Archive for December, 2007

Hamas’ Covenant of Death

Now that President Shimon Peres, the erstwhile champion of PLO chief Yasser Arafat, has conveyed a willingness to negotiate with Hamas leader Ismail Haniya, let us review the Hamas Covenant of Death.

Officially known as “The Covenant of the Islamic Resistance Movement,” the Covenant begins: “Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it…” This document articulates the true nature of the war now being waged against Israel, and not only by the Arabs in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza.

The Covenant refers to these Arabs as but a single “squadron” of the “vast Islamic world.” “Our struggle against the Jews is very great,” and this struggle will go on “until the enemy is vanquished and Allah's victory is realized.”

The Covenant also refers to the Islamic Resistance Movement as “one of the wings of [the] Muslim Brotherhood in Palestine.” » Continue reading “Hamas’ Covenant of Death”

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Amalek

Edited transcript of the Eidelberg Report, Israel National Radio, December 24, 2007.

Does the Release of Arab Terrorists Contradict Jewish Law and the Commandment to Obliterate Amalek?

Introduction: Some 700 years ago, the great Rabbi Meir of Rotenberg was abducted and imprisoned in Germany, then under the reign of Rudolph I. Rabbi Meir’s community offered a vast sum of money for his release, but he refused to be ransomed by more than the amount prescribed by Halacha, Jewish law, lest it encourage the abduction of other Jews. The great sage died in prison, after having been incarcerated for seven years.

This raises the question whether a Jewish soldier abducted by Arab terrorists should be ransomed by Israel’s release of Arab terrorists, or whether, if the soldier could affect the issue, should accept his release under that quid pro quo? This is not a question that can be answered by tyros. Here I offer some historical facts and some thoughts about Jewish law. » Continue reading “Amalek”

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2007 Year-End Appeal

The Foundation for Constitutional Democracy

19 Tevet 5768

Dear Friends and Supporters:

As other activists continue the old tired ways, the Foundation for Constitutional Democracy has been the voice for regime change, receiving standing ovations at gatherings such as last month’s New Jewish Congress in Jerusalem. We don’t stage protests or write letters or circulate petitions; we are taking regime change to the People, and you are an essential partner. Every Jew has a voice in what happens to and in the Land of Israel notwithstanding the rejection of your voice by our prime minister when he appeared hat in hand before the nations in Annapolis. “Mind your own business” he said to Diaspora Jewry. But Israel is your business! The Land of Israel belongs to you, your children, and grandchildren, just as it belongs to the Jews already living there. » Continue reading “2007 Year-End Appeal”

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Hamas Radio

A comment on the Olmert government’s granting Hamas radio broadcast rights from the Temple Mount.

What does this signify to the Muslim world? It signifies the victory of Islam over Judaism.

The Arab psychological war against Israel has been unrelenting. The obvious aim is to humiliate and demoralize the Jewish people and show the world that Israel is an artificial and transient state.

The Arabs are constantly on the offensive, while Israel’s government does nothing more than retreat. » Continue reading “Hamas Radio”

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The Hudna

A current joke reflects the typical Israeli approach to the hudna:

Question: How do you say, “Hold on a minute, stop shooting while I reload my automatic rifle” in Arabic?

Answer: Hudna.

Question to Defense Minister Ehud Barak: “Any comment?”

Answer: “Duh.”

Question to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert: “Do you support a hudna?» Continue reading “The Hudna

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Rabbinic Paradoxes

Certain rabbis, contrary to no less learned rabbis, have publicly stated that to save Jewish life—pikuach nefesh—it is Halakhically permissible for Israel to surrender Jewish land to Arabs for peace.

Critics have questioned the logic of this position. They have pointed out that a policy of “territory for peace” based on pikuach nefesh would require Israel to surrender land whenever Arabs threaten war. But surely any sensible rabbi is aware of this absurdity. Let us therefore approach the issue another way.

