Los Angeles Jewish events highlights: Chanukah / December



ADL Pacific Region banquet keynote address by University of California President Martin Yudof, "Bearing Witness" holocaust educators Sister Sara Goggin and Rev. Alexei Smith, Humanitarian Award honorees Samuel and Ardyth Freshman.

Stand with Us Dan banquet featuring Israeli UN Ambassador Dan Gillerman, City Council candidates Paul Koretz & Adina Bleich;

Chanukah at Universal CityWalk with Lyle Weisman and family;

Orthodox Union West convention features debate between its Washington liason Nathan Diament and radio host Dennis Prager.

As the soul of Zionist activist Tsafrir Ronen enters shomayim, Israel is moved into action against antagonistic, Islamic jihadist Hamas

Just days after Israeli nationalist leader, Tsafrir Ronen, entered shomayim, Israel finally took defensive actions against Hamas' terrorism.  May his memory be an inspiration. Israel National News reports:

"Zafrir Ronen z"l, long associated with the establishment of new yishuvim throughout Israel, passed away over Shabbat (due to heart failure). Among Mr. Ronen's many accomplishments was the establishment of the "Nahalal Forum," which encompassed right wing, secular Zionist Jews. He also helped establish Kibbutz Gilgal in the Jordan Valley in 1973, and in more recent years was associated with efforts to help Jews settle in Judea and Samaria.

Tributes poured in mourning Ronen's loss. The "Homesh First" group said that "Zafrir Ronen was a true partner in the efforts to return to Homesh." Women in Green called him "a proud Jew who fought for the Land of Israel with his whole heart and soul." MK Aryeh Eldad said that "Zafrir was a tireless fighter for the Land of Israel and the right of Jews to settle in all its parts." His funeral will take place on Sunday at 2PM in the moshav Moledet in northern Israel."

Tsafrir Ronen's writings expose Jihadist Muslims' self-confessed, manufacturing fabricating a "Palestinian national" identity as a political device to de-legitimize a Jewish sovereignty amidst a Muslim region. Mr. Ronen references this in his article, Hadrian's Curse: The Invention of Palestine as a Psychological Weapon for Conquering Eretz Yisrael which was recently announced is being developed as a documentary for Israel Broadcasting. Mr. Ronen wrote:
At the Annapolis Conference, George Bush spoke about his vision regarding the virtues of two nations for two peoples.

One of those peoples has a clear identity – the Jewish People. Yet it would be interesting to know the identity of that second people: Already in 1977, one of the central spokesman of that "second people", a member of P.L.O. leadership, Zahir Muhsein, the leader of the al-Sa'iqa Organization, revealed the truth in an interview to the Dutch newspaper, Trouw:

"The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel for our Arab unity. In reality today there is no difference between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people, since Arab national interests demand that we posit the existence of a distinct 'Palestinian people' to oppose Zionism for tactical reasons, Jordan, which is a sovereign state with defined borders, cannot raise claims to Haifa and Jaffa. While as a Palestinian, I can undoubtedly demand Haifa, Jaffa, Beer-Sheva and Jerusalem. However, the moment we reclaim our right to all of Palestine, we will not wait even a minute to unite Palestine and Jordan."
Mr. Ronen's (pictured left with Boaz Ha'Etzni, son of Hebron pioneer Elyakim Ha'Etzni) fighting spirit can be heard in this Yishai Fleischer, radio interview on Pres. Bush's last political visit to the Middle East.

Bradley Burston writes of Israel's justification of today's defensive actions against Hamas in Ha'aretz:
It is both unrealistic and dangerous to believe that Hamas has abandoned its clearly stated and often reiterated goal of establishing an Islamic Palestinian state in all of the Holy Land, including all land claimed, annexed by, or in any way occupied by Israel.

Israeli restraint, when practiced, has been met with contempt and additional Hamas and Hamas-tolerated strikes against civilian populations.

In an era of global revulsion against radical Islamic terror, Hamas' protracted program of suicide bombings, drive-by murders and shelling of civilian populations, coupled with its refusal to renounce violence, recognize Israel, or accept past peace agreements, coupled with its ideology of militant jihad, have drained the Palestinians of international sympathy and have, in fact, legitimized Israeli arguments of military self-defense.

Nothing has been more instrumental in harming the cause of Palestinian independence than Hamas, with its brutal take-over of Gaza in a war with brother Palestinians, and its frank efforts to build a large-scale regular army force in the Strip.

Merry Christmas from Southern Israel!


Show your friends why the IDF is overdue for a Gaza mop-up operation.

Songwriter, Prof. Tom Lehrer, amused generations "Spending Hanukah in Santa Monica"








Tom Lehrer wrote and performed "Hanukah in Santa Monica" among other original novelty and parody songs from the 50's to early '70's.



Here's to Judas Maccabeeus (boy if he could only see us)... Tom Lehrer also penned the naughty, "The Masochism Tango."









In the 1970s, Lehrer concentrated on teaching mathematics and musical theater, although he also wrote ten songs for the educational children's television show "The Electric Company." 

His last public performance took place in 1972, on a fundraising tour for Democratic US presidential candidate George McGovern.

Dr. Dan Kliman, SF Voice for Israel's co-founder, eulogized for fighting for justice

Medical doctor, Pro-Zionist, environmentalist, socially-conscious vegetarian, Dr. Dan Kliman, was remembered by friends and colleagues Sunday 14 December in Oakland, California's Temple Beth Jacob.

Featuring Rabbi Judah Dardik, Mike Harris, SF Voice for Israel's Rabbi Doug Kahn, Jewish Community Relations Council's Robert Raburn, Executive Director, East Bay Bicycle Coalition Bonnie Knight - reading eulogy from Peter Cohon, Founder of Veggie Jews, Israel Consul General Akiva Tor, Beth Jacob member Judith Schwartz. (Video courtesy Dan Cohen)

Rabbi Benny Elon, Knesset Christian Allies Caucus leader, to retire from Israeli politics

The religious Moledet ("Homeland") Party will run on a joint list with Dr. Arye Eldad's secular Hatikva ("Hope") Party in the upcoming general elections in February. by Abe Selig in The Jerusalem Post  (Member of Knesset, Rabbi Benny Elon pictured. Photo courtesy Jerusalem Post by Ariel Jerozolimski).
... Meanwhile, the the far-right Eretz Yisrael Shelanu (The Land of Israel is Ours) party, headed by Rabbi Shalom Dov Wolpo and Baruch Marzel, issued a statement that called attention to the "violations" of the National Religious Party and National Union, and called the Knesset list "an NRP list that will not fight for the land of Israel."
 

But given the feelings of betrayal on behalf of the Moledet members, Bank said that his faction had very little choice but to split from Bayit Hayehudi altogether.

"It was clear all the way through that all three parties were sticking out their proverbial necks by joining this party," Bank continued. "And Moledet, including Elon, Alex Epstein and myself were all pushed out. It's as if they said, 'Thanks for your name, now we don't need you.' But it might have been NRP and it might not have. What's important is the outcome, and that the committee violated every principle they had pledged to hold to. [Bayit Hayehudi] has become a party that was born of sin, and on a public level, it's not going to bode well for them."

