Now, if indeed, the near future does not bring peace to the world, but rather the most ghastly armed conflict in human history, where would an observant Torah Jew prefer to be: In the United States under the leadership of Hussein Obama or in Eretz Yisrael, the land where HaShem observes her “from the beginning of the year to its end”?
Shabbat Shalom,
Nachman Kahana
Copyright © 5774/2014 Nachman Kahana

Leadership that Listens Will Rebuild the Temple

By Michael Fuah

Image courtesy of the Temple Institute 
And to the tribes of Reuven and Gad I gave from the Gilad. And I commanded you at that time, saying: ‘Havayah your God has given you this land to possess it; you shall pass over armed before your brethren the children of Israel, all the men of valor. (From this week’s Torah portion, Devarim, Deuteronomy 3: 16,18)
Just last week, we read Moses’ criticism of the tribes of Reuven and Gad. He suspected that they preferred to remain on the East bank of the Jordan River where they would enjoy their wealth and not have to fight for the Land of Israel with the rest of their brethren. In this week’s Torah portion Moses gives Reuven and Gad the parcel of land that they requested and commands them, as per their request, to fight at the head of the Israelite army that conquers the Land of Israel.
In the interim, the tribes of Reuven and Gad had quietly convinced Moses that they were sincere in their intention to head the conquering Israelite army despite the fact that they would already have their portion of land.
Moses could have stubbornly refused to change his mind. But he was a true Jewish leader. He listened and was willing to change his opinion 180 degrees, from accusing the tribes of shirking their national duty, to actually commanding them to do what they had requested to do. The heads of the tribes of Reuven and Gad also displayed true leadership. After Moses’ criticism of their request, they responded by quietly and respectfully explaining their position, as we learned in last week’s Torah portion.
Baseless hatred is often the result of a simple lack of willingness to listen, to accept another point of view and to be convinced. Often, it is also the result of a lack of willingness to respectfully convince another of one’s point of view. The example of Moses and the leaders of the tribes of Reuven and Gad must be a guiding light for us. In the days preceding the Ninth of Av, we must redouble our efforts to rectify the sin of baseless hatred and rebuild the Holy Temple in Jerusalem – the city that unifies the entire Nation of Israel.
Shabbat Shalom

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Defeat Now Means Much Worse War Later

By Moshe Feiglin

For those who still do not understand that Israel is fighting a war for its existence in the face of Arab Islam and its terror organizations – which are all watching us now – and enjoying the show.
For those who still prefer to choose diplomatic humiliation instead of defeat of  the enemy, conquering Gaza and total victory in battle.
For those who still do not understand that if Israel is defeated now, G-d forbid, it will lead to a much, much worse war.
It is worthwhile to remember the immortal statement of Winston Churchill after British PM Chamberlain signed an agreement with Hitler: “You were given the choice between war and dishonor. You chose dishonor and you will have war.”

What is the Vision?