At stake in this issue is Jewish retention of Judea and Samaria as well as the Golan Heights and even Eastern Jerusalem. Now, having been assured by one or another general of the Israel Defense Forces that withdrawing from these areas could yield peace and save Jewish life, the rabbis in question have supported the territory-for-peace policy.

One of these rabbis—a leader of the Shas party whose name is not important for the purpose of this article—has publicly admitted that the Arabs have no intention of giving Israel peace. » Continue reading “Rabbinic Paradoxes”

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Coup d'etat

To High Ranking Officers of the Israel Defense Forces:

Whereas Prime Minister Ehud Olmert decided to release more than four hundred Arab terrorists (without even demanding the release of Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier who was captured in a cross border raid by members of several Palestinian terrorist organizations on 25 June 2006);

Whereas Mr. Olmert, contrary to appeals of reserve IDF battalion commanders and soldiers, approved the shipment of two million bullets for AK-47 assault rifles and 50 advanced Russian armored carriers to the Palestinian (terrorist) Authority in Judea and Samaria;

Whereas, despite the daily missile attacks on Sderot resulting from Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza, Mr. Olmert is committed to Israel’s withdrawal from Judea and Samaria, including Eastern Jerusalem; » Continue reading “Coup d'etat

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Religion in the 2008 US Presidential Election Campaign

To appreciate the injection of religion into the 2008 presidential campaign by Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee, historical perspective is needed concerning the cultural context of the First Amendment of the American Constitution: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or precluding the free exercise thereof …”

The First Amendment was demanded not by secularists but by Christians. Historian William P. Grady notes that the Baptists in all the original states were appalled by the lack of specific religious guarantees in the proposed Constitution. In Virginia, the most powerful state, the Baptists expressed their concerns to James Madison, the father of the Constitution, who needed their support to win Virginia’s ratification.

The First Amendment was intended to prevent Congress from supporting sectarian institutions, not religious values. Its intention, therefore, was to prevent Congress from establishing a State religion. Revolted by the example of England, the Founding Fathers refused to sacralize the modern national state, which they deemed powerful enough without investing it with religious authority. » Continue reading “Religion in the 2008 US Presidential Election Campaign”

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Stupidity and Avarice: Two Bases of American Foreign Policy

Edited version of the Eidelberg Report, Israel National Radio, December 17, 2007.

American foreign policy has two bases: stupidity and avarice. Admittedly, this may be said of the foreign policy of most countries. In Israel, however, whereas stupidity is the pilot and avarice the co-pilot, the reverse is the case of America.

Let’s first examine the evidence of stupidity in American foreign policy, since much of it is applicable to Israel’s government. And if you prefer the more polite term “naiveté” to stupidity, that may be nothing more than a distinction without a difference—only bear in mind there are different kinds of stupidity just as there are different kinds of intelligence.

According to historian W. P. Grady, “in the early years of WW II, American ambassador William Standley actually attempted to befriend the Russians by distributing Walt Disney Films.” Apparently, this was the State Department’s or President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s version of “confidence building” measures. (Perhaps Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, instead of releasing Arab terrorists, which arouses Arab contempt, should distribute Teddy Bears or Hershey Bars to the Palestinians to befriend them.) » Continue reading “Stupidity and Avarice: Two Bases of American Foreign Policy”

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Orthodoxy Tongue-in-Cheek

Two articles appeared in the December 12, 2007 issue of The Jerusalem Post—one by Orthodox Rabbi Emanuel Feldman, the other by Reform Rabbi Elyse Frishman. (How strange: notice the second syllable of their respective last names, although Elyse is female.) The two articles reminded me of something I wrote for my grandson fourteen years ago before his bar mitzvah, when he asked me “What is an ultra-orthodox Jew?”

The term “orthodox” is of Greek origin and is derived from two Greek words: orthos, meaning “true,” “correct,” “straight”—think of “orthopedics”—and doxa, meaning “opinion.”

  1. 1.  To describe any Jew as “orthodox” is to say, in effect, that he has true or correct opinions.

  2. 2.  Hence, to call any Jew “ultra-orthodox” is absurd. » Continue reading “Orthodoxy Tongue-in-Cheek”

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