ADL hosts "Defiance" screening; Director Edward Zwick reveals religious influences underlying epic tale of partisan resistance against Nazis

Following-up on November's Annual Meeting of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), patriots against discrimination from across the U.S. meet in Los Angeles on Wednesday for the ADL's annual Pacific Southwest Dinner Celebration.

Supporters were presented to by an array of political leaders, journalists, Hollywood executives and experts on anti-Semitism. The League, which is celebrating its 95th year, released important new polls on American attitudes toward immigration, as well as religion and Hollywood, and issued a status report on anti-Semitism driven by the financial crisis.

Three national ADL awards were given to Los Angeles leaders.  Rabbi Harold Schulweis received the Daniel Pearl AwardLos Angeles Times columnist Tim Rutten received the ADL Hubert H. Humphrey First Amendment Freedoms Prize.  LAPD First Assistant Chief Jim McDonnell received the Chief Giovanni Palatucci Courageous Leadership Award.

"Defiance" previewed by ADL; Director Edward Zwick reveals themes of Jewish defense and vengeance in new Daniel Craig epic drama.

The ADL Conference presented a pre-release screening of "Defiance" - a story of the Jewish Bielski brothers' inspired resistance against Nazi-era, Jew-hatred and genocide.
The screening was followed by a panel discussion with (pictured from left to right) Hollywood Reporter Publisher, Eric Mika, Defiance director, Edward Zwick, and ADL Executive Director, Abraham Foxman about the story and the issue of combating anti-Semitism.

Director, Edward Zwick, intimates the personal and biblical Jewish influences involved in the structure and making of this movie.

ZOA urges Pres Bush to rescind support for UN vote endorsing Palestinian state


The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) is urging the Bush Administration to rescind support for a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolution tomorrow which seeks to enshrine endorsing the creation of a Palestinian state. The text, co-sponsored by the U.S. and Russia, is seen by officials as "geared to binding a future Israeli government to a commitment to a two-state solution," and will reaffirm international support for the Annapolis process begun in November 2007 (Harvey Morris, 'UN to drive Middle East peace settlement,' Financial Times [London], December 15, 2008).

The ZOA is urging the Bush Administration to rescind its support for the UNSC draft resolution, saying that its passage would convey a stark message to the Palestinians that they can receive massive concessions without having to reform their society and institutions to end support for terrorism and the incitement to hatred and murder of Jews that feeds it.

ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, "We oppose any diplomatic effort or United Nations resolution, such as that supported by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, designed to anchor the concept of creating a Palestinian state in accordance with the process commenced in November 2007 at Annapolis . As the ZOA observed at the time of Annapolis , this conception of peace-making is deeply flawed and unrealistic, because it fails to take account of the 15 years since the 1993 Oslo Accords in which all the commitments undertaken by Palestinians have remained unfulfilled. (Secy Rice pictured with Saudi al-Faisal Hassan Ammar).

"These commitments include arresting terrorists, dismantling and outlawing terror groups, confiscating their weaponry and ending the incitement to hatred and murder in the Palestinian Authority (PA) controlled media, mosques, schools and youth camps that feeds terror.
"In such circumstances, creating a Palestinian state would simply mean creating a terror state. Such a state would enjoy sovereign powers, would be free to enter into hostile alliances against Israel and import weaponry without control or supervision of any kind.
"The one reason Judea and Samaria are relatively peaceful is because, unlike Gaza, from which Israel withdrew in 2005, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) are on the ground and able to intervene to prevent terrorist acts and break up terror cells when and where necessary. That would no longer be the case the moment a Palestinian state is established. Just as Ashkelon and Sderot are already under constant bombardment from Palestinian shells and missiles fired from Gaza , Jerusalem , Ben Gurion Airport and most of Israel 's major population centers would be in range of Palestinian terrorists in Judea and Samaria . Cross-border raids would become routine along what would become Israel 's longest border. To do this runs contrary to all logic and prudence: We should be dismantling terrorist states, not establishing them.
Under Mahmoud Abbas, the record shows that, within the PA, few opportunities are missed to glorify a terrorist, celebrate a suicide bomber, or inculcate Palestinian youth into worshipping cold-blooded murderers. The record also shows that all aspects of PA life – the schools, youth movements, sports teams, newspapers, TV, even the names of streets – are made vehicles for honoring and praising terrorists and their vile deeds. This in turn breeds more terrorists and bloodshed. Only last year, Fatah, the Palestinian party co-founded by Yasser Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas, issued a new official emblem, showing a map of all of Israel, even within the pre-1967 armistice lines, covered with a Palestinian head-dress, including pictures of arch-terrorist Yasser Arafat and a Kalashnikov rifle.
"In January this year, Abbas mourned the passing of veteran Palestinian terrorist George Habash, saying, 'The death of this historic leader is a great loss for the Palestinian cause and for the Palestinian people.' He also declared three days of mourning and ordered Palestinian flags lowered to half mast. In February last year, he called for uniting the blood of Fatah and Hamas in a common struggle against Israel . In May 2006, Abbas named Mahmoud Damra, wanted by Israel for supervising various terror attacks against Israelis, as commander of Fatah's Force 17.

"Abbas, like Arafat before him, has sheltered wanted terrorists in the Muqata, his presidential compound in Ramallah, including Khaled Shawish, a senior Fatah commander responsible for the murder of 19 Israelis, until Israeli forces captured him when he ventured outside the compound in May 2007. Abbas personally congratulated the family of the multiple murderer Samir Kuntar when the Israelis released him this year. In fact, Abbas' Fatah even organized a rally in Ramallah to celebrate the event. In December 2005, Abbas approved legislation mandating financial benefits to be paid to families of killed Palestinian terrorists. He has described wanted terrorists as 'heroes fighting for freedom' and dead terrorist leaders like Yasser Arafat, Hamas' Ahmad Yasin and Abdel Aziz Rantisi and Palestinian Islamic Jihad's Fathi Shikaki as 'martyrs.'

"These are not the words and deeds of someone who opposes terrorism and fights it. To the contrary, these are the words of someone who does not accept Israel 's existence as a Jewish state, as Abbas indeed made explicit at the time of Annapolis and since.

"In short, Abbas is not a genuine peace partner, and the idea of constructing a peace settlement based upon agreement with him and the PA is divorced from reality. We dare not create a new terror state and increase the enormous dangers already facing Israel . Until fundamental changes occur within the Palestinian leadership and society, there should be no rewards or concessions to the PA.

"In these circumstances, were the UN to declare that a Palestinian state must come into being, this would be one of the biggest rewards imaginable for the unreconstructed and terror-promoting PA. It would convey the clearest possible message the world could deliver that the Palestinians need not honor signed agreements and need make no reforms, in the certainty that the world will continue to pressure Israel for concessions to them leading up to statehood. They will learn, as they have already done, that there are no consequences for extremism, terrorism and hatred.

