Thursday, June 29, 2006

Re-entering Gaza 6/30/06

One year ago on 7/05/05 I wrote in this blog "At the end of the day how many people doubt that Israel will be forced to respond to violence and terror by attacking or re-entering Gaza?"
Sadly this has come to pass.
While I cannot comment on the current pause in battle ,or the alleged conflict between Peretz and Olmert,to the present, the Israeli response has been measured and free of negative criticism from the usual anti-Israel sources.Whether diplomacy can still work,will be answered very quickly.
However, the underlying question after the determination of the fate of the kidnapped soldier(Cpl Gilad Shalit),is the long term deterrence that this operation will have in preventing the daily rocket attacks against Israeli population centers .To have invested so much military manpower,and international political chits without stopping the Quassams would be a great waste and perhaps even a military loss.
Whether a secondary result(or tertiary)will be the crippling of Hamas as a functioning political unit again remain to be seen (but surely desirable).

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The Israeli Response 6/27/06

The mobilization by Israel forces at the gates of Gaza look like (at least at this moment) play acting.First we were told that there was a 24 hour deadline for the safe return of the kidnappeded soldier, then 48 hours.
The problem is that Israel has been threatening Hamas and the terrorists of major catastrophic military responses if the daily rocket attacks did not stop.
Guess what-they haven't stopped and there has been only isolated Israeli responses that get sidelined when a palestinian civilian is killed.If Israel now turns away from their public response, it will be a sign of weakness that the enemy will surely take advantage of.

Hamas,Islamic Jihad and other groups have no regard for Israeli lives.Even todays alleged agreement between Hamas and the PA allows for attacks on Israelis in post 1967 territory.There is no public offer to stop terrorism, disband their gangs and accept diplomacy and peace with full recognition of Israel.
What they have agreed upon,as well as the Prisoners Referendum, is only a pathway for the destruction of Israel.
The civilian leadership of the IDF -Minister Peretz and PM Olmert have failed to show decisive and logical leadership since the Gaza withdrawal.
There was to have been military,political ,economic and social benefits for the country with the Gaza withdrawal.
The daily rockets attacks speak to a security crisis.
The housing ,educational and economic conditions of so many of the settlers who were removed are abysmal.
The world,has not endorsed CONVERGENCE as a final step for Israel.Giving back land including Jerusalem in the absence of a peace partner defies common sense.It will only bring enemy rockets and tunnels closer to the main population centers.

Friday, June 23, 2006

The Left and the war on Terrorism 6/24/06

All my life I have loved to debate,discuss and analyze politics.I learned this from my late father of blessed memory, and tried to pass it along to my own children.The goal has always been to discuss issues with intellectual passion and civility.Once the "debate" was over normal relationships continued as per pre-debate.
Lately, I have noted the anger and loss of civility on the part of many liberals.Time and again when they hear you say praise for President Bush,V.P. Cheney and other Republicans they start cursing using four letter words.Not that I have never been exposed to such outbreaks, but I find it amazing that "liberals" who champion free debate etc are so closed minded.
Thus it was not out of character when CNN and more than a few viewers blasted the arrests of the terrrorist suspects in Florida as a ploy to raise Bush's ratings.
The actions of the Democrats in the Senate to force a surrender and run policy will come back to haunt them.
Even as most Americans applaud the President for interdicting the money supplies of the terrorists, and upsetting their lines of communications,liberals are confused and without an alternate policy to fight terrorism.They appear united only on a desire to elect Nancy Pelosi as Speaker.
It is in this light that liberal Democrats are threatening to defeat Sen Joe Lieberman in the Ct. primary,primarily because of his support of the President on Iraq and terrorism.
The war on terror is a threat universally.It is only the leadership of the Bush admistration that is pushing even friendly allies to take a more pro-active stance.

Thursday, June 22, 2006


For about six weeks ,I have been traveling in Israel, Europe and now in Boynton Beach Florida.
Now that I have finished with all my tasks,I hope to resume the blog on an even more regular basis. I thank this mornings Forward for taking note of my blog.
The controversy that started in Haaretz with President Katzav refusing to call Eric Yoffie,the head of the Reform movement with the title "Rabbi" has been taken up by the Forward as a major story.They were able in an unguarded moment get the Exec V.P of the OU to APPEAR to take offence at the "ommission."
This is not a new controversy.This mornings J.Post has the Reform movement petitioning the High Court to force the government,to appoint Reform clergy to local Religious Councils.
I believe the issue can best be understood by a quote from Chief Rabbi Lau, in my autobiography "Journey Through the Minefields" -page 329.
On December 19, 1998 the Unity Committee of the Governing Board of the Jewish Agency went to the offices of the Chief Rabbinate.In addition to the two Chief Rabbis,leaders of the Reform and Conservative movements in addition to the three Orthodox Members were present.
Rav Lau said "We don't ask who is a JEW.....THE QUESTION IS WHO IS A RABBI?"
While I will not quote the entire conversation,the final sentence sums it up.
"A rabbi who doesn't observe shabbos,can be a leader,he can be a diplomat;but he cannot be a rabbi."
Kudos to President Katzav for standing on principle.Incidentally, I did have an opportunity to present him with an autographed copy of the book when my shiur went to doven (pray) in his private synagogue two years ago.