Monday, May 30, 2011

Correction on 67 Borders

Ok, time for a correction. Thank you to several astute readers who brought this to my attention:

President Obama didn't exactly say that Israel should "return" to her "pre"-67 Borders.

Instead, he said: "We believe the borders of Israel and 'Palestine' should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps..."

I couldn't agree more. The borders of Israel should be based on the lines of June 10th, 1967, the cease-fire lines at conclusion of the Six Day War.

(See image. The 6/10/67 borders we refer to include the yellow and pale orange areas.)

Israel should definitely return to these borders, and without delay.

Firstly, by now it is obvious to everyone that the "peace" treaty with Egypt in 1979 brokered by Mr. Obama's predecessor, Jimmy Carter, is an utter failure. Although it is debatable as to whether the treaty was ever really honored by the Egyptians, it has now been flagrantly violated, as the border to Gaza is wide open and arms may be brought to Hamas in broad daylight. Hamas just moved their terrorist headquarters to Egypt, and terrorist activity is rising in the Sinai. Time to take back the Sinai and return to the armistice lines of June 10th, 1967.

Secondly, it is also painfully self-evident that Israel's disengagement from Gaza in '05 was a grave error. This blunderous move only enabled Hamas to take power and set up a inimical police state that fires Qassam rockets into Israel on a daily basis, targeting civilians. By returning to the borders of June 10th, '67, Israel could then do what it needs to to protect its civilian population: eliminate Hamas and restore security.

Thirdly, Israel gained nothing by evacuating Northern Samaria in '05, and stands to gain nothing by evacuating and uprooting 558,000 Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria. Not only will Israel not gain peace or security, Israel will only be advancing the front lines of her mortal enemies, those bent on her utter destruction. It would be purely suicidal from anyone's point of view! It is absurd that this needs to be articulated in public forum, it is so obvious.

Moreover, history has proven time and time again that contiguous borders with maniacal hate mongers yield disastrous results. Cases in point: Sudetenland in 1938; Molotov-Ribbentrop Treaty in 1939, etc.

Borders with neighbors like Hamas or the PA are simply unacceptable. Would the US tolerate a border with a Muslim-Brotherhood-dominated police state? Does any sane, objective thinker really believe that such borders will bring peace or security?

Yes, Israel's borders should certainly be based on the 1967 cease fire line.

All the hostile, blood-thirsty Jew-haters and would-be terrorists who currently reside in Gaza, Judea and Samaria can be relocated to Arab Palestine (currently known as Jordan) on the east bank. This must be the "mutually agreed swaps" Obama was referring to.

Well said, Mr. President.

* * *

One more clarification:

Several readers have misinterpreted my previous post as a politically-motivated attack on President Obama. Some have even accused me of unfairly singling out Obama for having said something similar to what former President Bush had said.

Nothing could be further from the truth. First of all, I am not being unfairly critical of Obama. I have always been consistent. I deplored and criticized both statements.

Far be it from me to discriminate between presidents, black or white, Republican or Democrat. If a president is wrong, then he's wrong, regardless of which party he hails from or where he attended church or mosque.

I was completely disgusted by Bush's ill-advised policies toward Israel too, and was quite vociferous about it at the time. The Bush-inspired "Road Map" was nothing more than a dangerous collision course.

However, there is something far more troubling about this president's recent statements and his timing. Here we are dealing with a Hamas government, an admittedly terrorist organization. Hamas and the PA are seeking unilateral statehood. Israel faces greater existential threat than any time before in history. Mr. Obama stands by idly while Tehran races toward nuclear weapons and brazenly calls for Israel's destruction. To invoke the indefensible borders of pre-1967 at this critical time is nothing short of overt Antisemitism. "Mutually agreed-upon swaps" doesn't mitigate the gravity of what he said. There is no mutual agreement with Hamas, or even with Abbas. They just want to mass-murder us. They say it and they mean it.

Mr. President, what part of that don't you understand?

I am not a Democrat nor a Republican. I am a Jew and an American. I believe that any Jew and any American ought to have the moral fortitude to stand up and protest the president's foolish and malicious statements.

To all the American Jews who still support Obama, I say:

This is not about party lines or petty politics. Just because he's "your man" and you voted for him, it's time to stand up for the truth. The fate of Israel, no, the fate of the entire world hangs in the balance.

Today is exactly forty-four years since the beginning of the Six Day War. The world has learned little since then.

It's time to speak up for the truth. For ultimately, the truth will prevail.