"This would be a travesty of any diplomatic approach that can be called a 'peace process.' A true peace process must be designed to maximize the prospects of Palestinians making these essential reforms and changes, without which no genuine peace is possible. Those truly interested in the cause of peace will oppose the UN taking such a counter-productive step.
"We urge the Bush Administration to rescind its support for this UNSC draft resolution and to instruct the United States ' Ambassador to the UN, Zalmay Khalilzad, accordingly."

Stand With Us' Festival of Lights - Israel U.N. Amb Dan Gillerman offers insights from 6-years inside the U.N.


Addressing an annual, Israel-supportive, Stand With Us, "Festival of Lights" Dinner audience, Ambassador Dan Gillerman, Israel's outgoing Ambassador to the U.N. looks backward and forward upon stepping-down from having represented the Jewish State at the U.N. for the past 6-years.

Amb. Gillerman professes optimism that the threats from imperialist Iran might motivate the Arab world to unite with Israel.  He declares that Islamic militantism is as great a threat to moderate Muslims as it is to the general public - yet the Muslim world is not adequately routing-out militantism from its midst - to everyone's peril.

"Will Arabs ally with Israel to thwart Islamist imperialist Iran?" Israeli UN Amb. Dan Gillerman asks Stand with Us.


Stand With Us' annual Chanukah-time dinner, the "Festival of Lights," is a gathering for the Los Angeles, pro-Israel advocacy community.

New Israeli group, "the18," seeks support in fighting "Two-State Solution"

Here’s a powerful new video produced by a group named The 18, formed to oppose the “two-state solution” that Barack Obama and his advisers plan to force on Israel. (Hat-tip LGF)

We look to the hero of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising for inspiration. In April 1943, a young Jew named Mordechai Anielewicz showed that a fearless handful of committed men and women can make a rebellion and he forever laid to rest the myth of the passive Jew.
the18 will challenge every aspect of the 2-state solution.
the18 will be organized as a 21st century political campaign.
the18 will operate strategically, intelligently, and relentlessly.
the18 will join the fight on a worldwide basis.

If two-state is frighteningly near its tipping point, what does this mean for those of us who reject a two-state solution? What are the consequences for those of us who carry a Zionist vision of a Jewish homeland from the river to the sea? How does this affect those who advocate a return from exile, the unification of Jerusalem, restoration of the Temple, and await Moshiach?

Well, it means turn out the lights, the party’s over.

Once two-state is tipped over into ir-reversibility, the deluge will leave Judea and Samaria bulldozed flat as surely as disengagement flattened Gush Katif; a divided Jerusalem a fait accompli; an internationalized Jerusalem a possibility; the Temple Mount in the possession of the Waqf in perpetuity; and the image of a bifurcated, ethnically neutral Israel looming on the horizon. Peace Now will be driving the bus.

And we must always factor in Arab propaganda. Holocaust denial has been joined by "Temple denial" as part of the ongoing Arab strategy to delegitimize Jewish claims to holy sites and to Jerusalem itself.

Naomi Ragen wrote recently that she feels, “helpless to stop this juggernaut towards disaster.” Yes, ma'am. I know how you feel

Is there anything we can do? Maybe.

To give ourselves a chance, a long shot maybe, but a chance, we must first recognize that the front line for the Israeli Right is two-state.

All other issues are a diversion. No matter how drawn we are to other battlegrounds we must steel ourselves to the reality that all else must be secondary to fighting two-state.

If we lose the two-state battle – and we are badly overmatched, out-gunned and out-manned – we lose the whole game. The fight must be joined on the issue of two-state. Period. We cannot let our attention wander or our resources be diverted to other fronts.

'G-d withdrew his angels from India to atone for our failing to live His ways' - religious Zionist doctor at Chabad memorial

At the Chabad (West Coast) memorial for Mumbai emissaries Rabbi Gavi & Rivka Holtzberg (slain in the sanctification of the G-d of Israel (Kiddush Hashem)), this Swiss immigrant to Israel asserts that the couple was martyred to atone for our sins of failing to behave in godly ways.

The Muslim atrocities to destroy the G-d of Israel were sadistic. Indian and Israeli pathologists confirmed that the Jews were tortured by their Muslim captors before being bound together and killed in cold blood.

DEBKAfile adds: Israelis were the largest group of foreigners murdered by the Islamist terrorists. The single captured gunman confirmed they had been specifically targeted.

Laid to rest Tuesday, Dec. 2 in state ceremonies were Norma Schwartzblatt-Rabinovitz, 50, from Mexico, who was due to immigrate to Israel and two of whose children already live there; the center's director Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg, 29, and his wife Rivka, 26; Ms Yocheved Harpaz, 59, mother of four from Givatayim; Bentzion Chroman, 28, father of three, who held dual US-Israeli citizenship, and Leibisch Teitelbaum, father of 8, an American from Brooklyn.

Rivka Holtzberg was six months pregnant. Her two-year old child, Moshe Holtzberg, was saved by his Indian nanny who fled the building with him in her arms. He was found later to be covered in bruises from a beating.

Pro-Israel social activist found dead in suspicious circumstances at San Francisco's Pacific Arabic Resources' offices

A memorial service is being held for a prominent San Francisco physician who was found dead inside the elevator shaft of the Arabic-language night-school he attended.

Dr. Daniel Kliman, 38, was believed to have fallen down the elevator shaft on Tuesday evening 11/25/08, on the same day as the Mumbai terror attacks. The memorial service will be held on Sunday, Dec 14, at 7:30 pm at the Beth Jacob Congregation, 3778 Park Blvd., Oakland.

There were no classes the week of 25 November. There were very few people in the building at the time. The defective elevator was "secure". It is still unclear how this happened. The S.F. Gate reports:
Brad Bernheim, the building manager, said the elevator was not working last week and had been secured so that no one could enter it. Workers showed up Monday to repair the elevator and discovered the body.

Last Tuesday, a surveillance camera recorded Kliman waiting for the elevator in the lobby. It wasn't clear, however, how he ended up in the elevator shaft or whether he fell from that floor or higher, Bernheim said.
He said the victim was a student at the Pacific Arabic Resources School on the seventh floor of the building. He said there were no classes last week.

"I don't know why he was there. That's what we're investigating, how he got down there," Bernheim said. "Yeah, it's strange. You don't normally find bodies in the elevator shafts."
Kliman was scheduled to fly to Israel on Thanksgiving Day as part of the Honest Reporting Mission, a pro-Israel media initiative.
"He was the public face of grass-roots Israel advocacy in the San Francisco Bay area," said Mike Harris, his colleague at Voice for Israel. "He was passionate about standing up for Israel, literally -- standing up in public with flags and signs."

Kliman, also known as a fervent environmentalist, often was seen bicycling around the Bay Area instead of taking rides to reduce his carbon footprint, friends said.
Harris told the Chronicle he knew of no specific threats against Kliman, but he had been assaulted before at a pro-Israel rally. Kliman's body was buried in his hometown of Schenectady, N.Y.