By Shmuel Sackett

This Shabbos is called “Chazon” which means vision and looking towards the future. It’s not a personal vision but a national one and based on that, I always ask myself the same question: Exactly what is the vision? What should we focus on? Where are we heading as a nation? Where should our direction be and what is our plan? For many years I received weak answers which is why, in my opinion, Tisha B’av is still alive and well.
I am convinced that we can avoid that miserable day. Just like during the days of Bayis Sheni, when Tisha B’av was simply a day on the calendar and not a day of national mourning, our present situation is not far away from that. We have the ability to DANCE on Tisha B’av yet we choose to cry. Unlike previous generations – dating back 2,000 years – we have all the tools necessary to turn things from sadness to joy, from darkness to light yet… we remain depressed and focused on tragedy.
This can be compared to a person who experienced a personal tragedy yet refuses to move on in life. I am not talking about being “comforted” – that’s the job of Shabbos Nachamu. I am talking about “vision” – seeing the future and moving towards it. Take a look at the Holocaust. Nothing was more tragic on both the personal and national level. Yet, look what happened. On the personal side I know of many people who, despite their enormous pain, suffering, anguish and nightmares built successful businesses and started new families. They refused to let Hitler (may his memory be cursed) win and they refused to live lives of Tisha B’av. Their personal “Chazon” was one of growth, success and life! The same is true on the national side when the State of Israel was built out of the ashes of Aushwitz. The leaders of the state; from Ben Gurion to Begin, did not ask for pity nor did they sit on the floor. They built a country with industry, universities, cities, an army and lots and lots of beautiful shuls, mikvehs and yeshivas! Their vision was returning the Jewish people to Zion and they made it a reality.
What is our vision today? Where do we want to see ourselves in 10 years? Yes, we all sing “Moshiach, Moshiach” but what are we doing to make that a reality? I sincerely believe that this is the key question of our day. Yet it is not being asked. We are living our lives on “auto-pilot” and simply moving along as robots. This is very sad because as I wrote above, we finally have all the tools necessary to get the job done. We have things available today that the Rambam, Vilna Gaon and Chafetz Chaim only dreamed about. We have returned and established a homeland in the land given to us by G-d! We run that land by ourselves and for the first time in 2,000 years are not under the rule of the czar or emperor. We are our own bosses with our own army, our own judicial system and the ability to build, settle and farm the land without begging some wealthy land-owner.
Yet, despite all these positive things, Jews take Tisha B’av more seriously than they do Yom Ha’atzmaut (Israel Independence Day). We have become experts in mourning and crying and say Kaddish better than anyone else. Of course we need to keep Halacha and that is why I too will observe Tisha B’av along with the rest of the Jewish world but to me, that day is not about what happened 2,000 years ago… it is about what is happening NOW! I cry more over the lost potential and lost opportunities that G-d has given us these last 50 years. I fast and sit on the floor because of the daily desecration on the Temple Mount and the fact that people rush to the Kosel without even studying the laws of properly ascending the Temple Mount. I weep over the fact that even with Nefesh b’Nefesh, and all the help and money they offer, the aliyah rate from the USA is ridiculously low. We have the tools but the house remains broken.
Dearest friends; this is your chance to get mad – which stands for: Make A Difference! As you listen to the haftora being read and you hear the words of “Chazon” make sure you have the right vision: The vision to make a difference for yourself, your family and your nation. Look towards the future, pick up the tools that Hashem has placed in your hands and realize that this can be the last Tisha B’av we sit and cry – not because we wished for it but because we actually made it happen. The vision is yours – see it, grab it and make it a reality!!

Feiglin, Netanyahu and Israel’s Revolutionary Moment

By Bernie Quigley

 “In Israel, there was investment and building but no revolution,” I wrote here in 2010 in an essay titled “Israel before the revolution.” “There was no Nelson at Trafalgar to mark a day. No Washington at Yorktown, no Crockett at the Alamo. No David. But I have felt for a long time that it is just ahead for Israel and its definitive moment will come in the next 20 years, and possibly very soon.”
That moment is now. For Israel, this is the moment of awakening.
“This year, with God’s help,” Moshe Feiglin, a native-born Israeli leader, wrote in 2010, “there will be more Jews in Israel than anywhere else in the world. This is a sea change in the state of the Jewish nation and the first time since the First Temple era that the majority of Jews has resided in Israel. This summer we start the countdown to the end of the exile.”
“But I do not believe Netanyahu will ever be anything other than ambivalent,” New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman wrote as recently as April 15, 2014.
Hard to imagine he is talking about the same man.
Feiglin has used the phrase “exile mentality,” which draws a distinction between Jews living in Israel and those living elsewhere. It could very well have been that those of the previous several generations had not made the distinction and perhaps until now there was no distinction. But that is the important distinction today and it advances with the current actions in Gaza. Israel has found its center and it is the Temple Mount. Feiglin has led the way.
“We’re not dealing anymore with your grandfather’s Israel, and they’re not dealing anymore with your grandmother’s America either,” Friedman continued.
It can be observed that the spirit that is Feiglin rises today throughout Israel, but given Friedman’s comment and observation, it is interesting that it appears to rise in Netanyahu as well. The Gaza action is the definitive act in the life of Benjamin Netanyahu. It is his defining moment as he asks himself, is he first an Israeli Jew, or a Jewish American from Philadelphia, and rises to a definitive “yes” to the first. The answer is liberating and for that he is now willing to sacrifice his life.
And here, American Jews, like lifelong friends my own age, will be asking themselves instead “Am I still a Jew?” And for these hyphenated Americans, the answer will be increasingly “no.” They do not support the actions in Gaza, like Friedman; they do not understand the generations rising in Israel; they just don’t get Temple Mount and the orthodoxy spreading even to Tel Aviv. “Who is a Jew?” asks Alana Newhouse, expressing these anxieties in a Times op-ed titled “The Diaspora Need Not Apply.”
Israel today demands dominion and will take it, with existential disregard for Britain, America, nihilist Europe, the antiquated UN or the decadent and anti-Semitic scholasticism of American and world universities. This is the first day in a “rite of entry” to a world awakening; a world begun by Jews and a world awakened by Jews once again.
Quigley is a prize-winning writer who has worked more than 35 years as a book and magazine editor, political commentator and reviewer. For 20 years he has been an amateur farmer, raising Tunis sheep and organic vegetables. He lives in New Hampshire with his wife and four children. Contact him at

