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Monday, October 20, 2014

Israel's Universal Purpose

I'm returning to blogging--albeit sporadically--after a hiatus (since July) due to family issues which are taking all my attention and draining my energy. It's largely for this reason that I wish to blog about the good in this world.
Thus I start with positive thoughts of, and appreciation for, the special nature of the Jewish People and the State of Israel. For, at the risk of sounding arrogant, which I am not-I would venture to say, more in awe of- the State of Israel and the Jewish people collectively, who are different and special. What do I mean by that? I mean highly civilized, humanitarian and inventive with creations which benefit all mankind.

Not in any particular order, let me count (just a few of) the ways...

(1) Israel has developed a computer algorithm to retard aging.  Yes, you might say that Israel is in the forefront of finding the fountain of youth.  Most of us have heard or read that the older one gets, the less one should eat; we know that our metabolism slows down, but the mechanism for our cells' days being numbered was not fully understood, until recently. When the mitochondria in the cells, which are responsible for cell metabolism, become unstable, the cells lose energy and begin to die. When food intake is restricted, contrary to what one would think would happen, certain genes and enzymes are activated and deactivated in the mitochondria which make them stronger and increase energy output. Exercise also stimulates this anti-aging molecular process.
So where does Israel come in? In Tel-Aviv University's computer science division, there has been developed a way to predict which genes need to be turned off to create the same anti-aging effect as food restriction.  Their aim is to change the cells from a diseased, to a healthy state. I consider this a great boon to mankind, because without even needing to exercise, (a pet peeve of mine, exercise) we might actually be able to increase our life span.

(2) Bet you didn't know that IsraAid, the Israel humanitarian organization is helping the Yazidi and Christian refugees from the town of Kobani who are fleeing ISIS and heading into Iraq through Turkey. They are distributing mattresses, food and other supplies (photos courtesy of IsraAid).



(3) Israel is helping U.S veterans. My DH is a Vietnam Vet, so this actually has a double meaning for me. On the Heroes to Heroes journey, United States veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan are finding emotional healing from PTSD, by traveling around the country and meeting with wounded Israeli soldiers. Also, by visiting sites Holy to Christianity, the U.S.Christian soldiers find solace and meaning to their lives, and helps them to connect with a Higher Power, which they were unable to do in the States.  There is something about the Israeli soldiers' strong loyalty and connection to defending their own country, a country surrounded by enemies wanting to annihilate them; and their sense of community that inspires the American vets. As one soldier put it:
 “Being a combat veteran with PTSD, I try to find ways to deal with that, and faith is the biggest focus for me, as for probably the majority of the group,” says McBride, who served with the 82nd Airborne Division in 2003 in Iraq. “One of the biggest things I was hoping to get was a deeper understanding of my faith and to take that to the next level. Seeing holy sites, memorials and museums gives you deeper sense of purpose. There’s a holy aura here.”
Gibson explains that combat often triggers a spiritual crisis as soldiers try to reconcile their beliefs with the things they witness. For him, Heroes to Heroes “gave me some closure and reintroduction to where I came from. It showed me the way Israel treats its veterans and takes care of them, and pointed to some areas in our own system where we could do better to nurture these guys emotionally and physically.”
                                                                      
                     US vets Anthony and James laying a wreath at Latrun war memorial. Photo by Judy Schaffer


 (4)  Did you read about the severe snowstorm which blasted northern Nepal, and killed 33 trekkers in the Himalayas including four Israelis? Just today I read a news article in the Wall Street Journal, about a rescue effort which saved hundreds of the hikers (including 200-250 Israeli trekkers), which was started by a Hebrew hand-delivered note to 3 Israeli trekkers who were able to call the Israeli Embassy in Katmandu.  The efforts were greatly helped by Rabbi Yehezkel Lifshitz, the Chabad Rabbi there, who contacted trekking agencies and other embassies to help. From the article:
“There are Israelis trapped in the tea shop at the pass,” Rotem Snir, a woman trekker, wrote in Hebrew on a piece of notebook paper. “Lives in danger. Help us. Thank you.”
A Nepali porter took the note and headed on horseback for a camp the adventurers had passed on their ascent toward Thorong La, a mountain pass nearly 18,000 feet above sea level. He managed to deliver the SOS to three Israeli trekkers, who called the Israeli Embassy in Katmandu.
These are just a few of the stories about Israel--not even mentioning here any more of Israel's advances in medical technology which are revolutionizing medical research and patient care--that show me what a globally concerned, caring, humanitarian people we are.

How can a serious, informed person join a BDS movement? How can a rational person question the existence of a country such as this? The tiny State of Israel has, astonishingly, done more than many other countries to make the world a better place in which to live.

Proud to be a Jew, and to have a country such as Israel...



