Anti-Semitism: It’s there, under the surface all of the time, in many places. The anti-Semites seek excuses to hate us. And this war we are fighting has given them a great excuse. Statistics are showing increased expressions of anti-Semitism in various places. And now I have learned that my son-in-law, who runs a blog about life in Israel, has been receiving blatantly anti-Semitic messages.
There is no way to win with such people and scant point in trying. We can only hold our heads high and continue to do the things we must do. The bitter irony: We are fighting true evil, fighting a proxy for a nation bent on generating wholesale destruction, fighting on behalf of the western world as well as ourselves, doing what no one else wants to do. And we end up the "bad guys."
All of this is tremendously relevant now, for tonight begins Tisha B’av — the day of national mourning that marks the destruction of the Temple and our dispersion from the land almost 2,000 years ago.
Yet, Tisha B’av by no means delivers a message of despair. As we proceed with our national mourning during the course of the day tomorrow, the mood is supposed to lighten and we are bidden to be consoled. In fact, it is said that the Moshiach (messiah) will be born on Tisha B’av.
And this is our final answer: We were banished 2,000 years ago. But here we are. We have returned. And we will be redeemed. May we keep the faith, and may Hashem watch over us.
A letter has been sent to EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana by 213 members of the United States Congress asking that the EU add Hezbollah to its terrorist list. Finnish Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja, who is currently serving as EU president, has responded: "Given the sensitive situation, I don’t think this is something we will be acting on now,"
If not now, precisely when would he consider it the right situation for officially recognizing Hezbollah as terrorist? This need to be "even handed" smacks of anti-Semitism. Perish the thought that Finland and the EU would take sides with Israel in her battle against evil, even if it is only with words which mark the enemy for what it is.
Russia, it should be noted, recently published its own list of 17 terrorist organizations. Neither Hamas nor Hezbollah were on the list.
There are now 10,000 brave troops in Lebanon and we are continuing to move, suffering some casualties as we go but inflicting many more. Israeli commandos went into the Hezbollah stronghold at Baalbek in eastern Lebanon early this morning and captured several Hezbollah fighters.
Olmert is now saying that we will keep fighting until an international force — made up of combat units — is in place in Lebanon. This is different from the vision of Sec. Rice. She has expressed expectation that there will be a UN resolution for a "sustainable" ceasefire that includes parameters for an international force — but with the ceasefire taking effect (perhaps with Israel holding the ground until the force arrives) as soon as that resolution is passed. Oh no, says Olmert: We will keep shooting until the force is on the ground — we will keep pushing Hezbollah back and clearing the ground for the force. And, he says, this has to be a fighting force prepared to implement UNSC Resolution 1559, which calls for disarming of Hezbollah and assisting the Lebanese army to take over in the south. I pray to heaven he means this and will stick with it, because this would give us a great deal more time.
If there were an iota of fairness in the international community they would be muttering words of gratitude for our willingness to keep doing the job, so that less falls to their troops (such as may volunteer for this mission). As it is, we will probably be branded as intransigent.
Charles Krauthammer understands the insanity of the world’s attitude towards us:
"What other country, when attacked in an unprovoked aggression across a recognized international frontier, is then put on a countdown clock by the world, given a limited time window in which to fight back, regardless of whether it has restored its own security?
"What other country sustains 1,500 indiscriminate rocket attacks into its cities — every one designed to kill, maim and terrorize civilians — and is then vilified by the world when it tries to destroy the enemy’s infrastructure and strongholds with precision-guided munitions that sometimes have the unintended but unavoidable consequence of collateral civilian death and suffering?
"Hearing the world pass judgment on the Israel-Hezbollah war as it unfolds is to live in an Orwellian moral universe."
One might add to this the fact that we are doing the UN’s job, as well. Resolution 1559 called for the disarming of militias, including Hezbollah. But never mind…
Olmert has also said (and should be serious about sticking with this) that there will be no trade for return of the kidnapped soldiers.
This touches upon some matters yet unresolved with regard to how the UNSC resolution will proceed and what "negotiations" may take place. For me the matter is quite clear: One does not give the aggressor something for stopping aggression — this simply motivates more aggression and allows the aggressor to claim victory. What we "give" is that we stop attacking them, and nothing more. To somehow allow that they must get something more is a huge mistake.