* * *

One final point:

My intent in the previous post was not to ridicule Obama's call to return to the indefensible borders of the past, although I may have done so in the process. In light of current times, his call is so utterly ridiculous, it needs no pointing out. No need to state the obvious.

I merely sought to derive an inspiring lesson from his objectionable words.

And most importantly, with regard to Obama:

The real problem here is not the POTUS. He may say what ever he likes. In fact, that's his job. He needs to show his constituents that he's trying to make "peace." It is pointless to pressure the Arabs. They are inflexible. Conversely, Israel is flexible and willing to make concessions. So it's a no-brainer that any American president is going to place undue pressure on Israel.

The problem is Israel. Mr. Prime Minister, don't "engage." Just say no.

G-d gave us this land. Bibi, it is not yours to negotiate or use a political bargaining tool. It is the property of every Jew who ever lived and who ever will live. It is the property of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Moses, Miriam, David, Solomon, me and you. You may go jump in the Mediterranean if you wish, but you may not dispossess me of what is eternally and inseparably mine.

Bibi, you said that Jerusalem is not negotiable. It is the "heart of our people" and will always remain one and undivided. If only you realized that the same is true of the entire Land of Israel.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Return to 67 Borders!

Dear Friends,

In light of recent statements by President Obama, I feel it's necessary to veer from this blog's usual apolitical stance and share my thoughts on the matter:

Personally, I am in complete agreement with the president's audacious remark. I too earnestly believe that Israel needs to return to her pre-67 borders.

In fact, therein lies the solution to all of Israel's problems, and, in fact, all the world's problems. Return to the pre-67 borders will unquestionably bring peace to the Middle East and to the entire world. It will effectively end the plights of all displaced exiles and refugees, thereby alleviating their suffering, compensating them for their millenia of yearning and eons of wandering. Indeed, it will right all historical wrongs and establish a new world order.

That's right, my friends. All this can be accomplished, if only Israel is willing to return to her pre-67 borders.

Yes, Israel needs to return to the borders of before 67 CE, the year Vespasian embarked on his military campaign to conquer and lay waste to the land of Israel and ultimately destroyed the Holy Temple (in 68 CE).

What were the pre-67 CE borders, you ask?

Well, for one, these borders contained areas most vital to Israel's security and defense (e.g. Golan, Gaza, West and East Banks, part of the Sinai, etc.). Moreover, they contained the heartland of Biblical Israel, including Judea, Samaria, and even Transjordania.

In 67 CE, there was no "Palestine," but only Israel, land of the Jews. No "Aelia Capitolina." No "East" and "West," but only one united Jerusalem.

But that's not the main point.

The greatest thing about year 67 CE and prior is the Holy Temple in Jerusalem.

What we need is a return to pre-67. We need to rebuild the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. And we need to do it right away!

The Third Holy Temple in Jerusalem will surely establish peace on earth and usher in the Messianic Era. It will end all violence, terror and injustice. "They shall neither harm nor destroy on all My holy mount, for the land shall be filled with the knowledge of G-d as the waters covers the sea bed." (Isaiah 25:9)

Obama was right! (Sort of. He was just 1900 years off. At least he had the last two digits right)

The expression "Israel needs to return to her... borders" is great too. It recalls the poignant words of Jeremiah (31:14) "A voice is heard upon high, bitter sobs...(Matriarch) Rachel cries for her children, she will not be comforted… (Says G-d) "Withhold your voice from crying and your eyes from tearing, for there is a reward for your actions… and your children will return to their border."

Fellow Israelites! Listen to our president. He is telling us to "return to our border" as prophesied in Jeremiah. It's high time to return to our roots. Let's bring Moshiach and "return to our border" once and for all!

Actually, the more I think about it, the 67 CE borders are not enough. What we really need is a return to the 67 BCE borders, back to the time that there was true Jewish sovereignty and independence from foreign domination, shortly before Pompeii invaded Jerusalem (during the civil war of the two Hasmonean brothers, Aritobulus and Hyrcanus, thereby commencing a long and painful period of Roman occupation). Now that would truly be something. Imagine an Israel free of foreign interference or prejudice. No UN bias, boycotts, or unfair pressure from US presidents. No foreign power telling Israel how or how not to protect her citizens.

Upon further reflection, I must now conclude that the pre-67 BCE borders are not enough either. What we really need is a return to the pre-567 BCE borders, before the ten northern tribes of Israel were exiled (in circa 556 BCE). Now here's a pre-'67 borders that would really solve our problems. Not only would it restore the territorial integrity of Israel, it would finally achieve true unity to the People of Israel by bringing back all lost and straggling Jews from all over the globe. The long-awaited ingathering of the exiles!