A memorial service being held for Dan on Sunday, Dec 14, 7:30pm at the Beth Jacob Congregation, 3778 Park Blvd., Oakland.  The blog, Zombietime, has ongoing coverage of the controversial investigation of the circumstances surrounding Dr. Kliman's death.
(photo by Dan Kliman of anti-Israel demonstrators; Courtesy: Zombietime)

Mumbai doctors shocked at Muslims' torture of Jewish hostages

"Of all the bodies, the Israeli victims bore the maximum torture marks," remarked Mumbai-hospital doctor.

 Rediff India Abroad reports:
Doctors working in a hospital where all the bodies, including that of the terrorists, were taken said they had not seen anything like this in their lives.

"Bombay has a long history of terror. I have seen bodies of riot victims, gang war and previous terror attacks like bomb blasts. But this was entirely different. It was shocking and disturbing," a doctor said.

Asked specifically if he was talking of torture marks, he said: "It was apparent that most of the dead were tortured. What shocked me were the telltale signs showing clearly how the hostages were executed in cold blood," one doctor said.

The other doctor, who had also conducted the post-mortem of the victims, said: "Of all the bodies, the Israeli victims bore the maximum torture marks. It was clear that they were killed on the 26th itself. It was obvious that they were tied up and tortured before they were killed. 
It was so bad that I do not want to go over the details even in my head again," he said.

Corroborating the doctors' claims about torture was the information that the Intelligence Bureau had about the terror plan. "During his interrogation, Ajmal Kamal said they were specifically asked to target the foreigners, especially the Israelis," an
Intelligence Bureau source said.

Rabbi Avraham Sutton discusses the transcendance of your life from the Jewish perspective


Rabbi Avraham Sutton presents Jewish mystical insights at the Carlebach Happy Minyan of Los Angeles.

Israeli Kabbalist teacher, Rabbi Avraham Sutton, celebrates Havdalah with the So Cal Carlebach- Happy Minyan

The Israeli spiritualist teacher, Rabbi Avraham Sutton, celebrates Havdalah, acknowledging the conclusion of the holy Sabbath day of rest with the Happy Minyan-aires, Carlebach-orthodox congregation of Southern California.

Prayer and musical accompaniment by Shifra Hastings, Ira Caplan on guitar, Steve on percussion, & Joshua Spiegelman on flute. Another Joo-Tube original.

Moshav Band plays Shlomo Carlebach tribute at L.A. Concert



Havdalah is the prayer which ends the holy Sabbath, distinguishing it from the mundane. Led by Moshav's Yehuda Solomon.

"Yibane Ha Mikdosh / Stand-up for your rights" with guest fiddler, Lior Kamenitsky

ADL hosts "Defiance" screening; Director Edward Zwick reveals religious influences underlying epic tale of partisan resistance against Nazis

Hundreds of leaders from across the country gathered November 13-15 in Los Angeles for the annual meeting of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) where they heard from an array of political leaders, journalists, Hollywood executives and experts on anti-Semitism. The League, which is celebrating its 95th year, released important new polls on American attitudes toward immigration, as well as religion and Hollywood, and issued a status report on anti-Semitism driven by the financial crisis.

The ADL Conference presented a pre-release screening of "Defiance" - a story of the Bielski brothers' inspired resistance against Nazi-era, Jew-hatred and genocide.

The screening was followed by a panel discussion with (pictured from left to right)

Hollywood Reporter Publisher, Eric Mika, Defiance director, Edward Zwick, and ADL Executive Director, Abraham Foxman about the story and the issue of combating anti-Semitism.

Director, Edward Zwick, intimates the personal and biblical Jewish influences involved in the structure and making of this movie.



Defiance opens December 31 in NY and LA, and worldwide after January 9th.

A candid view inside El Al: Israel's airline to the world. Exclusive video interview with Chairman Izzy Borovich & Americas' President Offer Gat


El Al Airlines' Chairman Prof. Izzy Borovich and Mr. Offer Gat, Chief Executive, North America, relate how El Al's uniqueness as the flagship carrier of Israel provides global travelers a special travel experience. El Al has a colorful history beyond commercial aviation, it's also a 'magic carpet' which rescues Jews in peril around the world in times of crisis, e.g., historic airlifts from Yemen and Ethiopia, and recently in the Republic of Georgia.

'When you fly with El Al,' Prof Borovich proclaims, 'you're flying with Israel!'

He details how he came to head the privitized national carrier, and mentions some of the company's commercial interests that prospective shareholders may not know. As Mr. Haim Romano assumes the chairmanship as of December, Prof. Borovich will maintain a seat on the Board of Directors. (30-minute total-running-time original video exclusive).

Executed Swiss theology student honored for Hitler assassination attempt on day of Kristallnacht

GENEVA, Switzerland — Switzerland's president expressed regret Friday that his country failed to use diplomatic channels to stop the Nazis from executing a Swiss theology student who tried to assassinate Adolf Hitler 70 years ago.

Student Maurice Bavaud, 25, who was from the western Swiss town of Neuchatel, was executed in Berlin's notorious Ploetzensee prison after failing in his attempt to shoot Hitler at a Nazi parade in Munich on Nov. 9, 1938.

By coincidence, Bavaud made his attempt just hours before Kristallnacht, or the Night of Broken Glass, when Nazis destroyed synagogues and Jewish businesses across Germany and Austria.

"He seems to have anticipated the doom that Hitler would bring to the whole world," President Pascal Couchepin said in a statement posted on his official Web site. "For this he deserves our remembrance and recognition."

Bavaud, who regarded the Nazi leader as a danger to Switzerland, Christianity and all of humanity, was arrested several days after his failed assassination attempt and tortured into confessing his plans to the Gestapo, the secret police.

Switzerland, which followed a policy of neutrality toward Germany before and during World War II, failed to intervene on Bavaud's behalf, and he was guillotined in May 1941.

Bavaud's story is little known outside Switzerland, unlike the so-called Stauffenberg plot in which a group of German officers tried to kill Hitler on July 20, 1944, almost six years after Bavaud's failed attempt. That plot is the basis for an upcoming Tom Cruise film, "Valkyrie," in which the American actor plays the plot leader.

Arab narrative to deny historical, Jewish essence of Jerusalem receives widespread support among the West

In the JPost's Warped Mirror article, Don't Mention Islam, blogger Petra Marquardt-Bigman reveals popular international support for politcal Islam's insidious denial (and rewriting) of Jerusalem's Jewish history - the campaign to replace Judaism with Islam in popular Muslim narrative, denying and destroying factual evidence.

I believe that this episode illustrates a broader phenomenon: the fashionable Western denial of the deep-seated religiously motivated hostility of Israel's enemies in the region. And I would suggest that this episode also illustrates a closely related trend that seems to grow ever stronger: when it comes to Islam, freedom of speech, and indeed freedom of thought, is increasingly restricted. The statements I made were directly taken from Muslim websites, and yet, just for daring to suggest that Islam plays an important role in the hostile intransigence of Israel's enemies, I was accused of bigotry and "Islamophobia."

Are Jews for Obama in denial about building the framework for their own destruction?