Azza Forever

By Rabbi Yisrael Rosen
Dean of the Zomet Institute
"As for the Avim who dwell in open cities, until Azza, the Kaftorim... destroyed them and took their place" [Devarim 2:23].
Our soldiers have been struggling against the enemy in Azza for several weeks. I do not know what the situation will be when this article is published, but I do know one thing: The enemy in Azza is alive and kicking, and it continues to exist.
Tunnels of the Poisonous Snake
The Ramban suggests that the "Avim" mentioned in the above verse, who "dwell in Chatzerim, until Azza," are "serpents" ("avim" is related to "chivia," a snake in Aramaic), related to the verse. He writes, "named as in the verse, 'a viper's hole, and an adder's lair' [Yeshayahu 11:8], since those who are hidden in the ground are called 'refa'im,' as in, 'Will the refa'im who dwell under the water be stirred, or their neighbors?' [Iyov 25;8], and 'You shall throw the refa'im to the ground' [Yeshayahu 26:19] ...for the serpent lives in holes in the ground." The enemy in Azza digs deep down like a viper in its lair/tunnel, and makes plans to "throw the land of the refa'im to the ground." Like a serpent, it wants to "bite the feet of a horse and throw its rider backwards" (see Bereishit 49:17).
If we look at Azza not only through the eyes of our pilots in their planes but also from traditional sources, we clearly see that Azza is a difficult nut to crack. The phrase "until Azza" appears in six verses. The first is the first time the city appears in the Torah, "And the Canaanite boundary went from Tzidon through Gerara, until Azza" [Bereishit 10:19]. The second time is in this week's Torah portion, quoted above. The third mention is, "And Yehoshua struck them, from Kadesh Barneya until Azza" [Yehoshua 10:41]. The phrase appears three more times, where one of them is a description of the broad expanse of the kingdom of Shlomo, "He ruled the whole area across the river, from Tifsach until Azza" [Melachim I 5:4]. This phrase has a connotation of "ad" – this far and no further, implying a border, a barrier, a fortified wall, a barricade. (We might add that the word "ad" is in effect embedded in the name "Azza," since in some cases the letters dalet and zayin can be interchanged.)
Arrogance and Daring
Actually, the main characteristic of Azza stems from the name itself, where "azzut" refers to intense arrogance – vulgarity, impertinence, and taking an uncompromising stand. This power of Azza is fed by the power of the "other side," Samael. The goat sent to Azazel on Yom Kippur is meant for the power of Satan, as the Ramban explains in his commentary on the Torah, based on mystic reasoning – this is the power of Samael (who is Satan), based on his "Azzut," his audacity. Rabeinu Bechayei in his commentary on the Torah describes the matter in three words: "Azazel – a strong force." A hint of the same root can be seen in the Torah in the war between Moshe and Sichon: "And Yisrael struck him [Sichon] by the sword... until Bnei Amon, for the border of Bnei Amon was strong [Bamidbar 21:24]." What is the source of the arrogance and the strength of "the border of Bnei Amon" when facing Moshe and Yisrael? Rashi quotes the answer of the sages to this question: "What made it so strong? It was the warning of the Holy One, Blessed be He, to Yisrael not to attack them." That is, the arrogance of other nations against Yisrael sometimes stems from spiritual power. It is the audacity which can be ascribed to the angels of Eisav, Yishmael, and Azza.
The scouts sent by Moshe, who are to blame for the guilt and destruction that took place on our day of bad events, the Ninth of Av, used a similar phrase, "However, the nation is 'az' – strong" [Bamidbar 13:28]. The Natziv explains in Haamek Davar, "'Az' here does not mean physical strength but audacity, as in the phrase, 'daring as a tiger.'" This phrase appears in the Mishna (Avot 5:20), but we prefer to bring a comparison by the prophet, "The dogs are impertinent" [Yeshayahu 56:11], which corresponds to the statement of the Talmud, "Three figures have audacity: Yisrael among the nations, dogs among the animals, and roosters among the birds" [Beitza 25b]. The Maharsha notes, "A dog is not the most impertinent among the animals in terms of physical strength, since there are more powerful animals, but rather in the fact that it will not back down, and it is always arrogant." This image of the dogs is also related to the Kabbalistic phrase, "Kalbi D'chatzivin – the audacity of the dogs."The Shem M'Shmuel sees the audacity of the dog as related to Amalek, which is completely arrogant and full of audacity against Yisrael.
What is Needed is National Daring
This arrogance that stems from the "other side" will only be blocked by a contrary audacity, the audacity of Yisrael, the "most impertinent of all the nations" (as quoted above). The only one who can penetrate the fortified wall of Azza is Shimshon, with the audacity of a lion (whose riddle was, "Sweetness came out of strength" [Shoftim 14:14], where "az" can be expanded to "Azza"). He had the ability to become absorbed among the Pelishtim and to uproot their strength from within. (For more about the unique mystic trait of Shimshon, see my book, "Shoftim at the Level of the Sages.") In the middle of the night, Shimshon "took hold of the doors of the gate of the city and the two doorposts, and he lifted them up with the crossbar, and he took them on his shoulders and carried them to the mountaintop that faces Chevron" [Shoftim 16:3].
We can find a Divine hint in this matter. The audacity used against Azza can be found in the kingdom of Yisrael, which matured in Chevron, the cradle of the kingdom. "Az can only refer to royalty, as is written, 'He will give power to his king' [Shmuel I 2:10], and 'Mighty is the king who loves justice' [Tehillim 99:4].
We are in dire need of authoritative audacity, a feeling that shows no fear at all - not of the other nations of the world or of "what the media will say."