In fact, I must finally admit that I am not in agreement with Obama after all. What we need most of all right now is not a "return" to anything. We need to move forward, not backward.

The borders and conditions of 67 CE, 67 BCE, or even 567 BCE, etc., are not enough. No sir!

The Third Temple with be infinitely greater than its two predecessors, and the Third Commonwealth of the Messianic Era will be vastly and incomparably superior to anything we've ever seen in history. So no, we should not be returning or turning back the pages of history. Instead, it's time to move forward and achieve our destiny.

For then, and only then, mankind will achieve its destiny as well. All of humanity will turn to G-d together as one. No longer will there be war or intolerance, hatred or competition, disease or poverty. The occupation of the entire world will be to know G-d to the fullest of human potential.

Unlike some other deviant belief systems, the true coming of Moshiach doesn't involve any foreboding Armageddons, warlike Mahdis, or worlds coming to their end on Saturday at 4pm. Nor does it necessitate any cataclysmic tornadoes, tsunamis, earthquakes or nuclear fallout. Moshiach's coming is something that everyone can look forward to.

In fact, after the Redemption, there will no longer be any need for borders. "The Land of Israel is destined to spread over the entire world, and Jerusalem is destined to spread throughout all the Land of Israel." (Yalkut Shimoni)

Forget about 67 borders, or even defensible borders. We need an Israel with no borders.

Don't mean to border on sounding utopian or out of touch with reality. Quite the contrary. Realistically speaking, it seems painfully self-evident that the only better and safer option to Israel's current post-'67 borders is expanded borders. And the best and safest option is the Messianic description of no borders at all. A borderless Israel!

(Parenthetically, if you honestly believe that Israel sharing a border with a hostile, so-called "Palestinian" State is a solution, even a temporary one, then you are the borderline delusional. Maybe within the borders of your quixotic dreamworld, but not in the real world. In either case, this short-sighted viewpoint articulated by our president is alas more unrealistically utopian and dream-like than anything Isaiah, Jeremiah or the Yalkut Shimoni ever conceived of.)

If you truly wish to solve the Mideast crisis, and thereby solve all mankind's crises, personal, communal and global, for once and for all, let's discuss the only truly viable and lasting solution, the true and complete Geulah (Redemption).

So it's not about returning to borders, but about advancing and expanding our horizons to usher in a new era of Redemption.

So let's rephrase the president's ill-advised statement:

"Israel needs to advance to her destiny that will infinitely expand her borders and shine her light to the whole world."

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


Some have commented that my previous post wasn't clear enough.
I shall state my position more concisely:

1. Should one rejoice over the elimination of Osama Bin Laden?

2. Should we give thanks to G-d for OBL's death?

3. Should we be proud of our military, and appreciate our government for their decision to do the right thing in eliminating OBL?

4. Should we publicly celebrate?
No. The world is still a very unsafe place, with far too many OBLs who have yet to be eliminated.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Osama's Death, Part II

We all agree that Bin Laden's demise is good news for mankind. The Torah tells us to rejoice and thank G-d for good news. That is a given.

The question remains, should we celebrate publicly?

This is a different matter entirely. I contend that it is not the time for celebration, but not for the same reasons others might have.

Let's use the Torah as a guide. In the case, the Biblical Scroll of Esther:

The glorious news of Haman's hanging was well publicized throughout Shushan. In fact, one could easily see his vile corpse dangling from a fifty-cubit gallows (80 feet high). Now that Haman was gone, Mordechai the Jew was elevated to prime minister in his place. Haman was dead, and all his power and wealth now belonged to Mordechai, who was now publicly identified as Queen Esther's own cousin! Yet the Jews of Shushan did not celebrate. Nor did Esther or Mordechai. Instead, they pleaded before the king for mercy.

You see, even after Haman's demise, his wicked decree still loomed over their heads. Still eleven months off, the date of Adar 13th was still set as a "Day of Rage" throughout the Persian Empire in which the Jews were slated for wholesale murder and destruction. So Haman's death was not a time for premature joy, or even to breathe a sigh of relief. It was a time to work even harder to ensure our survival as a people. It was an opportunity to plead from Ahasuerus to outlaw Hamanism altogether.

Unfortunately, the Persian emperor was not able to grant their request. Instead, however, he made an unprecedented gesture of support for the Jewish cause. He gave them the opportunity to arm and protect themselves. Moreover, the Jews were now allowed to act preemptively and destroy their enemies on the very day of Adar 13, the same day that had originally been designated for their own destruction.

Only at that point did the Jews celebrate. "And the Jews had radiance and joy, elation and glory."

Although the danger was not over, the light at the end of the tunnel was sighted. Granted the opportunity to eliminate their enemies, the Jews now had a means to survive. With G-d's help, they now knew that the Jews would prevail.

Following Esther's lead, we cannot celebrate a modern-day Haman's death, since the dangers of his particular Hamanism is very much alive. Instead, we need to use the opportunity to demand the ability to preemptively eliminate many more Hamans, until we can effectively uproot Hamanism and erase it from the face of the earth.

Simply stated, the reason why celebration is not called for is because we are still in grave danger from the Osama bin Ladens' of the world. The so-called "War on Terror" has not been won. In fact, it has barely begun.

When Israel feels free and unencumbered to effectively root out its enemies a la Operation Geronimo, then and only then shall we rejoice.

Meanwhile, the proper Jewish response to Bin Laden's elimination is to demand from our leadership to respect Israel's right to defend her citizens. It's high time for Israel to do what it really needs to ensure her survival. This means targeted assassinations, military incursions into Gaza, disarming and elimination of Hamas, preemptive attack on Hezbollah, etc.

Moreover, it's time to demand that our nation stops funding terror. That's right, the US currently funds Fatah to the tune of $470 million a year. Fatah continues to indoctrinate its children to hate. Funded by US taxpayers' dollars, Fatah continues to incite and encourage terror.

Most of all, we need to plead, beseech, demand, etc., that the US take an proactive role in disarming today's Persia and neutralizing its nuclear ambitions. And to the very least, if King Ahasuerus/Obama lacks the political will or courage to do so, then give a green light to Israel to preemptively eliminate the Persian Hamans of our times.

In addition, the government of Israel needs to rise to the occasion and show true leadership, in the spirit of Esther and Mordechai. Don't sit idly and celebrate the death of one Haman when millions of others are lurking in the shadows, ever ready to do what Hamans do. Don't wait for your enemies to act. Destroy them first. This is the lesson of Purim and a clearly stated law from Parshat Mishpatim. "הבא להורגך השכם להורגו" "If one is preparing to kill you, wake up earler in the morning and kill him first," i.e. before he leaves his home.

* * *

One final point about celebrating in the wake of OBL's long-overdue death.

When the Children of Israel sang joyous songs of praise to G-d at the Sea of Reeds, it was because they themselves had been saved while their pursuers perished.

Are we "out of the water" now that OBL is gone? Should I feel closure now that he is gone? Are we ready to turn a page on history?

Sadly, the answer to all these questions is no.

Remember that OBL was not the individual most responsible for the atrocities that occurred on September 11th. He may have paid for and orchestrated it from afar, but he did not personally murder anyone.

The actual mass murderers were nineteen Arab men. These men were products of a depraved society that breeds hatred. This society has not yet been transformed just because one mass murderer is dead. It cannot and will not be transformed on its own. It has sunken to the depths of depravity.

Until Western governments change their attitudes toward Muslim incitement, we are no where near "out of the water." Our Egyptian pursuers are still hot on our trail, so to say.

As long as we continue our ill-advised policy of appeasement, the terrorists will not stop.

With regards to our president, let's be clear:

Until Obama acknowledges the fallacy of the so-called "two-state solution," he is no hero, and certainly is no champion of peace. As long as Israel is expected to make tough concessions to hostile Arab neighbors while Iran races toward atomic weapons with impunity, there can be no celebration.

Osama's Death, Part I

An unabashedly Jewish response.

The welcomed, long-awaited news of last week have left many searching for answers.

Bloggers and readers alike grapple with the moral dilemma: What is the appropriate Jewish response?

I have remained silent thus far, hoping that we would hear from "Jewish leadership." But alas, no such leadership has materialized. The vast majority of material on the internet sadly reveals a profound lack of moral clarity, and a complete obliviousness to reality.

Worst of all, we are hearing from self-proclaimed Bible experts who quote haphazardly from Proverbs and Midrashic literature to further add to the misinformation.

So let's address the issues.

Should Jews rejoice over the death of an incorrigibly wicked mass murderer?

The answer is a resounding "YES!"
The deaths of Haman, Pharoah's armies, Sancheiriv, are but few of many examples.

Should we be thanking G-d? Absolutely.

True, our Sages taught that G-d chastised the angels for wishing to sing songs of praise while the Egyptians were drowning at sea. However, this was WHILE they were drowning at sea. Death is always a serious issue, regardless of whose death. It's not a time for revealed joy.