Is this evidence of American Jews' failure to learn the lesson of "We're Germans first?" Infidel Blogger Alliance combines Jerusalem-based founder of Jewish Media Resources, Jonathan Rosenblum's well-reasoned editorial from with Memri TV's revelation from Palestinian Television of Islamists' preaching Muslims' obligation (and intention) to destroy) Jews everywhere.

"American Jews who are voting for Obama don't realize it, but they are voting against Israel as their state of asylum in case of another outbreak of anti-Semitism."

"The Jews were sentenced to annihilation, before even a single Jew existed on the face of the earth." - Palestinian cleric, Muhsen Abu 'Ita.

Infidel Bloggers adds 'American Islamist group Sabeel's Naim Ateek professes the Palestinian Authority to be a "liberation" movement.' Apparently, that must refer to the liberation of Jews from this world.

In Khalidi of the PLO, Jerusalem-based scholar, Martin Kramer, proves the strong PLO affiliation of Obama's ideological brother (which the mainstream media seeks to hide):

Rashid Khalidi was known to be affiliated with, and protected by Arafat’s Fatah. A 1979 New York Times report (by Youssef Ibrahim) described Khalidi as “a professor of political science who is close to Al Fatah.” In Beirut, to be “close” to an organization meant you enjoyed its protection in return for loyalty and services rendered.

Khalidi’s wife also worked as an English translator for the PLO’s press agency, Wafa.

So savvy journalists knew that if they wanted the Fatah spin, they could get it from Khalidi.

Full version of Sukkot Hoshana Rabbah service at L.A.'s modern orthodox, Happy Minyan

Soulful modern Orthodox Jewish Sukkot prayer worship with lulav and etrog. Led by Jeff Rohatiner with guest Chazzan Yehuda Greene. Torah reading service, led by Chazzan Lazar Wax, 39-year vet from NYC.

The seventh day of the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, 21st day of Tishrei, is known as Hoshana Rabbah (Aramaic: הוֹשַׁעְנָא רַבָּא, "Great Hoshana/Supplication"). This day is marked by a special synagogue service, the Hoshana Rabbah, in which seven circuits are made by the worshippers with their lulav and etrog, while the congregation recites Hoshanot. It is customary for the scrolls of the Torah to be removed from the ark during this procession. In a few communities a shofar is sounded after each circuit.



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hoshana_...

Five willow branches
At the conclusion of a number of Piyyutim (liturgical poems), five willow branches are beaten on the ground or other surface to symbolize the elimination of sin. This is also symbolic as a prayer for rain and success in agriculture. According to the Kabbalah, beating the ground with the five willow branches is done to "Sweeten the Five Severities". There is no blessing said for this ritual, but the Aramaic expression "chabit, chabit velah barich" is chanted. This happens to be the oldest known Jewish custom (or Minhag) in Orthodox Judaism.

"It was customary to make one procession around the altar on each day of Sukkot, and seven on the seventh day" [Sukkah 4:5]. The priests carried the palm branches or willows in their hands. The entire ceremony is to demonstrate rejoicing and gratitude for a blessed and fruitful year. Moreover, it serves to tear down the iron wall that separates us from our Father in Heaven, as the wall of Jericho was encompassed "and the wall fell down flat" (Joshua 6). Furthermore, the seven circuits correspond to the seven words in the verse Erhatz benikayon kappay, va'asovevah et mizbahakha Hashem - "I wash my hands in purity and circle around Your altar, O Lord" (Psalms 26:6).

Despite reduction overall, hate crimes against Jews last-year increase to 68%. Anti-Muslim hate reduced 25% to just 9%

Hate crimes directed against a person's religion decreased in 2007, except against Jewish people according to the FBI's 2007 Hate Crimes Statistics reported in USA Today.

In 2006, the FBI reported 1,597 hate crimes motivated by a religious bias. That figure dropped to 1,477 in 2007, according to the report.

Of the religiously based hate crimes, attacks against Jews rose from 64% in 2006 to 68% in 2007. Anti-Muslim hate crimes, meanwhile, decreased from 12% in 2006 to 9% in 2007.

Hate crimes against Catholics accounted for 4% of the reported hate crimes motivated by religious biases — down from 5% in 2006. Four percent of the hate crimes were motivated by anti-Protestant biases, and 9% were against other religions.

Of the reported hate crimes motivated by religious bias, 18% occurred in churches, synagogues or temples; 26% occurred in or near residences or homes; and 12% occurred in schools or colleges.


A rare, inside look into the spiritual, musical, modern-orthodox Jewish prayer service: The Happy Minyan davens Sukkot / Sukkos Hoshana Rabbah

Hoshana Rabbah is the seventh and last day of Sukkot, which is the day before Shmini Atzeres. Named for the fact that more hoshanot are said on this day than all the previous days of the festival. On Hoshana Rabbah the beating of the aravah, willow branch, is performed. Although Hoshana Rabbah was not accorded any different status by the Torah than the other days of Chol Hamoed, the Jewish people have observe many customs on this day and have invested it with a solemn character. For example, the white parochet, curtain on the ark, in shul remains up until after Hoshana Rabbah.

In the morning services of Hoshanna Rabbah, following Musaf (and some places after Hallel) the hoshanot are said as written in the prayerbook, the congregation marches around the bima seven times, after which comes the beating of the aravah, willow branch. The aravahs are beaten against the floor five times. No blessing is recited over the beating of the aravah since it was merely a custom.

Highlights from this year's Hoshana Rabbah Sukkot service. A rare look into the orthodox prayer service that rocks with an open celebration of Jewish spirituality and prayer. Enjoy this 12-min video:

Facilities provided by Cong. Bnai David of Los Angeles. Spirituality provided by The (Carlebach) "Happy" Minyan congregation

Hoshana Rabbah is known as the day of the final sealing of judgment, which began on Rosh Hashannah. During the festival of Sukkot the world is judged for water and for the blessings of the fruit and crops. The seventh day of the festival is the final sealing and since human life depends on water, Hoshanna Rabbah is somewhat similar to Yom Kippur. Hence there are additional prayers and quests for repentance as on Yom Kippur.

"The Jewish case against voting for Barack Obama" - video and articles

Watch syndicated columnist, Ben Shapiro's 3-part video (introduced first in its Preview) in which he presents concerns about the Obamania that is sweeping the nation.

The program examines Obama's advisors, friends, running mate, and own words. Part I (sequentially follows trailer, or is selectable from 2nd Menu Button) covers the introduction and explores his advisors. Then view Parts II and III for his friends, running mate, public statements, and summary.



Particularly important is Barack Obama's team's worrying ideology that America's War on Terror would be better served by handing the Islamists a hostile state in the midst of a bi-sected Israel; and the Obama-team's plan to reprioritize American policy to ally with Islamism - and against Jewish interests in preserving the safety of the Jewish refuge of Israel.

Worthwhile viewing for anyone concerned about the reprioritizing of US policy away from assuring Israel's safety and towards emboldening global Islamism by increasing Iranian regional and global hegemony by attempting to appease the belligerent, Islamist States of Iran and Saudi Arabia, through Obama's team with those self-declared intentions.