And yet, there is talk about our giving Shabaa Farms in the Golan to Lebanon. At the risk of being unduly repetitious, I will explain that in 2000 Israel pulled out of Lebanon, at which point the UN declared us as having withdrawn from all Lebanese territory to an international line. Subsequently Hezbollah, using this as a pretext for aggression, said Shabaa Farms was part of Lebanon and that we were still occupiers. The UN declared Shabaa Farms to be part of Syria. (The Golan, which we took from Syria in 1967, has been annexed and is considered part of Israel by us.)
There are several problems with giving this area to Lebanon now, as Sec. Rice has suggested we consider doing: This is a high point that has strategic value for surveillance. As well, giving it over would be to reward terrorism — allowing Hezbollah to say they received something and to make points with the Lebanese by declaring they have acted on their behalf. Then too, Caroline Glick, in her column yesterday, pointed out another reason that may be the most serious of all: It sets a precedent for always pulling back a little more even when it has been internationally acknowledged that we are at a recognized border. For example, we have withdrawn to the border of Gaza. But now suppose Hamas says that Sderot is really part of Gaza and we must relinquish that too. (This is not a far-fetched example!)
For a "flash" map that shows the launching of rockets from Lebanon into Israel, see:
We are enduring a day of heavy rocket attacks, with death and injury ensuing. Of great concern: an Iranian rocket for the first time landed in Samaria (West Bank), near Jenin.
What I understand at present is that cells of Hezbollah fighters are dug in and waiting for the Israeli for
ces, each cell operating fairly independently and not according to a major strategy. Olmert has said we’ve destroyed the infrastructure (communications, headquarters, etc.), and that now the rockets have to be taken out. This fits what I’m describing and could well be.
In the very same statement made by Olmert that I cited above was another comment: This war, he said, will create "new momentum" for Israel’s plan to separate from the Palestinians by withdrawing from Judea-Samaria. Well, I beg to differ with him there. The mood of the nation is moving solidly against any further withdrawals; we are not about to be burnt this way yet again, people are saying.
It is breathtaking for him to be mentioning this now. Not only in light of what we are dealing with in the north, but also because yesterday was the anniversary of the pullout from Gush Katif, and a time when the governmental failure to provide for the residents of that community was on bold display.
Not a huge surprise to those of us watching the situation, you understand, but still, his timing seems terribly off. This is perhaps a sign of the outrageous self-confidence he feels with regard to his ability to pull this off; or perhaps it is a way to set the tone for what he sees coming down the road.
I have been reticent on this matter in recent weeks. Perhaps too reticent. But it seemed to me that in the course of the war criticizing the prime minister was the wrong thing to do. Now I will criticize. The notion of more pullouts is insanity. Be certain, when this war is over, those of us opposed will fight his plan tooth and nail.
But let me end here with a way to do something positive. The community of Beit Shemesh has volunteered to take in many refugees from the north for the duration of the war. The non-profit social service agency Lema’an Achai has assumed responsibility for their care. 350 families are being housed in five local schools that have been opened for them; another 150 families are in private homes but being provided with food by Lema’an Achai. An additional 50-75 new people are coming daily — the community is prepared to receive up to 1,000.
The services provided for these refugees are being donated by volunteers; the schools are not charging for their use. But food, transportation, and other supplies such as baby diapers must be covered. Final estimated cost of this chesed venture is expected to be in the neighborhood of $300,000. They have nothing close yet.
I will personally vouch for this organization. It has a sterling record for responsible social service and has done a marvelous job for those expelled from Gush Katif.
Please! if you wish to help Israel now and can donate, consider doing so:
To send a check in shekels:
40/7 Nachal Lachish
Ramat Beit Shemesh
To send a check in American dollars (and receive a tax deduction):
American Friends of Lema’an Achai
PO Box 532, Oceanside, NY 11572-0532
To send a check in Canadian dollars (and receive a tax deduction):
Shaarei Tefilah Charity Fund
C/O Murray Shore, 31 Marvill Street
Toronto, Ontario, M3H 3L2
Mark checks clearly "For Lema’an Achai – Ramat Bet Shemesh"
For a secure credit card donation online: https://www.lemaanachai.org/donate/index.asp
This posting can be found at: https://www.arlenefromisrael.info/current-postings/2006/8/2/posted-august-2-2006.html