Thursday, May 28, 2009

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Pressure on the horizon

It appears that with all the crisis on a daily basis in the Korean peninsula,the US has decided that the settlements and their natural growth represent the greatest danger to world peace.
We are in for a fight and Israel will rquire our support to prevent the kind of pressure that it appears they will be subject to.It is not the first time Israel has been coerced and threatened by a US President.
Nevertheless we should not lose our cool,and panic.We should prepare a hasabarah campaign for the internet etc,on the meaning and history Of Jerusalem to our people,the true nature of settlements and suburbs of Jerusalem, and the evils of the Saudi Plan and the "right of return".These should be in the form of short films.Our major National Organizations,should take the lead on such a project,which I believe is urgent.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


I don't know anything about the new S.C. nominee,except that from a political point of view Obama hit a home run with the female/latino community.'We should wait until her record becomes clear before making any critical (pro or con) remarks.However,the concept of appointing a Judge because they have empathy,is certainly against our Torah teachings.
Community leaders must show compassion and empathy.A Judge must have intellectual strength, honesty,integrity,strength of character,and above all be a student of the law.One must judge not based on wealth,social position ,reputation,or any extraneous factor other than the rule of law.
The role of elected officials,is to create legal and social standards that will meet the needs of the public. Judges are not meant to legislate,and thus "activism" is a condition that belongs in the legislative or national or state administation offices and not in the Judiciary.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Ackerman must go /Memorial Day / N. Korea-Iran /Jerusalem

Cong. Gary Ackerman represents a large Jewish district.His statements in Israel and even before going,symbolize that he has lost contact with his roots.Attacking Israel on Gaza and on "natural growth" of settlements and his negative remarks about the PM, show it is time for this puffed -up political crony to be challenged in a primary.

Today is Memorial Day.For most Americans barbecues and sales in the mall.For those of us who served, a time for reflection .I recall all the young men that I came in contact with during my year in Vietnam. I especially remember the Rabbi and the physicians who lost their lives in the vicinity of my base.
Yesterday while driving in Leonia,I saw a group of about a dozen protesters with signs calling for withrawal from war."Bring our boys back"
I am not sure if they refer to Iraq ,Afghanistan or both.That is what makes America great,that these people can protest publicly.
The battle last week between Obama and Cheney was exciting, but sadly the President has taken the tack that every ill is the fault of Bush.Never once has he said that Bush kept us free from a second attack,or that the strategy last year ( the surge) to win in Iraq was successful.Therefore when he and Pelosi protesteth TOO MUCH,they get Cheney who really scored a bullseye.From my point of view -G-d bless Cheney.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------The nuclear blast by N. Korea once again shows the Obama impotence. Surely Iran is watching the inaction,and the Israelis will surely take notice.


The statement of the PM to the Cabinet, that building in Jerusalem and its environs are not included in any discussion of freezing settlements is welcome news.Now let us see E-1 construction proceed rapidly

Sunday, May 24, 2009


There are often-times statements made by politicians that make no sense,and cannot be defended. with logic.
Two such examples are-
1-Gitmo is a cause of increased terror activity against the US.It energizes our enemies.
2-Settlements in the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) are an impediment to peace.

Fact.-long before there was an American presence at Gitmo,Hezbollah attacked the Marine base in Beirut.Similarly, the Iranians seized our Embassy. The 9/11 attacks took place,after unsuccessful attempts.They killed Rabbi Meir Kahane,they blew up the Khobar Towers,African attacks and dozens of worldwide terrorist attacks-all before Gitmo.
What is wrong with Gitmo? Safe, clean ,secure away from other Muslim prisoners on the mainland.Obama wanted to please the Europeans.
The fact that Obama made a campaign promise,has nothing to do with national security.

Similarly,long before there was an Israeli State,and long before there were settlements,Arabs tried to kill Jews.They SLAUGHTERED INNOCENT PEOPLE AT KFAR ETZION,AND BURNED AND RAPED AT EVERY NEW YISHUV THEY COULD.
The wars of '48,''67 and so on ,long before settlements,were because the Arabs
thought they could throw Israel into the sea.
They are not an impediment to peace.The failure to recognize Israel as a Jewish State is the problem.Their concept is a Middle East free of Jews.
The settlement issue is a diversion,and Israel is right not to be bullied on "natural growth".
The fact that Israel can never compromise on the "Right of Return" and Jerusalem makes a peace deal impossible,even if Hamas changed its tune.,

