Israel the Land of My Possession. A digest of articles in the spirit of Calev Ben Yefunah and Yehoshua Ben Nun! Oloh Naaleh Veyarashnu Osah Ki Yachol Nuchal La! Bamidbar 13:30
26 Tamuz 5768
Tuesday, 29 July 2008
1. OBAMA'S CAMPAIGN: WHERE IS THE MONEY COMING FROM?
2. The Zionist Freedom Alliance: Pro-Israel Revolution on Campus - Arutz7 article (Pro Judea and Samaria as well!)3. The Covenant of Peace By Michelle Nevada - A must read
4. Yitzchak Herskovitz claims ownership to his property in spite of squatters and hundreds of thousands of shekels in legal fees, court expenses, investigation and expert research of their documents. by David Wilder
5. Sandra Oster Baras of the Shomron - a must see 5 minute utube video of a pioneer settler, lover of Zion and Eretz Yisroel in the Shomron. Unfortunately it is directed to Christian Friends of Israel Communities rather than Moetzes Gedolei Hatorah.
6. Interfaith dialog canceled. Anti-Darwinists turned away by Israeli academia - Hebrew Univ. (Pro Darwin means anti Creationism)
1. OBAMA'S CAMPAIGN: WHERE IS THE MONEY COMING FROM?
By MAUREEN DOWD
Published: June 29, 2008
OBAMA'S TROUBLING INTERNET FUND RAISING
Certainly the most interesting and potentially devastating phone call I have received during this election cycle came this week from one of the Obama's campaign internet geeks. These are the staffers who devised Obama's internet fund raising campaign which raised in the neighborhood of $200 million so far. That is more then twice the total funds raised by any candidate in history – and this was all from the internet campaign.
What I learned from this insider was shocking, but I guess we shouldn't be surprised that when it comes to fund raising there simply are no rules that can't be broken and no ethics that prevail.
Obama's internet campaign started out innocently enough with basic e-mail networking , lists saved from previous party campaigns and from supporters who visited any of the Obama campaign web sites.
Small contributions came in from these sources and the internet campaign staff were more than pleased by the results.
Then, about two months into the campaign the daily contribution intake multiplied. Where was it coming from? One of the web site security monitors began to notice the bulk of the contributions were clearly coming in from overseas internet service providers and at the rate and frequency of transmission it was clear these donations were "programmed" by a very sophisticated user.
While the security people were not able to track most of the sources due to firewalls and other blocking devices put on these contributions, they were able to collate the number of contributions that were coming in seemingly from individuals but the funds were from only a few credit card accounts and bank electronic funds transfers. The internet service providers (ISP) they were able to trace were from Saudi Arabia, Iran, and other Middle Eastern countries. One of the banks used for fund transfers was also located in Saudi Arabia.
Another concentrated group of donations was traced to a Chinese ISP with a similar pattern of limited credit card charges.
It became clear that these donations were very likely coming from sources other than American voters. This was discussed at length within the campaign and the decision was made that none of these donations violated campaign financing laws.
It was also decided that it was not the responsibility of the campaign to audit these millions of contributions as to the actual source (specific credit card number or bank transfer account numbers) to insure that none of these internet contributors exceeded the legal maximum donation on a cumulative basis of many small donations. They also found the record keeping was not complete enough to do it anyway.
This is a shocking revelation.
We have been concerned about the legality of "bundling" contributions after the recent exposure of illegal bundlers but now it appears we may have an even greater problem.
I guess we should have been somewhat suspicious when the numbers started to come out. We were told (no proof offered) that the Obama internet contributions were from $10.00 to $25.00 or so.
If the $200,000,000 is right, and the average contribution was $15.00, that would mean over 13 million individuals made contributions? That would also be 13 million contributions that would need to be processed. How did all that happen?
I believe the Obama campaign's internet fund raising needs a serious, in depth investigation and audit. It also appears the whole question of internet fund raising needs investigation by the legislature and perhaps new laws to insure it complies not only with the letter of these laws but the spirit as well.