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Moshe Feiglin in Beit Shemesh: Victory in Gaza and Israel’s Bright Future (Video in English)

Instead of Bombing Gazans, Pay them to Leave

By Moshe Feiglin

Why bomb Gazans if we can instead help them to actualize their wish to leave as 80% of them have indicated they want to do?
All kinds of estimates of the number of Arabs in Israel have been publicized. The following are the exact numbers as per the Demographic Institute of Yoram Ettinger. This is the only authoritative, professional institute, which cross-references its facts.
In Judea and Samaria there are 1.7 million Arabs.
In Gaza there are 1.3 Arabs
East Jerusalem: 300,000 Arabs, citizens of Israel
1.4 million Arab citizens of Israel outside Jerusalem
Now let us put these numbers into context. According to this morning’s economic news, as per the precedent of the Second Lebanon War, Operation Protective Edge in Gaza will cost at least 10 billion NIS in direct and indirect costs.
In Gaza there are 1.3 million residents, which are approximately 200,000 households.
The average salary in Gaza is 350 NIS per month. Let’s say 500 NIS per month. In other words, the money we have already spent to bomb Gaza, killing many Gazans in the process, could have been used to give each household 50,000 NIS – approximately 100 monthly salaries or 8 years of work – to help them to comfortably actualize their desire to emigrate.
As soon as we think out of the box, there are solutions to this conflict.