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Washington Mission

Yesterday, I joined with close to 800 activists to spend the day lobbying in Washington as part of the Norpac mission.Of course during my career I have participated in perhaps 50 such trips from Huvpac,the OU and AIPAC .
One interesting event ocurred when I went to see Cong. Jim Marshall (D-Ga) who was wounded in Vietnam during the time I served there.Howevever he was not at our hospital.While talking to him, his aide ,a young man said to me "I know you,I went to MTA ( Yeshiva Univ. H.S. Manhattan) with your son Ari. The other aide was a Westchester Day School graduate, and was wearing a yarmulke.It is nice to see such orthodox men serving in Capital Hill,and especially for a rural Congressmen.
A number of lessons.
1-The fact we had such a group,following the 6000+ AIPAC group,shows the vitality of our community.Many,many were youngsters.
2-The Congressional support for Israel is wide and deep.
3-Even as we witness possible tensions between Obama-Bibi,each office said that aid to Israel would never be reduced,if someone wanted to punish Israel (ie. on settlements)
4-The fear of Iran is universal, and all support the Iran Petroleum Sanctions Act,even if 2 of the Senators hadn't yet signed it.There are as of yesterday 51 co-signers.The 2 that I met with had - a problem with "the wording of the bill vis a vis WTO accords, b-wanting to give Obama some leeway.This bill would punish those who sell, ship etc petroleum to Iran,which only has 2 oil refineries.The rest is imported, making them very susceptible to economic pressure.
5-The left wing "pro-Israel" groups (K St. and IPF )were not considered as factors-too small.


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

tax baby,tax / Obama and the PM on different wavelengths

I didn't vote for Obama (suprise) so I am not suprised by the continued talk of increased taxation in every one of his programs. Today it is $1300 per car for the new CAFE standards.Althgough he claims in 3 years the car owner will make it up with lower fuel costs-don't count on it.
The Dems want additional taxes on petrol,and inflation or world events can cause gas to go to $ 4-5 /per gallon.
Then there is the cap and trade-an idiotic concept if I ever heard of one.That will raise energy cost for our home electricity 1-2 thousand dollars PER YEAR/per family.
Health care costs are next,and today the Senate is discussing how to screw us-I mean TAX US-SODAS , perhaps a tax on breathing air.
After I wrote the above,there is a story in Haaretz that Sen. Kerry pressed Bibi on settlements,(as did Obama).Mitchell ,Jones and Kerry are the heavies while Hillary is apparently more understanding.
It will not be the first or last disagreement between Bibi and the US.Hopefully the friends of Israel in the Congress will keep the lid on an explosion.
Tomorrow when I join NORPAC in Washington,that will be the main issue to impress upon Congress-support on Iran,and avoid pressure on settlements and the 2-state issue.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

A sham of a "pro-Israel " group

This weeks "Pirke Avoth" Sayings of our Fathers in chapter 5,defines a "Golem"-basically a boor or clod-totally unsophisticated.
Such describes the Israel Policy Forum,and their full page NYT ad on Friday (A -13).
They describe themselves as a "pro-Israel organization". Yet,their ad is directed to Pres. Obama. Nowhere do they say they have real feelings for Jewish survival(not on their left wing agenda)
They should have started by Welcoming the Israeli PM,and wishing him well.
In truth they can't stand him, so why waste the print.
They don"t even mention the ISRAELI PM BY NAME OR COUNTRY,ONLY "AS YOU MEET LEADERS OF THE REGION..." Common courtesy, welcome the PM.
There is no mention of Iran,an existential threat to Israel,because these self-hating individuals have their own agenda, and the needs of Zionism and the Jewish people don't enter the equation.
They attack West Bank setttlement construction,although none is taking place.They attack demolition of Arab houses in E. Jerusalem even though they are built illegally,and have been so designated by the Courts.In addition illegal Jewish housing is similarly demolished.Unlike Syria,Lebanon,Gaza,Saudia Arabia (originator of the peace plan the IPF supports)and other countries Israel is run by the rule of law.
There is no mention that Hamas in Gaza still refuses to recognize Israel,even as rockets continue from Gaza.Yet IPF says the "Gaza must be reconstructed".
In addition,Hamas will not join Abbas in a "unity govt" , nor will Fatah join Abbas creating a void in the West Bank.(thus no govt)
No mention,that if Israeli security were removed from the W. Bank,within 6-8 weeks it would become "Hamastan." Nor do they ask the President to bring about the diarmament of Hezbollah.
They call for the "Arab Peace Initiative to be embraced" This includes 1 million Arab refugees returning to Israel-meaning the end of the Jewish State.It means the division of Jerusalem.It means removing 300,000 Jews from their homes from the suburbs of Jerusalem
I ask in all honesty what intellectually honest group who advocate such anti-Israel venom, would have the chutzpah to call themselves "pro-Israel".
Nowhere do they acknowledge the geat democracy that is Israel,and a free election that brought this govt. to power.And, nowhere do they admit that the PM has said that he looks forward to negotiations.In fact not a SINGLE Word praising Israel or her leaders.
What IPF wants is a forced solution.Since they don't live in Israel,nor send their children to the Army ,nor have to go to sleep worrying about Iran's intentions,they have the liberty to place Israel into the role of a "Banana Republic"that acts according to the whims of a bunch of left wing rich (American) people with no constituency,but the ability to have an office on 56th St.,and the extra cash to support th NYT (if you can't support Israel,at least help the Times).