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Friday, July 25, 2014

The Difference Between THEM, and US

No need for more words. We strive to overcome, we build, we create, we live:  This is who we are:




...and this is who our partners for peace are:



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Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Lowest of the Low: Who We're Really Dealing With (Warning: Extremely Graphic Photo)

So many blog posts have been written about this Gaza operation, Protective Edge, the response to the incessant rockets raining over the heads of Israeli civilians that I didn't add another one.  I listen to NPR reports which are all slanted against Israel, decrying the "disproportionate" number of Gazans killed versus the much smaller number (thank G-d) of Israelis killed.  The world is railing against Israel for killing "innocent" civilians.
 But in fact, they are not "innocent civilians": by an overwhelming majority in a democratic election they voted in the bloody Jew-hating terrorist group Hamas into government.

Those who do not leave, after being warned by telephone calls (telephone calls!) from Israel and leaflets dropped from planes to flee or be in the line of fire, are no different than Hamas. They've made their choice, and chose their sides.

And yet, everyone posted about this. I didn't. There was no need for me to. 

Until now.  I know the Arab culture is depraved--forget the term "moral compass" - they are depraved. They don't know what morality is.
But I was shocked to see the level of depravity when I saw this on Facebook and then on Israel Matzav. Do you recognize it?



In case you don't, it is the photo of the Fogel family massacre in Itamar from March 2011. It is being used as pro-Palestinian propaganda, that this is what supposedly was found in a Gaza house whose occupants were murdered by Israeli troops.  It is an outright LIE.  It is actually a photo of some of the Fogel family members, massacred in their sleep (including their 3-month old baby, Hadas, not shown here).  The original video (removed by YouTube and Facebook) was embedded on Israel Matzav's blog in 2011.

Watch it. You need to know what depraved sub-humans we are dealing with. They are lower than animals. Animals are not barbaric: they kill to eat. Hamas and its supporters kill because they like to.

And that is why I am for Moshe Feiglin's long-term plan as a solution to the problem with Gaza.  And I think he's being too kind.

We should give Hamas and their supporters exactly what they love: Death.  Gaza needs to be flattened, and then annexed as part of sovereign Israel.  Then the rockets will stop.

The end.



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Thursday, July 10, 2014

Song Enabling Children to Cope with "Code Red" Rocket Warnings

You've probably been reading dozens of stories and articles about the ongoing Israeli offensive (finally!) into Gaza to stop the rockets raining over the heads of their countrymen, women and children. Perhaps you've read other bloggers live-blogging the war (like The Muqata. Find him on Facebook).

Here's something you may not have seen. An incredibly astute preschool teacher wrote a song to help children cope with constant "tzeva adom" sirens* (literally, "color red," translated into "code red"). By singing, using their bodies and hand motions, the children create for themselves a plan of action, execution of that action, and then when it's over, release. Here it is below.



*The Code Red early warning radar system was initially called "Shachar Adom," which means "Red Dawn." The name was changed in 2006 when it was discovered that kids named "Shachar" were having "emotional distress.



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Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Is Our President Anti-Israel? You Decide...

This positive piece about our president's "support for Israel" was written by Haim Saban and published in the New York Times before Mr. Obama was elected for his second term.

Here is a video from the Israel Video Network showing the opposite. There may be some truths to both of them...but I'm leaning towards the video.




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Monday, June 30, 2014

Devastated and Grieving...

By now everyone knows: the three kidnapped boys,two aged 16 and one age 19, were found, murdered.  They were murdered because they were Jews. Does that remind you of anything? Remember the Holocaust? Remember the murders of the Jewish teacher and his children in France? How about the murders and suicide bombers of Jews in Israel. Here's a random sampling:  Sbarro Pizza and the Moment Cafe in Jerusalem, baby Shalhevet Pass murdered, shot in the head. A few of many. I haven't even mentioned the suicide bus bombings. The Cafe Hillel bombing memorial video is below. (Warning: graphic content.).




Yes, Hamas is no different than ISIS:

The murder of three teenagers should make the new Palestinian government a pariah, Israel's Intelligence Minister argues

A senior Israeli government official likened Hamas to the brutal fighters sowing chaos in Iraq on Monday and said there can be no dealing with a Palestinian government that includes the group, just hours after three Israeli teenagers believed to have been kidnapped by Hamas were found dead.

I am ending this post with a frank, correct assessment of the "partners for peace" which we DON'T have. This comment was written by someone (who shall remain nameless) on someone else's Facebook page.
"I haven't, nor will I, read all the comments. I will simply say this: they...and I don't give a damn WHO you call "they"...want. Us. DEAD. Period. They don't want "peace". They don't want a "state" (they could have had that...and they GOT Jordan (which was part of the British Mandate's Palestine)...they. Want. Us. Dead. And until you Obama-apologist, bleeding-heart, empty-headed, self-loathing morons get that, our young will continue to die.