Journalist Ed Lasky of American Thinker has detailed many concerns about the anti-Israel character of Obama and his choices for his administration - (in January '08- even before he pulled Robert Malley and Samantha Powers from campaign visibility).
Obama's soothing and inspiring oratory sometimes vanishes when he talks of the Middle East. Indeed, his off-the-cuff remarks have been uniformly taken by supporters of Israel as signs that the inner Obama does not truly support Israel despite what his canned speeches and essays may contain.

Now that Obama has become a leading Presidential candidate, he has assembled a body of foreign policy advisers who signal that a President Obama would likely have an approach towards Israel radically at odds with those of previous Presidents (both Republican and Democrat). A group of experts collected by the Israeli liberal newspaper Haaretz deemed him to be the candidate likely to be least supportive of Israel. He is the candidate most favored by the Arab-American community. ...

Obama has, on his own volition, assembled his networks of friends, mentors, financial supporters and foreign policy advisers. In his judgment -- a judgment that he regularly trumpets as being superior to others - these people are worthy of advising him. There are among those friends and advisers key people who seem to display a great deal of antipathy towards the American-Israel relationshipRead it all

American Thinker lists other sources which document concerns about the Obama's team's anti-Israelism:

Those concerned about Obama and Israel include (click original for links):

Former Israel Ambassador to America Daniel Ayalon (Who Are You Barack Obama?) wherein the Ambassador expressed concern regarding Obama's approach toward Iran and also, based on his own personal experience with Obama dealing on issues concerning the American-Israel relationship, stating that he was left with an "impression that he was not entirely forthright with his thinking";

Jerusalem Post columnist Caroline Glick, who also took on Mike Huckabee and Ron Paul in this column;

Jerusalem Post Editorial Page editor Saul Singer (Obama's Mixed Record on Iran );

The New York Post; Writer Hillel Halkin (Obama Gets Israel Wrong);

An American Jewish Committee internal memo questioned Obama's potential approach to Middle East policy;

Commentary Magazine writer Noah Pollak criticized Obama's appointment of Robert Malley and Samantha Power as foreign policy advisers. Pollak notes in a recent post that Power (a key and very public foreign adviser to Senator Obama) echoes the views of Zbigniew Brezenski in calling for "special interest groups" influence over foreign policy to be abolished. Power has also called for the elimination of foreign aid to Israel and its redirection to "Palestine", as well as the massive imposition of US military forces in the area to bring about and enforce a settlement (where, of course, they could find themselves easy targets and be subject to propaganda attacks as another imperial foray into the Middle East).

The blog Powerline has also raised questions regarding Obama;

Slate magazine writer Mickey Kaus has long wondered why Obama and his close relationship with Pastor Wright has all but escaped any media scrutiny and has pointed out that Wright's racial divisiveness is in sharp contrast to Obama's campaign mantra of unity. Many other very credible commentators have raised these issues and others. Yet critics of Lasky's articles have all but ignored the criticism arising from these quarters.

Now why do we bring these people into the discussion? To show that there are serious questions that a wide variety of commentators, including a former Ambassador, have regarding Barack Obama and Israel.

Lyrics of "Prince of Egypt" Passover story still apply in our lives

The redemption of the Hebrew children of Israel from the Exodus from slavery outside the Promised Land is brought to life in Disney's animated "Prince of Egypt." Touching, authentic-seeming excerpts from the Hebrew version of the film, translated into English (and transliterated Hebrew subtitles).  

"Deliver Us" ("Hoshia' na") shows the experience of Moses and the Jewish people's exile from Israel into slavery. 


The second song, "When You Believe" ("Eem Na'amin"), shows the experience of the Almighty returning the caretakers of His law and His land to their guardianship of the Promised Land.

Translation credits are due a 22 year-old defender of the Holy Land and the Jewish peopleserving in Israel's Defense Forces, who donated this effort.

'Miracle Kiddush' preserved from shomayim: Challenger astronaut, Ilan Ramon's handwritten Kiddush survived explosion- on exhibit at Israel Museum

by Shawna Ohm, Associated Press Writer

Pages from an Israeli astronaut's diary that survived the explosion of the space shuttle Columbia and a 37-mile fall to earth are going on display this weekend for the first time in Jerusalem.

The diary belonged to Ilan Ramon, Israel's first astronaut and one of seven crew members killed when Columbia disintegrated upon re-entering the atmosphere on Feb. 1, 2003. Part of the restored diary will be displayed at the Israel Museum beginning Sunday.

A little over two months after the shuttle explosion, NASA searchers found 37 pages from Ramon's diary, wet and crumpled, in a field just outside the U.S. town of Palestine, Texas. The diary survived extreme heat in the explosion, extreme atmospheric cold, and then "was attacked by microorganisms and insects" in the field where it fell, said museum curator Yigal Zalmona.

"It's almost a miracle that it survived — it's incredible," Zalmona said. There is "no rational explanation" for how it was recovered when most of the shuttle was not, he said.

NASA officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The U.S. space agency returned the diary to Ramon's wife, Rona, who brought it to forensics experts at the Israel Museum and from the Israeli police. The diary took about a year to restore, Zalmona said, and it took police scientists about four more years to decipher the pages. About 80 percent of the text has been deciphered, and the rest remains unreadable, he said.

Ilan Ramon holds a kiddush cup during a televised press conference from Space Shuttle Columbia. To his left, astronauts Calpana Chawla, Rick Husband and Laurel B. Clark (Reuters/NasaTV).

Two pages will be displayed. One contains notes written by Ramon, and the other is a copy of the Kiddush prayer, a blessing over wine that Jews recite on the Sabbath. Zalmona said Ramon copied the prayer into his diary so he could recite it on the space shuttle and have the blessing broadcast to Earth.

Writer, Caroline Glick, knew Ramon personally and wrote about his decision to carry and practice Judaism from space:
Ilan Ramon set off for outer space on the Columbia space shuttle, armed with a picture of the Earth as seen from the moon drawn by a Jewish boy in Theresienstadt concentration camp, a torah scroll from Bergen Belsen, a microfiche copy of the bible, the national flag and the dreams and hopes of the State of Israel and the Jewish people. Ramon saved us this time not by clearing our skies of the threat of nuclear attack, but by reminding us of who we are and of what we can accomplish if we only have faith in ourselves.

Ramon made clear at every opportunity that he went to outer space, not simply as a citizen of the State of Israel, but as a Jew. As the representative of the Jewish people he recited kiddush on Friday night. As a Jew he said Shema Yisrael as the space shuttle orbited over Jerusalem. As a Jew he insisted on eating only kosher food in outer space. And as a Jew he told the Prime Minister from his celestial perch, "I think it is very, very important to preserve our historical tradition, and I mean historical and religious traditions."

The diary provides no indication Ramon knew anything about potential problems on the shuttle. Columbia's wing was gashed by a chunk of fuel tank foam insulation at liftoff and broke up in flames just 16 minutes before it was scheduled to land at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. All seven astronauts on board were killed.

The diary is being displayed as part of a larger exhibit of famous documents from Israel's history, held to mark the country's 60th anniversary this year. Also on display will be Israel's 1948 declaration of independence, the 1994 peace treaty with Jordan and a bloodstained sheet of paper with lyrics to a peace anthem that was carried by Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin at the time of his assassination in 1995.