Thursday, May 14, 2009

time for a lie detector test

To watch the Speaker ,ill at ease trying to see what is on her notes is a sad sight.Instead of the truth,we get a new story everyday,unbelievable as they may be based on the evidence.
If she were smart,she would have dropped this at the very beginning.However every single issue has to be couched in a way to attack Bush etc.
Now it is coming back to haunt her.There is one solution if she wants America to believe her.
Let's see what tomorrow brings-You have to love it.

Papal Hypocricy

The Pope has a small state which is indedpendent-called the Vatican
Imagine, if around the walls of his state tens and even hundreds of thousands of neighbors" not only wish to destroy his state, but are willing to carry out terrorist attacks within the state.No matter that they will die in these attacks.Imagine that every week a few of his citizens die,but the world pays only lip service to the problem.
You consult security experts,who advise you to place a fence in those areas that have been the source of terrorist infiltration.
There are no more daily attacks.You are happy, and your people secure.
Wait-a religious leader from another continent stands by the fence,and attacks you for protecting yourself.
This is the hypocricy of the Pope-niave or just still some of that Hitler youth feeling in his neshama.
The vitality of the Sate of Israel is the greatest obstacle to their theology-of a people that superceded the ancient Hebrews.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Learning about Tfillin / A message to Bibi / Norpac

My wife and I had such an interesting and delightful hour last nite.Years ago when you wanted to order Tfillin( phylacteries)for your self,child etc, you would go to the elderly scribe and order what you needed.
Today, a new generation of scribes invite the bar-mitzvah boy and his family in for a demonstration on how you make the tfillin,as well as many of the laws.Our grandson Jack Ganchrow was the fortunate young man,as he will be bar-mitzvad after the Succoth holidays.We were pleasantly suprised at how much information was imparted to all of us.


The JP reports that all the coalition except Labor have urged N etanyahu not to give in to Obama next week regarding a 2-state solution.The Left in America and our community have their knives and pens out to attack in every way possible the efforts of Bibi and his govt.

Next Wed. I will join the Norpac grouyp that will be going to Washington to meet with 450 members of Congress. Over 800 NJ-Rockland activists will join the goup.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

a psychological game

I have been involved in pro-Israel activism since about 1980.It was in 1982 that I formed Huvpac.Shortly thererafter I became seriously involved in AIPAC, serving on the Board for many years,including while I was OU President.
I witnessed many battles,and difficult times with the Administration over policy,and throughout those times I had confidence in the professional and lay leadership of AIPAC.
The lay leaders had wisdom and maturity,as well as political savvy.We did not shirk from a battle with the Administration,pro-Arab groups or the press.(or other Jewish goups-fortunately not as many as today)
Even when things were bad I felt a confidence in the future.
Today, I am not involved at that level,and therefore know nothing of what transpires behind the scenes.However,for the first time,I feel apprehensive about our Pres. and his team and their true feeling regarding the role of Israel in the strategic outlook of our future.I also have bad vibes about the AIPAC response to the Obama pressure,and the Weissman,Rosen and and Franklin afair.
I urge everyone to read two op-eds by Caroline Glick -firstly in todays JP entitled "Obamas green light to attack Iran," and the second on Tues May 5,entitled "A cautionary tale".
We are witnessing a psychological pressure game on Netanyahu,to make it appear that without a 2-State solution within a few months the sky will fall, the next round of war will commence,and the Iranian bomb will all be Israel's fault.
In the meantime we should support the ability of Israel to come to its own conclusions re. negotiations and peace negotiations.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Torah U'maddah / Double standard

It is with a great deal of accomplishment and satisfaction that I read that Yeshiva University had officially adopted the Torah-U'maddah emblem as its official designated emblem.The committee did modernize it,by creating a blue background,as well as some minor changes.
When the University tried to abolish the emblem for a generic flame,I waged an almost one man campaign with the blog,petitions,newspaper articles and speeches to restore this historic emblem.
I made many enemies fromn within the leadership of YU,and was told by many that I was DEALING WITH AN IMPOSSIBLE REQUEST.
I am grateful that the YU leadership after a cooling off period,recognized that there is no other institution in the world that symbolizes our way of life-Torah U'maddah- as YU

I was listening to Gen. Petraeus discussing the deaths of Afghani civilians who were held against their will by the Taliban,and died when US planes attacked the "bad-guys" . SURELY the Taliban were at fault for forcing these innocents to act as hostages.Of course we would look into the matter, and anyway the numbers were exaggerated.
No one yelled "WAR-CRIMINAL" or UN investigation.
Note the double standard for the Israel-Hamas conflict!