Monday, July 28, 2014

WE are the Good Guys

By Moshe Feiglin

We are prattling ourselves to death; blabbing in the television studios and in the military briefings. “When the Hamas terrorists emerge from underground and see all the destruction, they will understand that they lost.” Really? Does anybody in the Hamas really care about the destruction and the casualties?
What was the Hamas’ status before this war, and what is its status today both in the Arab world and the world at large? That is a determining factor.
Who requests a cease fire and who dictates its conditions? That is a determining factor.
We must understand: A war that does not have a clear, determined, unequivocal and decisive goal will always be lost. If you do not have a clear goal – don’t go to war.
Israel does not have a strategic perspective on why it is fighting. That is why we cannot manage to define a clear goal.
Worst of all – we are fighting unethically, endangering our courageous sons in battle.
What are we fighting for? Against whom?  In the beginning of this war, the stated purpose was to halt the rocket attacks on Israel. This morning, I heard that the goal is the destruction of most of the terror tunnels (at least the ones we know about).
But rockets are not enemies and I cannot remember ever being attacked by a tunnel. The enemy is fanatical Arab Islam, which seeks to destroy Israel. You can call it Hamas, PLO, ISIS, Iran or the Moslem Brotherhood. You can call it the Islamic Movement of the North and you can call it Ahmad Tibi. All of them are different arms of the same octopus; of the same fanatical Arab Islamicideology, defined so well by Arab MK Ahmad Tibi: “We do not have rights in the Land – we have rightsto the Land.
The only innocents in Gaza are the IDF soldiers. We are not in a police operation to capture a crime family. We are in a national war, fighting for the existence of the State of Israel.
They sanctify slavery and death. We sanctify liberty and life. They are the savages of the desert who came to Israel looking for work from the ‘Zionists’ – and we foolishly gave them parts of our Homeland. We armed them with the best weaponry and turned them into a sovereign entity that democratically elected the Hamas, by a vast majority, as its legitimate leadership. Therefore, as soon as the civilians have been given reasonable time to evacuate – any delay in the momentum of battle or any move that endangers the forces of light in their just war against the forces of darkness is patently unethical.
When we retreated from Gaza, we turned it into the southern arm of the Arab Islamic octopus that seeks our complete destruction. It is the arm of the octopus on the threshold of Ashkelon and Tel Aviv. Anything less than decisive victory in Gaza will bring upon us a much more difficult battle against all the other arms of the octopus.
Everyone is Israel is asking why we did not destroy the terror tunnels earlier even though we knew of their existence. Hizballah has one hundred thousand missiles aimed at us from the north. When those missiles start to fly, what will we say? After all, we knew…Why didn’t we destroy them?
The Gazan octopus arm is a test case: It is being closely watched by the rest of the arms. If it is not clear to the northern octopus arm, as well as the arms in Judea and Samaria and the Arabs who live in Israel and are now rising up – and to the ISIS and of course to Iran – to all of them – that an attack on Israel brings about the loss of territory from where the attack was staged and complete liquidation of the local leadership – you can expect a downpour of rockets from the north, nuclear weapons in Iranian hands, ISIS taking control of the Syrian missile arsenal and a horrific war in conditions much more difficult than those we face now.
That is why we have no choice but to conquer Gaza and destroy the Hamas. Not an ongoing operation, shackled in the chains of hypocritical and distorted Western morality – but clear definitions and effective and rapid conquest that will save much bloodshed –f or us and for them as well.
No more complicated battles in the alleyways and tunnels. Rather, rapid division of Gaza into lateral and horizontal axes, conquering of strategic locations and immediate elimination of all the Hamas headquarters, communications and control centers.  Once Israel is in control on the ground, we can allow the civilians to evacuate without threats from the Hamas and then erase any area suspect of  housing tunnels. If we had done this, the Gaza threat would have been behind us long ago – with less casualties and wounded.
This is what is going to happen at any rate. But if we do not plan it and determine our goals, let there be no mistake: We will reach the same point because they will drag us to it. They will be the initiators, however, and we will be the responders. And the cost will be, G-d forbid, much higher – for both sides.
And one more thought on the international hypocrisy and criticism: The world is going to blame us anyway; let us at least save the lives of our soldiers and the lives of others, as well. Reality has proven time and again that Israel’s indecision and ethical and operative confusion do not prevent international criticism and attack. On the contrary, they encourage them.
Operative determination that radiates moral fortitude, born of the deep understanding that this is our Land and that we are the good guy, is what we need to repel the international criticism.
Forward to victory!

Video Of Interest: Mosab Hassan Yousef (Son of Hamas Founder) Tells The Truth About Hamas

(Ed: and on CNN, no less!!)

Return to Gaza to Stay

By Moshe Feiglin

In an interview on Channel 2 last Tuesday morning, I made the following points:

Israel is fighting for  justice, not self-defense. This is our Land – Gaza included. As long as we cannot say that simple sentence, we will always lose. The Oslo misconception has collapsed in the dust of the missiles and bombs. As long as the misconception that this Land  belongs to another nation prevails, we will have to keep fighting in Gaza.
80% of the Gazan population would like to emigrate, according to a recent survey by ynet. We can give them a generous emigration package that would cost us just a fraction of what we are spending now.
When the IDF was in Gaza in the pre-Oslo days, there were no missiles in Tel Aviv. Those who pushed us to retreat from Gaza and now appear in the media as the voice of reason and rationality, saying that I am hallucinating when I talk about returning to Gaza, should look in the mirror to find the hallucinator.
A rocket or tunnel is not the enemy. The Hamas is the enemy and must be defeated. If all we want to do is weaken the Hamas or destroy the tunnels, we are setting the stage for the next war.
It is good to be ethical. But we have lost balance and are not acting ethically toward our own soldiers.