"Assimilation and its Discontents" - How success ruined the New York Jew

by David Samuels in New York Magazine
The ascendancy of the Jews of New York can be viewed as a Hollywood-style triumph, but it can also be read as the tragedy of a group of brilliant outsiders who remade a city in their own image, only to cut themselves off from the roots of their tribal genius, ensuring that the future will belong to the children of the new outsiders—Koreans, Indians, Russians, and Chinese. ...

I know plenty of Jews who protest the tribal insularity of their community and deny any attachment to religion while proclaiming their fervent attachment to universal values. They fear what it is that makes them signify so powerfully to others. They root for the Mets and vote Democratic out of an atavistic attachment to the idea of the underdog. There is something ineffably sad and utterly American about the communal progression from tribal Judaism to a vague and watered-down idea of “Jewishness.”

Presidential candidates exchange atoning upon Jewish New Year

Birthright Israel presents a holiday greeting suited to the season of seeking atonement from those you may have slighted.

(Cartoon by JewishRobot.com)

New Yorkers protest Christian pow-wow with Ahmadinejad

Urban Infidel has a photo report from the Anti-Ahmadinejad / Christian "One God" Dinner Rally outside Grand Central Station hosted by 9/25Rally

Why observe the Days of Awe? Who shall live, and ...


Who Shall Live- Video Directed by Daniel Jankovic Produced by Rabbi Daniel Korobkin

Fact-checking Obama's solicitation to 900 congregational rabbis pre-High Holy Days

by Ed Lasky in American Thinker

Barack Obama held a conference call this week with more than 900 rabbis (does the Obama campaign do anything that is not on a grandiose scale?) to extend greetings to them and their congregants ahead of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. I am unaware if he has ever held such a conference call before but he is in a tight Presidential race with the Jewish vote playing a key role in several battleground states. Many in the community have concerns about Barack Obama's support for Israel and the sincerity of the statements he has made on the campaign trail. Here is a quick fact-check after his latest expression of support for Israel:

He had this to say on the call:

It's important "to recognize that throughout my career in the State Legislature and now in the U.S. Senate, I have been a stalwart friend of Israel," said Obama. "On every single issue related to Israel's security, I have been unwavering, and will continue to be unwavering."
 Let's see how what he says matches up with his record.

World Jewish Congress President Shocked by Christian Groups' Invitation to Ahmadinejad

Ronald S. Lauder: "This man is not a suitable partner for religious dialogue"

The head of the World Jewish Congress has expressed outrage at the decision of five Christian groups to host Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at a dinner in New York. The Mennonite Central Committee, the Quaker United Nations Office, the World Council of Churches, Religions for Peace and the American Friends Service Committee are sponsoring a dinner on 25 September 2008 with Ahmadinejad as the guest of honor, an event described as "dialogue between religious and political leaders" and a conversation to discuss "building peaceful societies".

Ronald S. Lauder, president of the World Jewish Congress, said: "These organizations, who present themselves as altruistic and who have global influence, are promoting the world's foremost supporter of terrorism and an egregious violator of human rights. It was Ahmadinejad who held the first-ever state-sponsored international conference of Holocaust deniers. It is Ahmadinejad who is posing a threat to the United States and to Europe, and who has repeatedly called for the annihilation of Israel. It is Ahmadinejad who is defying the United Nations Charter with his mistreatment of minorities and women, and violates the UN Genocide Convention by threatening the destruction of another member state. It is Ahmadinejad who is steadfastly ignoring UN Security Council resolutions and who continually lies to the International Atomic Energy Agency about the real intentions of his nuclear program, endangering not only his neighbors in the Middle East but the entire world. Such a man cannot be a partner for peace and inter-faith dialogue."
Lauder added: "These groups, who claim to hold up values such as peace and mutual understanding, make a mockery of themselves by shamelessly providing a cruel dictator and racist with a platform for his invective. There is no purpose in dignifying him. The World Council of Churches, the Quakers and the other sponsors of the event in New York have a long and distressing record of demonizing Israel. With their bow to Ahmadinejad, they have brazenly chosen a racist dictator as their friend."

The WJC president also criticized the participation at the dinner of the UN General Assembly's current president, the former Nicaraguan foreign minister and Catholic priest Miguel D'Escoto Brockmann. "Instead of showing a united face against Ahmadinejad, Mr. D'Escoto honors a man who does great dishonor to the United Nations. That is shameful and puts the credibility of the UN vis-a-vis Iran in doubt," Ronald S. Lauder pointed out.

The World Jewish Congress is the international organization representing Jewish communities in over 80 countries around the world. The WJC serves as the diplomatic arm of the Jewish people to governments and international organizations. SOURCE World Jewish Congress  http://www.worldjewishcongress.org/

"Iran comes in peace!" Where have we heard that before?

Can't we all just get along? Wishing it so won't make it so. Where have you seen this before?

Paul McCartney: "Damn the fatwa - full speed ahead!' video interview; BBC brands him & Israel "defiant"; Paul candid on Israeli TV on Beatle breakup


Sir Paul McCartney gives a candid interview to Israel's Channel Two television, in anticipation of his premiere performance in Israel on 25 September 2008. The BBC have called Sir Paul "defiant" for playing in light of a  death threat from an al-Qaeda devotee banished from the UK. The BBC article takes a condemning tack not only against Sir Paul, but against the Jewish state for pre-empting a 1965 proposed concert by The Beatles.
The Israeli government pulled a Beatles concert in 1965 on the grounds it could corrupt the nation's youth. When asked how the band members felt about the decision, he said it was "a bit insulting."

We are planning to have a great time and a great evening. We can't wait to get out there and rock!
Sir Paul McCartney
He added: "The Beatles had a pretty positive influence on the world and only regimes that wanted to control their peoples were afraid of us."

Israeli religious leaders ally with Christians to stop Bush amputating Holy Land for Islamists

American Christians host Israeli nationalist leaders to garner opposition to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's planned establishing a hostile, Muslim state of Palestine- ruled from Jerusalem. This plan involves ceding Judea & Samaria, evicting 300,000 Israelis, and dividing Israel to indefensible borders.

The Zionist leaders advocate preserving Israel's safety and integrity through solutions other than Secy Condi Rice is implementing- with Prime Ministers Olmert and Abbas dividing Israel to create a hostile Palestinian state with a capital in a divided Jerusalem.

The Israeli speakers include Members of Knesset David Rotem, Elhanan Glazer, and Rabbi Benny Elon (NU/NRP); Hebron pioneer and former MK Elyakim ha Etzni, Colonel Moshe Leshem (pictured leading resistance to ceding Gaza), Rabbi Eliezer ben Yehuda, Arutz Sheva Editor-in-Chief Yedidya Atlas, political-affairs expert Victor Mordechai, and the Knesset Christian Allies Caucas' Josh Reinstein.