The concept of coupling a solution of the Arab-Israeli conflict with the Iranian march to a nuclear bomb s defies all logic.THE PERSIANS ARE NOT ARABS.THEY CARE LITTLE FOR THE PALESTINIANS EXCEPT AS PAWNS IN THEIR BATTLE AGAINST THE US.
Gen. Jones,the NSC advisor has never been a friend of Israel, and looks at Israel as part of the problem.
The suggestion by the WH that Israel should give up their nuclear weapons is luidicrous,as is the suggestion nthat there can be no natural growth of areas where 300,000 Jews reside, in Yehuda AND SHOMRON.

Thursday, May 07, 2009


The Talmud tells us that two individuals you are never jealous of if they are better than you,your students and your children.I appreciate Elli for doing a great job while I was away.
As we read the headlines in the JP today of UN Sec. admonishing Hezbollah for their role in supplying arms to Hamas,the picture of the Israeli-Lebanese border comes to mind.
One week ago our group stood at the fence at Misgav Am a border kibbutz( that took thousands of mortar hits in previous years) and looked down into Lebanon.What was amazing is that in the Lebanese town not a soul could be seen walking the streets or driving a car.The stores are dark,and you would think it a ghost town.
But it is not! The hills are full of bunkers,and Hezbollah arms are buried ready to be used when the order is given.The people are all employed by Hezbollah and work indoors preparing for the next war against Israel.
Why is the border so quiet now? There are elections coming up in Lebanon soon,and the Hezbollah as the best organized entity hopes to win,if they can preserve quiet on the surface.
I have not studied the AIPAC position on the 2 State solution,so I would rather do a lot more investigating before I comment with my initial visceral feelings-which are neg.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Chris Dodd and the Democrats

Elli Ganchrow writes:

It seems that the Democrats are having a competition as to who can say/do the most idiotic and irresponsible statement/action. It started with the White House ordering a re-enactment of 9/11 by flying Air Force One close to NYC without warning the public, then VP Biden warned people not to fly on airplanes or ride the subway, followed by Arlen Specter stating that Jack Kemp would still be alive if not for Republican policies. But it appears that the runaway winner is Senator Dodd who compared Bush officials to Nazi leaders who were tried at Nuremburg (see video courtesy of RealClearPolitics)

Its clear that Senator Dodd has left the reservation and has entered the land of the loony left. I hope he enjoys his final year in the Senate because I don't see how he wins re-election next year.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

AIPAC Case/Obama 100 days/Bunning Update

Elli Ganchrow writes:

It was certainly good news that the Justice Department decided to drop its case against two AIPAC employees, Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman. They had initially been charged in 2005 under the 1917 Espionage Act. As I believe this blog has pointed out on previous occasions, this is a case which should never have been brought and should have been thrown out a long time ago. The Justice Department should conduct an internal investigation as to why this case was ever pursued in the first place.


As was noted by the media last week, the Obama presidency has now passed the 100 day mark. While Obama's approval numbers remain high, this is likely a result of the normal honeymoon granted to new Presidents. He is also been helped by a fawning media and a public that may not be paying attention to what Obama is doing on a day to day basis. While his start has been as bad as many of us predicted (see the NY Post for its list of his 100 mistakes in 100 days), including with respect to Israel (see here for Norman Podhoretz's take, there is no question that his decision to release the Justice Department memos regarding torture represent a real danger to this country. It is a sign that his administration is returning to a pre-9/11 world which did not regard the terrorism threat as a real one. His administration is also threatening to prosecute Bush officials for policy differences. Americans who are not concerned about this development probably do not understand what the memos were (the memos were simply legal opinions on the extent that the CIA could go in their interrogations) nor the important intelligence that was gleened from the interrogations. Lets hope Obama orders the release of the memos which explain what actionable intelligence was discovered from these interrogation sessions.


I may have jumped the gun with respect to the Bunning retirement. While it looks likely that he will retire and some blogs have reported that such a retirement is going to happen, the Bunning campaign has said he will run so I guess we will have to wait and see if the Republicans can force him out of the race.