2. The Zionist Freedom Alliance: Pro-Israel Revolution on Campushttp://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/126853#replies
Over the last couple of years, the Zionist Freedom Alliance (www.zfa.org.il) has been slowly taking American college campuses by storm with a message of Jewish rights not heard for many decades. Led by veteran IDF soldiers and activists in Israel, the ZFA presents Zionism to the youth as a revolutionary struggle for national liberation.
Can't see player? Click here for video of Israel Liberation Week on Hofstra Campus
Unlike most pro-Israel advocacy organizations that present Israel as a democracy or focus on the Jewish state's willingness to surrender territory, ZFA speaks of Israel as a Middle Eastern nation with a legitimate moral and historic right to its land.
"We tell young people about the fight for freedom from British rule," says ZFA leader Yehuda HaKohen. "And we explain how we are still fighting against nearly the entire world for our right to live freely in the whole of our country. Educating young people to the history of our struggle creates a paradigm shift in how they view our situation today. If people know two basic facts – that this really is our country and that we fought the British Empire to free it – their understanding of the Middle East conflict is revolutionized. Suddenly the Jewish people are the natives in the story and international pressure to shrink our borders is an act of Western imperialism against an indigenous population."
HaKohen currently lives in Jerusalem but grew up in New York City and often travels to the United States to organize ZFA activities. While some mainstream Jewish groups focus on Israel's security needs, HaKohen's message to campuses is one of Jewish rights. "We must make the world understand that the Jewish nation, like any other nation on the planet, has a right to self-determination in our country. Not in half of our country, but in our whole country. We have nothing against any other peoples, but the world today has no shortage of Arab states. 77% of Palestine (the territory east of the Jordan River) was made into an Arab state, and we are at least entitled to the remaining 23% that was left us by international law to be a Jewish state. No power on earth has the moral authority to rob us of our land."
HaKohen is no stranger to bold declarations, having repeated the same simple message on campuses across the United States and Canada. While other pro-Israel organizations attempt to rationalize or depreciate the stridently nationalistic aspects of Zionism in order to court the favor of high-profile skeptics and to make their message palatable to wealthy and influential benefactors, HaKohen says that his group has learned out of necessity to work on a shoestring budget rather than alter their message. ZFA activists take no pains in concealing their belief in the unequivocal right of the Jewish nation to the entire Land of Israel. And the movement puts forward this message in a clear and simple yet powerful language that resonates with young people across North American campuses.
The movement includes an eclectic mix of activists from various backgrounds. When asked what stream of Zionism (Religious, Socialist, Revisionist) they belong to, HaKohen calls the ZFA "Revolutionary Zionism".
"History is full of great revolutions. And although many of these revolutions have succeeded in impacting the future course of world history, all of them pale in comparison to the Zionist revolution," HaKohen argues. "Only the Zionist revolution aspires to ingather a scattered nation from the four corners of the earth, to revive a dead language to everyday use, to liberate a homeland from under a mighty world empire and to create a moral society that will serve as an example to the human race. Zionism is the greatest revolution in the history of man, and the ZFA sees it as our mission to drive the revolution forward."
Having been raised and educated in the West, many ZFA leaders are sensitive to the reality of the political culture that dominates American campuses. Therefore, the movement is careful not to align with "Right-wing" campus groups, and instead targets students active with the Left. HaKohen defends this position by arguing that "there is nothing 'Right-wing' or 'Conservative' about wanting to keep our homeland free from foreign rule. If we are truly the indigenous natives in the conflict, then our cause should really be championed by liberal students everywhere. Especially since the Bush administration that occupies Iraq and imposes a Patriot Act on the American people is the very same administration pushing to ethnically cleanse the Jewish people from portions of our homeland."
It is for this reason that ZFA avoids anti-Arab rhetoric and instead focuses its attacks on Western powers and global corporations who have special interests in forcing Israel to surrender land. The group defends this position by claiming that if the Arabs remained the security problem that they are but all international pressure would cease, Israel would immediately take the necessary measures to defend herself and ensure long term survival. But if the Arabs in Judea and Samaria would somehow disappear, the Western world would most likely find another excuse to shrink and weaken Israel. The true enemy of Zionism, according to the ZFA , is not radical Islam but globalization, which seeks to amalgamate continents into unified blocks and threatens Israel's existence as a small Jewish state situated in a mostly Arab region. ZFA activists argue this to be the true motivation behind international pressure on Israel to make concessions and that the eventual goal of Western governments is for Israel not to exist.
While this message has angered many American Jewish groups who tend to see Israel and America as allies in a global war against Islamic terrorism, it has actually earned the ZFA support from students who oppose globalization and America's War in Iraq. And it has neutralized anti-Israel voices who accuse "Zionists" of pushing America into a war that benefits Israel. In fact, most ZFA leaders oppose the Iraq War and see it as an aggressive act of neo-imperialism. And many of the students joining the ZFA today are young Jews who view themselves on the political Left. HaKohen attributes this support not only to his group's unique message, but also to their efforts to reach beyond the Jewish community.
Many ZFA programs, including the "Israel Liberation Week" event, is geared towards promoting Jewish rights on college campuses and educating the general student public to the justice of the Zionist struggle. "Israel Liberation Week" includes a hip hop concert (featuring Jewish and non-Jewish artists), speeches, information campaigns, historical films and an art exhibit honoring the Jewish underground fighters who were executed by the British administration during the struggle for Jewish statehood. By securing strong support from non-Jewish students on many campuses, the ZFA makes it socially acceptable and desirable for Jewish students to support the Zionist cause.
HaKohen believes that if young American liberals really understood the history and reality of events in the Middle East, they would naturally support Israel's rights to Judea and Samaria. The problem is that the anti-Israel propaganda and often even the pro-Israel propaganda have worked to present the Jewish state as a Western power occupying indigenous Arab natives. HaKohen argues that nothing can be further from the truth. "The Jewish nation is a Middle Eastern nation and the true native sons of our land. As a result of an injustice perpetrated against us by the Roman Empire, many of us suffered a long and difficult exile. But now we've come home. Israel is our country and like any other people we have a right to freedom in our country."
The ZFA chose a kafiyah (Middle Eastern head dress) with blue Jewish stars as a symbol of the Zionist revolution. The "Jewish kafiyah," as well as t-shirts and other items, will be available on the ZFA website later in July when they launch their online store.
The ZFA's cutting edge message and methods have proven successful in taking the wind out of anti-Israel sails. But the movement is small and has been unsuccessful at persuading more established Jewish groups to follow their revolutionary lead. Therefore, says HaKohen, the movement works slowly, one campus at a time, to promote the Zionist revolution as a politically correct struggle for social justice.
For more information, visit the ZFA online at http://www.zfa.org.il
|3. The Covenant of Peace By Michelle Nevada|
We read the parasha, and too often we are distracted from the main point of the story by our own internal monologue. We sit in the synagogue and we think, "Oh, here's that story. Pinchas. Right. The guy with the spear who killed some prostitute or something. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Pinchas was a bit hot headed. Moshe thought he was bad, G-d thought he was good. We know. OK, when does the Kiddush start." Let's be real. A lot of the time, the Parasha just doesn't seem to relate much to our lives. Except for right about now.
Right about now, just after beating my head against the wall about the prisoner swap and the stupidity of the Israeli government in agreeing to it, just after having my guts ripped out by the image of two black coffins where two young healthy men should have been, just after I hear the cheering of terrorist sympathizers and victory speeches by murderous arabs and their equally evil leaders, just about now I am thinking—where is Pinchas? What happened to THAT guy? Why can't we get him back right about now?
Normally, I would feel a little guilty for wishing that we had Pinchas in our midst. Every time I am there for the reading of Parashat Pichas, I hear some rabbi go on about how the single-mindedness of Pinchas was OK, but it wasn't the best course of action. I am told continually that we shouldn't be like Pinchas. After all, we are told, he was too zealous. Rabbis explain to us that he was passed over as the next leader in line after Moshe because of his actions, and the job went to Joshua instead. We are told that Pinchas just wasn't the type of person to lead a nation.
In order to further justify their teachings about Pinchas, the rabbis focus upon the argument that ensued after Pinchas killed Zimri and Kosbi. The people were divided over whether or not Pinchas was a hero or a murderer. The divide was so great, and the argument about Pinchas so heated, that G-d had to intervene:
The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: Pinchas the son of Eleazar the son of Aaron the kohen has turned My anger away from the children of Israel by his zealously avenging Me among them, so that I did not destroy the children of Israel because of My zeal. Therefore, say, "I hereby give him My covenant of peace. It shall be for him and for his descendants after him [as] an eternal covenant of kehunah, because he was zealous for his God and atoned for the children of Israel."
It's at that point that I think to myself, "Maybe it wasn't that Pinchas was too hot headed and too passionate to lead Israel-- maybe it was that we weren't hot headed and passionate enough to deserve him as our leader." Maybe we weren't worthy of a man like Pinchas.
Yes, Joshua got to lead the nation, but Pinchas got a Covenant with G-d--the Covenant of Peace, no less.
Why isn't this Covenant the important part of the story? Why don't we focus on the fact that there were very few Covenants made in Torah, and they were very serious moments in Jewish history. By my count, there were only four Covenants made with humanity in the Torah: the Covenant of Noah; the Covenant of Avraham; the Covenant of the Torah with B'nei Israel; and the Covenant with Pinchas, the Covenant of Peace.
Why isn't the Covenant of Peace as important for Jews to follow as the Covenant of Avraham? What is it about this Covenant that makes us so squeamish and so willing to forget that it even exists?
I sincerely believe that the Covenant of Peace was given to Pinchas because he was not willing to compromise. He knew what was right, and he knew what was wrong, and he wasn't going to try to find some middle ground. He acted upon his convictions. It wasn't like he didn't have any patience at all. He watched as the Moabite women were sent to Israel to seduce the men away from G-d. He witnessed the continuing downward spiral of the morality of B'nei Israel. He had seen how the people were being turned away from G-d, and he saw how those in charge were avoiding the problem rather than dealing with it—sitting in front of the tent of meeting weeping while the people of Israel began to drop from Plague.
While preserving a meaningless peace, inaction had chipped away at the foundations of Israel. Finally, Pinchas knew the time was right to stop looking the other way. He got his spear and solved the problem in one moment:
He went after the Israelite man into the chamber and drove [it through] both of them; the Israelite man, and the woman through her stomach, and the plague ceased from the children of Israel.
In performing a single act of selfless devotion to G-d and the rule of law, Pinchas saved the Jewish people from G-d's wrath. In choosing to kill, he saved countless lives.
I wish we had Pinchas now. I wish that Pinchas had been in the truck with the terrorist Kuntar when it was revealed that the bodies in the coffins were our young men.
But he wasn't.
We are still arguing about the need for action. We are still weeping before the tent of meeting and refusing to act. We are still maintaining a meaningless peace while Israel moves daily toward annihilation. Isn't it time we started to act like Pinchas, and became worthy of the Covenant of Peace?
July 17, 2008
The Talmud in the tractate Brachot teaches us that three prizes are obtained via hardship: Torah, the Next World, and Eretz Yisrael. Yitzhak Herskovitz has first-hand experience with the adversity involved in redeeming and settling Eretz Yisrael, the Land of Israel.
R' Yitzchak made aliyah over 20 years ago. A carpenter by trade, he remodeled the lift he used to transport his belongings to Israel into a wonderful home in Kiryat Arba. But a home outside Hebron wasn't enough to quench his thirst for settling our holy land. Back in 1988 he began proceedings to purchase a home in south Jerusalem, near Gilo, today called Givat HaMatos, bordering a neighborhood called by the Arabs, Beit Tsafafa.
The transaction took a few years to finalize but in 1992 he received the papers and the property was his.
Almost. But not quite.
That's because his new home had visitors who had no plans to leave. Arab squatters, the Salach clan had moved in and the new Jewish owner of the property didn't impress them. They stayed.
Yitzchak Herskovitz did what any good citizen would do. He went to the police and eventually to the courts. That's where the case has remained for the past sixteen years.
During the first Magistrate court proceedings, experts proved beyond any doubt that the papers presented by the Arabs, purporting to support their claims, to be forgeries. After years and years of court sessions, the judge ruled in Herskovitz' favor. An order was issued demanding that the police remove the illegal residents from the property. Over the years some seven eviction notices have been issued. But the Salach clan is still there. The police, despite the court order, refused to expel the illegal squatters.
Following Herskovitz' victory the Arabs appealed to a Jerusalem District Court, claiming that they owned the property. The judge decided not only to hear the appeal, but also to retry the case from the very beginning, forcing Herskovitz to keep paying an attorney and bring back all his past witnesses for a second round of court sessions.
Herskovitz' attorney, Ms. Anat Ben-Dror explained that the original court verdict did not rule on ownership of the property, rather regarded the case as an 'eviction hearing.' The Arabs, after losing the first case, then filed an 'ownership suit,' and the judge fell into the trap they set for him and began hearing the case for a second time.
Herskovitz pointed out that when the Arabs made a verbal claim of ownership twelve years ago, the Magistrate Court judge told them in no uncertain terms: 'if you claim ownership, file a claim in the District Court which has authority to rule on such an issue.' The fact that they did not follow the judge's instructions then basically proved that they themselves knew that they had no case.
Not too long ago R' Yitzchak won a small victory in court. The judge ruled that the Arabs would have to deposit all back rent as well as a monetary bond covering future costs, in order for him to cancel the eviction notice issued and still standing against them. However, as of this writing they still have not paid the money, and are still living in the house.
Yitzhak Herskovitz has himself authored a number of documents concerning his property:
" I spent 15 years of my life in court. I spent hundreds of thousands of shekels in legal fees, court expenses, investigation and expert research of their documents, which the police crime laboratory and my hand writing expert found to be fabricated. All of this just to pursue justice.
The police do not enforce the law when it comes to Arabs. Should I not be upset when I see and feel the injustice of this?
I understand that there are squatter's rights when they are legitimate. But when they are illegitimate, that person is a trespasser. A trespasser is a criminal. He should be put in jail so the public will know that trespassers go to jail.
I do not believe a person can fathom the pain of what trespassing does to me. The restraint that I bear goes beyond comprehension. I have been told by many not to trust the Israeli courts. I now understand why. It goes without saying: the courts and the government are responsible to protect the property rights of their citizens.
This is the primary function of the government. This is their duty and responsibility. They must provide for the safety and security of their citizens in Hebron, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem or in Beit HaShalom and in Givat Hamatos.
Many of my of my acquaintances and friends keep telling me: Sell it and forget it!
The best answer I can give is that I love my children, I love my family and I love my people. I want them to have a home that they can come home to. We cannot allow Arabs to occupy our homes and our properties, to steal and rob our Land from us.
I want to help guarantee the survival of Israel."
(This article was first printed in the Jewish Press Magazine, Page M8, July 18, 2008 issue)
5. Sondra Oster Baras of the Shomron - a must see utube. Unfortunately it is directed to Christian Friends of Israel Communities rather than Moetzes Gedolei Hatorah.
Israel Kaplan writes:
WHEN IT BECAME CLEAR TO THE COMMUNITIES OF GUSH KATIF THAT THE THEN GOVT. OF ISRAEL BY HOOK OR CROOK WOULD EXPELL THOSE HOLY JEWS FROM THEIR HOMES AND COMMUNITIES, WE TOOK IT UPON OURSELVES TO BRING THE MESSAGE TO THE SHORES OF THE DIASPORA. SO MUCH TIME, RESOURCES AND PAIN WENT INTO SAVING THEM AND AS IT TURNS OUT TODAY, SAVING THE REST OF THE COUNTRY UNTIL THOSE FINAL DAYS OF EXPULSION. VERY FEW LISTENED AND EVEN FEWER CARED TO LISTEN WHILE RESPONDING THAT WHILE IT LOOKS BAD, YOU WILL SEE THAT EVERYONE WILL BE COMPENSATED 10 FOLD AND THE ENTIRE COUNTRY WILL BENEFIT BY DIVESTING FROM GAZA. WELL HERE WE ARE A FEW YEARS LATER AND THE EXACT OPPOSITE IS THE RESULT. VERY FEW FROM GUSH KATIF WERE COMPENSATED AND KASSAM ROCKETS INTO CITIES HAVE BECOME THE NORM. THE LESSON OF GUSH KATIF MAY HAVE A SILVER LINING FOR THE REST OF THE SLEEPING JEWS OF THE WORLD BUT ONLY IF WE ARE PREPARED TO LISTEN AND ACT.
SO WE WILL BEGIN AGAIN AS WE DID BEFORE THE EXPULSION OF GUSH KATIF. LET US HOPE THAT THE YOUTUBE THAT YOU ARE ABOUT TO WATCH WILL SPRING YOU INTO ACTION. JUDEA AND SAMARIA ARE 200,000 JEWS, GUSH KATIF WAS 8,000.
Please watch this five minutes video prepared by an Israeli woman living in Samaria.
You may learn a few new things about the history and significance of this land.
Although the video is not touching on defense, I think you will clearly see how crucial it is for Israel,
particularly in view of recent events in Lebanon and Gaza.
Handing over Judea & Samaria means the certain demise of Israel!
Side Note from Robin Ticker: I once asked Herb Zweibon Chairman of Afsi why he does outreach to the Xtian Community regarding our entitlement of Israel, rather than convincing the Establishment Jewish Community. He answered it is very satisfying dealing with the Xtian Community. I understood from his answer the unspoken.
I answered him that unless all of Am Yisroel is worthy of the Land of Israel, it doesn't really matter if we manage to convince the Non Jewish world and all the members of Congress of our entitlement. If we as a nation reject our precious gift of Israel by giving her away without a protesty, if we act as if we do not desire the Land and the commandments that require the Land of Israel, than are we worthy of keeping her?
Why wasn't this video directed to Moetzes Gedolei Hatorah, the OU, the Young Israel and Chabad International who have not made a public statement protesting a 2 State Solution that was proposed in 2002.
This ynet story has been sent to you by Yakov Ticker
The people who canceled this are more worried about looking politically correct to atheist materialists than they are about finding a way to talk with Muslims and establishing a basis for peace between Israel and its neighbors.
Anti-Darwinists turned away by Israeli academia
Turkish scientists receive last minute cancellation from Hebrew University who fears Jewish-Muslim reconciliation conference may give stage to anti-Darwinist propaganda
A group of Muslim religious scholars arriving from Turkey to participate in a reconciliation conference at the Hebrew University claim that the head of the Social Sciences Faculty refused to greenlight the event, calling it off in short notice. Professor Boaz Shamir, Dean of Social Sciences explained his decision citing the lack of proper coordination between the Students' Union, which was in charge of organizing the event, and the faculty's secretariat.
The Turkish lecturers arriving from Istanbul on a joint initiative between the research and scientific foundation they represent and the Interfaith Encounter Association, were planning to speak at the two Jewish-Muslim conferences at the Hebrew University's campus on Mount Scopus and at Tel Aviv University.
The speakers planned to talk about uniting between the two religions and denouncing Islamic terror - but also against Darwin's theory about The Origin of Species.
But someone at the university must have not liked the idea of giving the stage to a foundation that is busy spreading Creationism, not to mention the foundation president's negation of Darwinism in his books. Hence the cancellation notification received by Prof. Shamir a mere few hours before the event.
'University maintains radical image of Islam'
The dean excused the cancellation by telling the organizers that the conference could not be held in the faculty's building at any time. Later on in the correspondence, the organizers explained that the Darwinist theory had mistakenly been added to the program and that there was no intention of addressing it in the conference, but Prof. Shamir insisted on not hosting the event.
The foundation criticized the event's cancellation, claiming that "the Hebrew University chooses to maintain the radical image of Islam and is preventing us from spreading a message of peace. We see this as an undemocratic way of handling ideas."
The Turkish scholar's friend, Ehud Tokatly, was shocked by the university's stance, especially in light of Israel's struggle against the academic boycott, saying the university should apologize to the lecturers who made it all the way from Turkey to attend the conference: "Where will there be freedom of opinion if not in academia? These are two serious scientists and not some religious Taliban preachers."
Kobi Nahshoni contributed to this report