We have negotiated. We have given "land for peace". We have signed peace agreements. And we've got nothing but dead Jews in return. Time to fight fire with fire.

They want 1000 terrorists for 1 Jew? No problem. We want the same. Take 3000 of them and blow their heads off. No prison. No exchanges. Dead. Good bye. Now, we're even. Now, we can talk. You shoot rockets at us?? Ok. We'll blow up 5 city blocks of Gaza per rocket.

"Innocent civilians"?? Not if you harbor terrorists, you're not. You suffer them to live among you; you voted Hamas in to power: you're no longer "innocent". Die, like the scum you are.

This is a war unto the death,______, And if you can't see that, I suggest you get on an airplane, go to Gaza, and try to hug one of the Palestinians you love more than your own people. Then, as you breathe your last, you can say, "but I love you". And we'll avenge you, too, one-thousand fold."

Now. I'm told that taking a human life is "reprehensible and never encouraged, unless under the strictest mitigating circumstances" and I agree. These are mitigating circumstances. When Israel has a true partner for peace, there will be peace. Until then, the gloves must come off, and we have to fight fire with fire. They want us dead. They don't want peace. If they did want peace, we'd already have peace.

Agreed.



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Friday, June 27, 2014

The United Nations: United in Israel Hatred

The United Nations, an antisemitic farce of an organization, is definitely united, in ignoring human rights violations by so-called Palestinians and instead, vociferously blaming Israel for--you name it: disproportionate force, apartheid, arresting Palestinians - whatever they can, while minimizing or ignoring the kidnapping of three Israeli teenagers.  Watch and listen at 2:00 when it is said that the boys might have 'gone on holiday.'
A plague on all their houses.




But I want to end on a positive note, and that is, two suspects in the kidnapping have been named and their photos circulated. May they be caught quickly and dealt with severely, and may the three kidnapped boys be found safe and sound, and returned to their families.

Shabbat shalom, and Chodesh Tammuz tov.

                                                                           




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Thursday, June 26, 2014

Intelligence Speaks Up

In my previous post I alerted you, my readers, to an incident that happened which could have impacted the Baby K'tan company severely, but thanks to intelligent people, has had a positive effect instead, by bringing thousands of people to its website, viewing the company information and its products, and writing wonderful praises of its quality products and outstanding customer service.
The incident, a lie about the company being "racist" was spread through social media, specifically Twitter, apparently  by people with brains of only 140 character thoughts. I stated in my last post that the allegation smacked of paranoia and  projection by the self-conscious who read meanings into a photo, meanings which aren't there, very reminiscent of the Salem Witch Trials of the late 1600s (thank G-d nobody's been hanged.). In fact, it is so similar in its means and speed of communication band-wagon-jumping that I must quote from Wikipedia:

The episode is one of the nation's most notorious cases of mass hysteria, and has been used in political rhetoric and popular literature as a vivid cautionary tale about the dangers of isolationism, religious extremism, false accusations and lapses in due process

Last night I came across a blog called MommyNoire in which they post beautifully about this allegation as poppycock.  After you click on the link and read the article, watch the video below. In it, a Black man with the courage to tell it like it is speaks to the Black commentary via a vlog called TheAdviseShowTV.  He reiterates exactly what I wrote in my previous post: African Americans are the only ones who can change their society. It's their responsibility to educate themselves and  raise their children to value family and fatherhood.  This has nothing whatsoever to do with a photo on a box.



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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Hazards of Social Media: A Lie is a Lie

Why is it that when we see something written on some site on the World Wide Web, we have a tendency to take it as true (or as a Christian might say, as "gospel")? In truth, what can happen--and often does--is that a huge lie is perpetrated and spread over the internet.  And once it's 'out there,' it's very hard to counter it or take it back.
This is what happened two days ago to my daughter's company, Baby K'tan, whose main product is baby-wearing carriers. Someone didn't like a photo on one of the Baby Ktan boxes, judged it as depicting "single Black mothers" as opposed to 'married White mothers' and attacked the company as "racist." That extremely false allegation was tweeted and re-tweeted with photos thousands of times. The company was inundated with negative and  hate phone calls and hundreds of negative emails. It was an onslaught of hatred; but really, it was an onslaught of utter stupidity and lack of fact-checking. The photo of the Black woman was missing a male figure, indicating (to this person's twisted mind) that Blacks had 'broken families' with no male presence; that Black women had their babies out of wedlock. Below are the photos of the two boxes, next to each other.