Watch these videos of Hebron pioneer Elyakim HaEtzni's presentation at the 2006 Days of Elijah symposium- free.
Part 1 Part 2
US Congressmen Rep. Louie Golmert and (formers) Rep. Dave Weldon will also appear, along with many pro-Israel, Christian leaders, organized by Batallion of Deborah's Jodie and Rev. Keith Anderson, Covenant Alliances, and Christian friends of Assaf ha Rofeh Hospital.

The conference is available for videostreaming live and archived viewing. A$ 35 subscription provides access to the videos for on-demand viewing throughout September via this link.

Israel's "The Voice of Peace" 'pirate' radio pioneer, Abie Nathan, embarks on final voyage at age 81

Abie Nathan - Israeli peace pioneer, pirate radio station founder and former Royal Air Force pilot - has died in Tel Aviv at the age of 81. Nathan, the communicator who singlehandedly revolutionized mass-media in the Middle-East had suffered 2 strokes over the past dozen years rendering him mute- was hospitalized for five days at Ichalov before his death, Israel Radio reported Wednesday, 27 August.

Nathan burst onto the world of Middle East diplomacy in 1966 with a dramatic solo flight to Egypt in a rattletrap single-engine plane, more than a decade before Israel and Egypt signed a peace treaty.

Although he had failed in his initial bid to talk peace with the Egyptians, his daredevil escapade won the affection of many Israelis, and he launched a long (and sometimes eccentric) one-man crusade to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict

Convinced that people power could succeed where the diplomats had failed, Nathan bought a 188-foot, 570-ton Dutch freighter that was partially funded by John Lennon. He anchored it off the coast of Tel Aviv and turned it into radio phenomenon, The Voice of Peace, playing a mix of Anglo pop songs and peace messages.

"Shalom, salaam and peace to all our listeners," Nathan declared in his maiden broadcast in 1973. "The Peace Ship is a project of the people. We hope through this station we will help relieve the pain and heal the wounds of many years of suffering of the people of the Middle East."

With its famous jingle, "From somewhere in the Mediterranean, we are the Voice of Peace," the station broadcast from a ship anchored 7-miles off Israel's coast in international waters.

It was launched with John Lennon and Yoko Ono's song 'Give Peace a Chance.' Daily at "Twilight Time" it paused for a memorial moment of silence. In its heyday, its all-music format attracted a listenership of tens of millions throughout the Middle-East.

Apart from his peace efforts, Nathan flew or shipped emergency supplies to victims of war, earthquakes and famine around the world, including to Biafra, Cambodia, Nicaragua, Lebanon and the former Zaire.

After spiraling operating costs of the ship, coupled with declining advertising revenues, The Voice of Peace saw its debts mount to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Rather than sell it, Nathan elected to sink the ship in 1993.

He saw the first wish come true when Israel and Egypt signed a peace treaty in 1979.

He suffered a stroke in 1996 which left him partly paralyzed, and a second stroke around a year later left him without the power of speech.

Confined to a retirement home, he had rarely been seen in public. In a 1996 interview with The Associated Press, Nathan said that during one of his prison hunger strikes, he was certain he was going to die. He bought a grave and a tombstone.

When asked what he would want written on the stone, he replied "Nisiti" - the Hebrew for "I tried."

(Combined sources, including AP via Ha'aretz)

Will Moscow arm Iran more because of US interceptor missiles in Poland or Israel having armed Georgia?

Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili is shown an Israeli Aircraft Industries pilotless drone during his visit to their factories in Lod, Israel  (Photo: Time Magazine / Israel Aircraft Industries / Getty)
 
Tony Karon and (from Jerusalem) Aaron Klein's article "What Israel Lost" published in Time Magazine:
The Russians were piqued by Israel's military trade with Georgia even before the latest outbreak of hostilities — Moscow expressed its annoyance over the pilotless drones supplied by an Israeli company to the Georgians, three of which were downed by Russian aircraft over South Ossetia in recent months. Obviously mindful of the need to avoid provoking Russia, Israel declared off-limits certain weapons systems the Georgians had asked for, such as Merkava tanks and advanced anti-aircraft systems. "We have turned down many requests involving arms sales to Georgia, and the ones that have been approved have been duly scrutinized," a Defense Ministry official told the Israeli daily Yediot Ahoronot amid concerns raised over possible fallout from the Israeli ties to the Georgian military. The extent of damage in the Israeli-Russia relationship — if, indeed there is any — remains to be seen. Despite General Nogovitsyn's comments, Israeli officials say they have received no formal complaints from Russia over ties with Georgia.

Israel's strategic priority, right now, is countering the threat it sees in Iran's nuclear program, and on that front, Russian cooperation is essential. If the Israelis are to achieve their objective of forcing Iran to end uranium enrichment through diplomatic coercion, they will need Russian support for escalating U.N. sanctions — a course of action for which Russia has thus far shown little enthusiasm. And if Israel were to opt for trying to destroy Tehran's nuclear facilities through a series of air strikes, then the presence of the sophisticated Russian S-300 missile system in Iran would considerably raise the risk to Israeli pilots. Unfortunately for Israel, however, there may be little it can do to shape Moscow's Iran policy for the simple reason that Israel is not a major factor in Russia's strategic outlook. Moscow's actions on Iran are less likely to be determined by Israel supplying a few drones to Georgia than they are to be shaped, for example, by the deployment over extreme Russian objections of U.S. interceptor missiles on Polish soil.

36-years without an official Olympic memorial, Israel's Munich athletes memorialized privately in Beijing

Memorial event for Israeli athletes murdered in 1972 Games draws considerable attendance, but also considerable gaffes. Widows of slain athletes call on International Olympic Committee to recognize massacre as inseparable part of Olympic history

In keeping with the tradition established in 1976 at the Montreal Games, the Israeli delegation to Beijing held a memorial service on Monday in honor of the victims of 1972 Munich Olympics massacre. The ceremony drew considerable attendance, and several high-profile figures came to pay their respects to the memories of the 11 athlete, including members of the current Israeli Olympic delegation, chairmen of the Israeli Olympic Committee, Israel's representative to the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Israel's ambassador to China Amos Nadai, and Minister of Science, Culture and Sport, Raleb Majadele.

Also present was the former IOC president, Juan Antonio Samaranch. Samaranch, who during his lengthy tenure as president refused to recognize the victims as part of the heritage of the Games and address their deaths in the various opening ceremonies throughout the years, said: "This murder is the blackest event in the history of the Olympics. It is good to see that despite this Israel continues to move forward and grow, as a nation in general and in regards to its sports in particular."  Here is the trailer for Steven Spielberg's "Munich," which traces Israel's campaign to avenge the deaths of the 11 at the hands of Palestinian terrorists.



Blogger, Debbie Schlussel, comments: Recently, I watched the DVD of "21 Hours at Munich," which ABC aired in 1976 as a TV movie. It was nominated for two Emmys. Today, none of the networks would have the guts to air this movie, much less would the Hollywood charlatans nominate it for any award. It is chilling and tearjerking at the end when Israeli athletes in helicopters know they are about to die and utter the "Shema," the Jewish prayer about the monotheism of G-d.  Watch it all here: