Sunday, September 28, 2008

Paying for Olmert to go to Russia?

Another wonder in Israel - a leader can resign in disgrace...and we're still stuck with him. Ehud Olmert has finally fallen under the weight of corruption and agreed to leave office and yet, apparently, Israel will afford him yet another opportunity to speak for our nation (and pay his way to get there).

According to YNET:
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is scheduled to leave for Moscow next week for a meeting with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. The outgoing prime minister's trip is planned for next Monday and Tuesday, following an invitation extended to Olmert by Medvedev.
The two leaders are expected to discuss a number of issues, including Russia's arms supply to Syria, Moscow's objection to additional sanctions on Iran and Israel's peace process with the Palestinians.
Sources in the Prime Minister's Office said the meeting had been planned for some time, after several phone conversations between Olmert and Medvedev after the latter took office.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Dog Dropping? More info than I need to know!

You know, there are things I really don't want to know about and this next story drops firmly in that category. While this is important information for dog lovers (of which I am one), it still seems personal. Do we really need to know this?

I guess it makes sense and we should all be held accountable - according to YNET, one Israeli city is making sure this is the case...

An Israeli city is using DNA analysis of dog droppings to reward and punish pet owners.

Under a six-month trial program launched last week, the city of Petah Tikva, a suburb of Tel Aviv, is asking dog owners to take their animal to a municipal veterinarian, who then swabs its mouth and collects DNA.

The city will use the DNA database it is building to match faeces to a registered dog and identify its owner.

Owners who scoop up their dogs' droppings and place them in specially marked bins on Petah Tikva's streets will be eligible for rewards of pet food coupons and dog

But droppings found underfoot in the street and matched through the DNA database to a registered pet could earn its owner a municipal fine.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Friedrich Nietzsche and Ehud Olmert

There's a long standing joke that Friedrich Nietzsche once said, "There is no God."

To which, God replied, "There is no Friedrich Nietzsche."

In the end, of course, long after Nietzsche was dead and buried, God was right.

I thought of that recently when I heard Ehud Olmert proclaim that there is no greater Israel, no claim that what was once ours. Who he is to claim this, I have yet to figure out. Of course, who Nietzsche was to proclaim there is no God is not much different. And, in the end, long after Olmert and Nietzsche, there will be God and the land of Israel.

Olmert's words (at least for now):
"I used to believe that everything from the Jordan Riverbank to the Mediterranean Sea was ours. After all, dig anywhere and you'll find Jewish history."

That is most definitely true.
"No other nation is as strong and no other nation in the Middle East can rival us. The strategic threats we face have nothing to do with where we draw our borders.

Well, those two sentences have nothing to do with each other...but let's give the Prime Minister a break...maybe, just maybe, he's getting to some point.
"We can argue about every single detail, but when we finally hash out an agreement we may find we no longer have the international community's backing, or a partner for that matter."

Um, isn't that exactly where we found ourselves?
We'll be left with nothing but the feeling that once again, as for the past 40 years, we were right.”

Olmert is the only one I know who can make being right...sound wrong. If we are right, and we don't have a partner...why exactly are we worried about what some supposed partner in the future may agree to?

But Olmert's concern remains, as it has been for the longest time, his legacy, his future, his interests and so, he has declared that Greater Israel is no more and with great relish, Israel is coming close to the point where it can say, the reign of Ehud Olmert is no more. Long after Olmert and Nietzsche, there will be God and the land of Israel.

Imagine all the People....

flocking to hear Paul McCartney sing in Israel...only to have a suicide bomber target the star (or the audience). Ok, that isn't something we want to imagine, and yet, according to several news sources, that is exactly what is being threatened:

A Syrian-born Arab has threatened that McCartney will be targeted by suicide bombers unless he abandons plans to play a concert in Israel later this month. I can't saythat I am surprised, so I guess the next move is McCartney's. Will he come to Israel and sing the beautiful songs that made him and his band famous? Songs dreaming of a world of peace...or will terror triumph. I guess Israel...must stay tuned to find out.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Mohammad Atta, Israel, and September 11

On September 11, 2001, terrorists flew planes into the World Trade Center, destroying both buildings, and into a section of the Pentagon. Thousands of people lost their lives and in many ways, the world was irrevocably changed.

One of those terrorists as Mohammad Atta, may his name be forever cursed.

What many people around the world don't know, is that Mohammad Atta blew up a bus in Israel in 1986. The Israelis captured, tried and imprisoned him. As part of the Oslo agreement with the Palestinians in 1993, Israel had to agree to release so-called 'political prisoners.'

At first, the Israelis insisted that they would not release terrorists with "blood on their hands." But the American President at the time, Bill Clinton, and his Secretary of State, Warren Christopher, 'insisted' that all prisoners be released.

Thus, Mohammad Atta was freed and eventually thanked the Americans who were so instrumental in helping to attain his freedom by flying an airplane into Tower One of the World Trade Center.

On September 11, it is proper to remember and mourn and we don't want to think about past mistakes and ways it could have been prevented. We have to accept and move on. Tomorrow is September 12 - maybe then, tomorrow, we should think about what it means to release terrorists and murderers who have shown in the past that they have no respect for human life. There is, as Mohammad Atta showed us, a pretty decent chance that they will kill again.

Ehud Olmert, Please Go HOME

Apparently Israel has a distinct and unwanted honor. We are probably the democracy with the most corrupt and unwanted leader around. I honestly can't think of another. We've been cheated, weakened, lied to repeatedly and I honestly don't know a single Israeli who can smile when they say "Ehud Olmert." Most groan or curse loudly.

I'm reminded of Dr. Seuss' book, "Marvin K. Mooney Will You Please Go Home." It's long been an urban legend that Seuss wrote this book as a plea for Richard Nixon to leave the White House after Watergate but it was written to close to the even to actually have been written for that and we know it certainly wasn't written for Olmert, and yet few books more clearly express the will of the vast majority of Israelis when they think of Olmert and his government.
Towards the end of the book, the narrator simply begs, Please, please, just go! One can only hope.

YNET, Israel National News and others report:

Despite solemn vows, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert will reportedly remain head of the transitional government that would come into being when he quits following the Kadima primary, even if he has been indicted.

Coming Home

There are bittersweet reunions that take place all over the world, all the time. There are happy, "coming home" celebrations that take place in Israel. Beyond the happiness of the individual families that choose to make aliyah (move back to Israel), there is a feeling that some ancient wrong has been made right.

Interestingly enough, sometimes it isn't even about people. Sometimes, as in the story below, it's about something holy but not human.

According to Israel National News:

A rare 215-year-old Jewish manuscript that was discovered missing 10 years
ago has shown up in the German National Library, which it is returning to the
Rambam Library in Tel Aviv, cultural official Avigdor Levin said. The missing
one-of-a-kind- book was written by a Berlin rabbi in 1793.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Training to Save...Saves Lives

This is a wonderful news story which shows the incredible bravery and quick-thinking instincts of many of Israel's rescue teams. This story is so Israel!

According to YNET:

A team of Israeli firemen performing rescue drills in France saved the life of a local girl found drowning in a river Wednesday. The firemen rushed to pull her out when the kayak in which she was paddling turned over in the water. The men are in France conducting drills focusing on rescue missions in water and high places. They arrived at the Mieux River to practice in its strong current; however the practice soon became a reality.

"We were on the river bank preparing for water rescue. The current was strong, and families were paddling it in kayaks, one of which held a 10-year old girl," Oren Shishatzki, of the Petah Tikva fire station said.

Suddenly the firemen noticed that the girl had turned over, and that her head was in the water below the kayak. The strong current pushed her towards the rocks near the bank.

The Israeli firemen did not lose their cool, however, and rushed to her aid. "Two immediately jumped in and swam to the overturned kayak," Shishatzki said. "The kayak couldn't be righted, so they dove under the water, released the girl, and pulled her out onto the bank."

The girl emerged unscathed, and thanked the firemen for saving her life. "She was
surprised and wouldn't stop thanking us," Shishatzki recalled.

Pictures of the life-saving event can be found at:,7340,L-3591889,00.html

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Another Reason Israeli Americans Won't Vote Obama

Israelis are known to disagree on about as many things as they might happen to agree, but almost universally, those of us who love this country know that a nuclear option is simply not an option.

What that means, how it will be prevented, we have no idea. So Vice-President Hopeful Joe Biden's recent comment that "Israel will have to reconcile itself with the nuclearization of Iran" (quoted on Army Radio Monday as telling senior Israeli officials), is yet another reason why most Americans living in Israel will not vote for the Obama-Biden ticket.

Obama's history and comments on Israel are concerning enough - Joe Biden's quotes (and a well-known slant towards Iran and Iranian culture) helps cement where we will place our votes.

The only question for us, I guess - is who stands with us in America. Will you vote for Obama-Biden, knowing that this likely endangers Israel? I guess that is the question many American Jews will have to decide.