 This could not be further from the truth.  Not only does this company have a diverse staff, but since it was founded by two families because of their special needs children, they were very aware of discrimination by others. Their policy has always been to celebrate diversity and depict different cultures in their ads. If the person who began this campaign of hatred had checked, these were only two of the many box designs of the company. Many other boxes depicted single White women. What was their interpretation of those photos? Oh, wait, they didn't look for other boxes, nor did they call the company about it. And it seems to me that if a company were racist, they wouldn't bother photographing African American models, would they...?!

This was basically a campaign by unintelligent people with nothing better to do with their time. The truth doesn't matter. Just scream it out as loudly as you can, market it to the nines in social media--and everybody will start to say, 'well, if they're so outraged about it, it MUST be true, right?'

Use your head, people! Research something before you spew out lies which will go viral. And you followers, don't necessarily believe what you hear. Do your own research, and learn to think for yourselves.

 Here is Baby K'tan's response posted here in full. You can go to their Facebook page to see it.


STATEMENT FROM BABY K’TAN RE: BASELESS RACISM CLAIMS


A misleading photo circulating the Internet has spurred completely baseless allegations of racism, taking the models on our packaging out of context.  The photo in question shows two of our several packages, representing but a sample of our full line:
a Caucasian/Hispanic couple using our baby carrier, and an African American woman using our baby carrier.  Other Baby K’tan packaging currently in the marketplace portrays various mothers or caregivers holding their baby in our carrier.

Since Baby K’tan was founded in 2007, our mission is to provide great baby products for parents and caregivers all over the world. Our employee base and customers are diverse, and our company has prospered because of our focus on quality products and diversity and inclusion.
Frankly, it’s insulting that some choose to infer that an African American woman alone with a baby is automatically a single mother – that itself is a form of racism that has no place in our company whatsoever.
We wholeheartedly reject these false and unfounded claims of racism, and we will continue to showcase a variety of loving caregivers utilizing our nurturing and simple to use baby products.
We are a small company, founded by necessity when our own children with special needs required a carrier with more support.  To even suggest that we meant anyone any harm is both shocking and hurtful, and against everything we believe in as inclusive and caring business owners.
 You know the Shakespearean expression used as a figure of speech (often corrupted), taken from Hamlet: "The lady doth protest too much, methinks"? I believe it applies here.  The viewer of that photo on the Baby K'tan box was actually not reflecting what he or she thought Baby K'tan did; he was expressing his own doubts, and his own guilt. Psychologists might call it "projection."

 I have an idea: you feel that too many Black families are fatherless?That there are too many single Black mothers? So educate your people, raise your kids to respect fatherhood , to understand how important a father figure is, and to value the family. But don't project your feelings and blame the other guy for your shortcomings. Step up to the plate and be responsible for your own lives.



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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

A Brave Voice of Clarity is Gone: Farewell Fouad Ajami...


 s

Whenever I picked up our Wall Street Journal and saw an op-ed piece by Fouad Ajami, I read it first-- because I knew that he would have the most realistic, tell-it-like-it-is-insightful take on whatever was happening in the Middle East.
 He was spot-on in his assessment of the so-called Arab Spring, Arab culture and the Arab mentality.  It was all the more incredible because Mr. Ajami was a Shiite Arab, born in Lebanon, whose family originated in Iran and emigrated to Lebanon in the 1850s, who changed his entire way of thinking about the Middle East conflict between the Arabs and Israel when reality hit him in the face--and he recognized it, and was not afraid to state it outright. From TheWall Street Journal:
"I was formed by an amorphous Arab nationalist sensibility," he wrote in his 1998 masterpiece, "The Dream Palace of the Arabs." He came to the U.S. for college and graduate school, became a U.S. citizen, and first made his political mark as an advocate for Palestinian nationalism. For those who knew Ajami mainly as a consistent advocate of Saddam Hussein's ouster, it's worth watching a YouTube snippet of his 1978 debate with Benjamin Netanyahu, in which Ajami makes the now-standard case against Israeli iniquity.

 He believed in recent years that the American foreign policy was a dismal failure, and he blamed the current breakdown of Iraq and incursion of ISIS squarely on president Obama's incompetance:
"Two men bear direct responsibility for the mayhem engulfing Iraq: Barack Obama and Nouri al-Maliki," he wrote. Ajami believed Obama had failed in his professed duty to provide global leadership: "Today, with his unwillingness to use U.S. military force to save Syrian children or even to pull Iraq back from the brink of civil war, the erstwhile leader of the Free World is choosing, yet again, to look the other way."

So it was with great shock and sadness that I read today in the Wall Street Journal about his death yesterday from cancer, at age 68. 
He was a crystal bell of clarity on the reality of the Middle East, Western understanding (and lack of it) of the region, culture and politics, a seeker of truth and unafraid to state his opinions no matter how unpopular they were among his own people. He" told it like it is..."

 Mr. Ajami, farewell...I, for one, will miss you.



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