Immediately after their death, however, Moses led the Jewish people in the happiest song in Jewish history, sung daily in synagogues and homes throughout the world.

When the wicked Assyrian general Sancheiriv and his army were eliminated, righteous King Chizkiyahu ought to have sung a song of thanks to G-d. In the Talmud, Chizkiyahu was criticized for his failure to do so.

In fact, Chizkiayahu had been deemed worthy of being the righteous Moshiach. Because of his above-mentioned oversight, he was rejected! And we his decedents continue to languish in exile to this day.

In Mishlei, the wise King Solomon observed: "When the wicked get destroyed, there is joyous song."

But what of Solomon's other proverb, "When your enemy falls, do not rejoice, and when he stumbles, your heart should not be glad..."?

Deeper analysis suggests that it does not refer to a generic enemy, but to "your" enemy.
Indeed, the problem lies in the fact that you are gloating over the falling of your own personal enemy. There is a subjective, personal agenda here, so Solomon cautioned us not to rejoice, lest G-d find fault with you and your self-absorbed perspective.

Did you view Osama bin Laden, may his name be erased and his memory obliterated, as a personal enemy of yours? Were you personally outraged because of Osama's audacious attack on YOUR country? Did you view it as a vicious slight to your country's honor? Were you overcome by an exultant feeling of pride and patriotism when you heard the news of OBL's death at the hand of our Navy Seals?

If your answer is "yes," then this second Proverb may be speaking to you.

Indeed, this would not be the proper Solomonic response.

Instead, one ought to have viewed bin Laden as a menacing threat to humanity and an implacable foe of G-d Himself, as it were.

What we witnessed on September 11th, '01, was not a blow to our patriotism or American pride. It was a heinous attack on humanity. It was evil in its rawest form. It was unprecedented suffering and unimaginable darkness. It traumatized an entire nation and the entire civilized world.

The wicked man who funded and masterminded this atrocity was not "your" enemy whose falling ought not inspire joy. He was the very embodiment of wickedness refereed to in our first Proverb. When he is gone, "there is joyous song," in Heaven and on Earth.

Moreover, even if you feel a tinge of personal satisfaction that Osama has been eliminated, you still may rejoice. It's not his death that gratifies us. It's not the fact that he was shot in the head, or that we as a nation had "settled the score."

It's much more basic than that. It's because the entire world can now sigh a breath of relief that an arch-terrorist is no more, and that justice has been met.

We as Americans ought to feel a profound sense of pride in our country and our military, not because we "got even" with "our" enemy, but because we were able to be G-d's agents in making the world a safer, more peaceful and just place.

* * *

After having written this, I feel the need to clarify another crucial point:

In today's confusing world of moral relativism in which Islamofascist genocidal murderers are portrayed as "freedom fighters" and innocent Jewish children in Samaria are dubbed as subhuman "settlers" or "occupiers," it is more important than ever to get your facts straight when it comes to the death of a truly evil and dangerous man.

Wake up!

There is no moral equivalence between hate-monger Arab cab drivers handing out candies to celebrate the horrific murder of babies in Itamar, and between Americans and all peace-loving citizens of the world rejoicing over the elimination of a mass murderer. If you see any equivalence between the two, then you are morally compromised.

Compassion for murderers means cruelty to the innocents who were murdered (or would have been murdered had the murderer not been eliminated).

"Give thanks to G-d, for He is good... He cast Pharaoh and his armies into the sea... He killed mighty kings... for His kindness is everlasting."

"When the wicked perish, there is joy." Period.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Reflections on Recent Events

Osama's death has been confirmed.
Obama's birth has been confirmed.
America's dearth (of leadership) needs no confirmation.

Trump trumped.
Obama vindicated.
Alobama devastated.

Buffet buffooned.
Bin Laden harpooned.
America festooned.

Khadaffi bereaved.
Israel-bashing believed.
Americans deceived.

British wedding: meaningless but charming
Hamas-PA wedding: not surprising but alarming
Even less surprising: Hizballah rearming.

Syria in syrious trouble.
Tuscaloosa under rubble.
Our politicians living in a bubble

Shuttle grounded.
Deficit unbounded.
Israel hostilly surrounded.

Jihadist eliminated.
Islam humiliated. (what else is new?)

Pedophilia-era pope venerated.
Church degenerated. (what else is new?)

Lessons from Holocaust largely unlearned.
Nuclear Iran? World's unconcerned.

Never again? Ask the UN
Nukes in Tehran, not if but when.