Assessing Secretary Kerry's Proposal

By Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger

The value of Secretary John Kerry's proposals are consistent with Kerry's track record.

Kerry's Syrian Track Record
Until the eruption of the civil war in Syria, Kerry was a member of a tiny group of US Senators – along with Chuck Hagel and Hillary Clinton – who believed that Bashar Assad was a generous, constructive leader, a reformer and a man of his word. Kerry was a frequent flyer to Damascus, dining with Assad and his wife at the Naranj restaurant in central Damascus.  Following a motorcycle ride with Bashar al-Assad, he returned to Washington referring to Bashar as "my dear friend.” 

In September 2009, Kerry opined that "Syria is an essential player in bringing peace and stability to the region,” while Assad was conducting hate-education, repressing his opposition, hosting and arming terrorist outfits like Hezbollah, cozying up to Iran, and facilitating the infiltration of Jihadists into Iraq to kill US soldiers. WikiLeaks disclosed that on February, 2010, Kerry told Qatari leaders that the Golan Heights should be returned to Syria and that a Palestinian capital should be established in East Jerusalem.  "We know that for the Palestinians the control of Al-Aqsa mosque and the establishment of their capital in East Jerusalem are not negotiable.”

According to the London Telegraph, Kerry was a fierce critic of the Bush Administration's hardline against Assad, advocating a policy of engagement – rather than sanctions – against terror-sponsoring Syria.  In March 2011, Kerry subordinated reality-driven hope to wishful-thinking-driven hope: "my judgment is that Syria will move; Syria will change, as it embraces a legitimate relationship with the United States and the West.”  However, more than 200,000 deaths and 2 million refugees later, Assad's Syria has certainly changed for the worst. In January 2005, following another meeting with Assad, Kerry said: "This is the moment of opportunity for the Middle East, for the U.S. and for the world…. I think we found a great deal of areas of mutual interest…strengthening the relationship between the U.S. and Syria.” 
On September 3, 2013, Kerry assured his colleagues that "the Syrian opposition has increasingly become more defined by its moderation.”  However, Assad's opposition consists, mainly, of anti-US, Islamic supremacists, Shariah-driven, anti-democracy, the violently-intolerant Muslim Brotherhood and Al Qaeda, whose subversive vision transcends Syria, encompassing the Abode of Islam as a prelude to the grand assault on the Abode of the Infidel. 

Kerry and the Palestinian Issue
While vital US interests and homeland security are threatened by smothering Middle Eastern firestorms - from the Persian Gulf through Northwest Africa - Secretary Kerry is preoccupied with the Palestinian tumbleweed side-show. The latter has been the centerpiece of the Arab talk, but never the Arab walk. Contrary to Kerry's Palestine Firster approach, the Palestinian issue is not directly or indirectly linked to the Arab Tsunami, is not a core cause of regional turbulence and has not been the crux of the Arab-Israeli conflict nor the crown jewel of Arab policy-making.

Kerry's Arab Spring

According to the New York Times, December 21, 2012, Kerry contended that the Arab Street is transitioning toward democracy: "What is happening in the Middle East could be the most important geo-strategic shift since the fall of the Berlin Wall.”
On December 7, 2013, the well-intentioned Kerry followed in the footsteps of Israel's President Peres' The New Middle East and President Obama's "in 2013, the world is more stable than it was five years ago.”  Secretary Kerry pressures Israel to accept an agreement with the Palestinians, which is based on the pre-1967 lines, defined by former Israeli Dovish Foreign Minister, Abba Eban, as the "Auschwitz Lines.”  
Kerry is preoccupied with pressuring Israel, notwithstanding the transformation of the Arab Spring delusion into a reality of an Arab Tsunami, highlighting the 1,400 year old intra-Muslim and intra-Arab uncertainty, unpredictability, unreliability, instability, fragmentation, violent intolerance and absence of Arab democracy and civil liberties, which require a higher Israeli threshold of security; in spite of the clear and present danger of a nuclearized apocalyptic Iran, and Islamic terrorism, to Jordan and the pro-US oil-producing Gulf states, as well as the US mainland; despite the transformation of Iraq into an Iranian-dominated global center of Islamic terrorism; regardless of Turkey's support of the trans-national, terrorist Moslem Brotherhood; and in defiance of the inherently provisional and fragile nature of Arab regimes, policies and agreements, which are frequently signed on ice and not carved in stone.
Replacing the 14 century old chaotic Middle East reality with his hopeful worldview, Kerry said: "Just think of how much more secure Israel would be if it were integrated into regional security architecture and surrounded by newfound partners….  I ask you to imagine what a two-state solution will mean for Israel, Palestine, Jordan, and the region. Imagine what it would mean for trade and for tourism, for developing technology and talent, and for future generations of Israeli and Palestinian children. Imagine Israel and its neighbors as an economic powerhouse in the region…. Think of the new markets that would open up and the bridges between people that peace would build. Thinkof the flood of foreign investment and business opportunities that would come to Israel, and how that will change the lives of everyday people throughout the region…. We need to believe that peace is possible…Israel would also enjoy a normal, peaceful relationship the minute this agreement is signed with 22 Arab nations and 35 Muslim nations – 57 countries in all…. It is not beyond our imagination to envision that a new order could be established in the Middle East, in which countries like Jordan, Morocco, Egypt, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and the GCC states, a newly independent Palestine, and an internationally recognized Jewish State of Israel join together to promote stability and peace…. "
However, in order to survive in the conflict-ridden Middle East, Israel must embrace reality – as costly as it may be – and reject imagination, wishful-thinking and make- believe, as tempting as they may be.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Jon Voight Slams Obama, Kerry At Pro-Israel Rally

Always a friend of Israel, the Oscar-winning actor tells the truth about the U.S. administration’s betrayal of Israel.

Miracles in Gaza

By Moshe Feiglin

The wounded soldiers are talking about the miracles that they witnessed. “G-d is watching over us,” said one. I thought he was just repeating clichés. But he was referring to concrete facts. I visited a wounded soldier with an entry and exit hole in his helmet – and all he had was a small scratch on his head. A second soldier does not understand how they managed to destroy an ambush that completely surprised them.
I know. I also paid a condolence call this morning to parents who did not get a miracle. But we must recognize the fact that miracles are happening all the time in Gaza – and thank G-d.

IDF Soldiers the Only Innocents in Gaza

By Moshe Feiglin

Israel’s Channel 2 has reported that combat pilots are frustrated that they are not allowed to execute support fire for our forces on the ground for ‘fear of harming civilians’. If this report is true, it is an ethical outrage.
Our soldiers are the only innocents in Gaza. Under no circumstances should they be killed because of false morality that prefers to protect enemy civilians. One hair on the head of an Israeli soldier is more precious than the entire Gazan populace, which elected the Hamas and supports and encourages anyone who murders Israelis.
The only ethical demand right now is to stand behind our soldiers and give them the moral support to fight an all out war against our enemies – without endangering themselves or the Israeli civilians they are defending.
If the IDF would adopt this method of action, much blood would be saved – for both sides.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Israel Can Win if Obama doesn't save Hamas


Slandered, despised, insulted, degraded, Israel is nonetheless winning its war against Hamas. 

The number of rocket attacks launched by the terror group each day has been halved. The IDF is uprooting the underground tunnels Hamas uses to smuggle weapons, contraband, and terrorists in and out of the Gaza Strip. On Wednesday evening, Israel’s Channel Two newscast carried footage of Hamas terrorists surrendering to the IDF. The jihadists carried white flags. They stripped to their shorts, proving they were not wearing suicide belts. These are facts Hamas does not want you to know, images Hamas does not want you to see.

And you probably won’t see them. Since the evening of July 17, when Israel launched its ground offensive, Western media has been filled with Hamas propaganda. In the United States, the debate over the conflict is invariably couched in terms favorable to Hamas: Are civilian casualties too high? Is it safe to fly into Ben-Gurion airport? Has the IDF targeted schools and hospitals? One MSNBC anchor calls Israel, which abandoned Gaza in 2005, the “occupying authority.” Another praises a “gutsy” Israeli, who refuses to serve in his nation’s military.

On CNN, the Islamist Turkish prime minister says Israel has “surpassed what Hitler did.” A CNN reporter calls Israelis “scum”; a NBC reporter tweets a scurrilous article calling U.S. Jews who join the IDF “America’s Israeli jihadists”; and a writer for Gawker says it’s time to send the Jews back to Germany. Reporters once embedded with military forces. Now the talking points of a military force—the talking points of Hamas—are embedded in the U.S. media.

And yet the immediate danger to the success of this necessary war does not come from the electronic intifada. It does not come from resurgent anti-Semitism, or the United Nations Human Rights Council, or the failure of so many Western elites to recognize the causes of this war, their inability to distinguish between a democratic country struggling to protect its people and a terror state using children as hostages. Hate, law-fare, decadence—they are all challenges for Israel. But Israel can endure them for now. Israel is used to it.

What Israel should not endure is the premature conclusion of hostilities. Disarming Hamas—seizing its rocket caches, collapsing its tunnels, killing and capturing its forces—is vital to Israeli security. And an artificial ceasefire imposed by outside powers, a ceasefire written in terms favorable to Hamas, would undermine the security gains Israel has made to date. President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry have given no sign that they recognize this fact. Or maybe they understand it all too well: The Obama administration’s top priority is imposing a ceasefire at exactly the moment when Israel’s military success is becoming clear.

Secretary Kerry arrived in Cairo earlier this week. No one wanted him there. Egypt’s ruler, General Sisi, has no interest in saving Hamas through international diplomacy: The Muslim Brotherhood is his mortal enemy. Kerry then went from Cairo to Jerusalem, where he met with U.N. Secretary Ban Ki-moon, who flew to the meeting on a plane chartered by Qatar, Hamas’ primary source of cash. Kerry also met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is too gracious to tell the secretary to go back to Boston. (Israel’s former ambassador to the United States, Michael Oren, has said publicly what the Israeli government will not: Kerry is an unwelcome guest.) Next up was Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority, who honored Kerry’s presence by endorsing Hamas’s call for a “Day of Rage” in the West Bank. Kerry “will soon decide if Hamas and Israel are willing to agree on a Gaza ceasefire,” Reuters says.

Kerry will decide? Who died and made him king?

There is no ceasefire in Gaza because a ceasefire is in no one’s interest. Israel’s objective is clear: degrade Hamas’ capability to fire rockets at Israeli civilians and attack Israeli communities from underground. As for Hamas, its interest is irrational, macabre, and deranged, but no less obvious: Promote itself as the leader of the worldwide struggle against Zionism and Judaism, while ensuring collateral damage that will foment outrage at Israel. That is why Hamas stores weapons in schools, why its military headquarters is in the basement of a hospital. Hamas is not interested in minimizing pain. Hamas wants to maximize it.

Who wants a ceasefire? Obama and Kerry. They need the diplomatic victory after the failure of their misguided and poorly executed bid to reconcile the irreconcilable. The president’s approval rating on foreign policy is abysmal. A ceasefire might help the American people forget, just for a moment, that their president has failed to influence events in Ukraine, Syria, and Iraq, let alone advance American interests overseas. Since he became president, Israel is the one country in the world in whose affairs President Obama has seemed at all interested in intervening. It is the one country whose politics and actions Obama has had no trouble judging harshly. Next to golf, it’s his favorite pastime.
Who wants a ceasefire? Qatar. The sheikhs who bankroll the Muslim Brotherhood, Al Jazeera, and Hamas would see their status rise. A ceasefire would lend credence to the theory that the traditional Sunni powers—Egypt, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia—have been eclipsed both by Shiite Iran and by Brotherhood-friendly Sunnis in the Gulf and Turkey. Having lost Egypt and possibly Gaza, the Brotherhood finds itself on the precipice. A Qatari-backed ceasefire that does not include disarmament of Hamas would pull the movement back from the abyss.

“One of the results, one would hope, of a cease-fire would be some form of demilitarization, so that again, this doesn’t continue, doesn’t repeat itself,” said Tony Blinken, Obama’s deputy national security adviser, to NPR. One would hope so. Indeed, actual demilitarization—not hoped for, not partial—is exactly what the IDF is doing now, block by block, tunnel by tunnel. Why is the administration trying to stop it? Is a ceasefire that leaves Hamas with its arsenal really more desirable to them than another week of war?

This is not the time for President Obama and John Kerry to play to type, to promote bad agreements for self-satisfaction, for political gain. If they won’t stand behind Israel, they should at least get out of the way. And let the IDF finish the job.