Thursday, July 17, 2008

5769..10.14 Israel the Land of My Possession. Shabak chief slams Olmert's plan to Release Prisoners, Paul Eidelberg, Shemittah, Yosef ben Shlomo Hakohen, Ruth and Nadia Matar, Book about Rabbi Kahana,


14 Tammuz 5768
Thursday, July 17, 2008

1. Former ISS (Shabak) section chief Menachem Landau slams PM Olmert's plans to
release more prisoners Dr. Aaron Lerner  13 July 2008

2. Israel concerned Hizbullah will attack after prisoner swap

3. Needed A Jewish State in Israel - Paul Eidelberg

4. It is time to Proudly Raise the Flag - by Ruth and Nadia Matar - (The true heroines of our day) Shdema update.

5."Rabbi Meir Kahane: His Life and Thought " by Libby Kahane.mpg - 4 min - Jul 9, 2008. Silence of Jewish Establishment again in our time.

Well worth the five minutes...

6. Dvar Torah Bnos Tzlefchad by Rabby Binyamin Walfish

7. Edted transcript of the Eidelberg Report, Israel National Radio, July 14, 2008.

8.  1,225 hits on Temple Mount petition .


1. Former ISS (Shabak) section chief Menachem Landau slams PM Olmert's plans to
release more prisoners Dr. Aaron Lerner  13 July 2008

Former ISS (Shabak) section chief Menachem Landau slams PM Olmert's plans to
release more prisoners
Dr. Aaron Lerner  13 July 2008

Former ISS (Shabak) section chief Menachem Landau slammed PM Ehud Olmert's
plans to release more Palestinian prisoners as a goodwill gesture to PA head
Mahmoud Abbas in a live interview broadcast on Israel Radio's afternoon news
magazine today

Landau noted that, in retrospect, the many previous releases of Palestinian
prisoners failed to significantly improve the standing of Palestinian
leaders but instead served to bolster the manpower of forces that act
against Israel. He also related the frustration that Israeli security forces
feel when they see that after expending tremendous efforts around the clock
to capture terrorists that they are released in gestures.

Olmert: Israel to free more prisoners
Jul. 13, 2008 Herb Keinon and AP , THE JERUSALEM POST

Israel will release more Palestinian prisoners as a goodwill gesture to the
Palestinian Authority, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert promised PA President
Mahmoud Abbas during a meeting in Paris on Sunday.

The identity and number of prisoners to be freed were not discussed, nor was
a timetable for the release.

Olmert's spokesman Mark Regev said that the prime minister "agreed in
principle" to a release, as a "gesture" to Abbas.

Israel Radio reported that Abbas said Israel's release of Palestinian bodies
in the prisoner swap deal with Hizbullah undermined him.

Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said the prisoners Abbas was demanding
were mainly those sentenced before the Oslo Accords. He said Abbas also
asked Olmert to reopen the Nablus institutions shut down by the IDF in the
recent crackdown against Hamas, including a shopping mall Israel believed
was funding Hamas activities. Erekat told Voice of Palestine Radio that the
two leaders would meet again on Sunday night.

Earlier Sunday, at the outset of his meeting with French President Nicolas
Sarkozy and Abbas, Olmert said that Israel and the Palestinians had "never
been as close" to a peace deal than today.

Olmert said the time would soon arrive when both the Palestinians and
Israelis would have to make critical decisions.

Olmert praised the meeting which he said was characterized by an atmosphere
of "dialogue."

He stressed that Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations remained at the top
of Israel's agenda, while he hoped to start direct talks with Syria "soon."

Sarkozy, during a trilateral statement, said he wanted to see greater French
and European Union involvement in the Middle East peace process.

Olmert said he was very moved by the French initiative and that he welcomed
the partnership of Sarkozy in the diplomatic process.

Abbas said he hoped an Israeli-Palestinian agreement could be wrapped up in
the coming months.

Sarkozy, who looked extremely pleased to be flanked by Olmert and Abbas at
the center of the world stage, said it was "a historic day" for all of the
Arab leaders and the Israeli leadership to be sitting around the same table
at the Mediterranean conference in the French capital.

The French president was obviously reveling in the spotlight and after the
press conference, waded into the waiting French press to give a briefing on
the talks.

Sarkozy told the reporters that the release of captured IDF soldier Gilad
Schalit was a key to negotiations and that he had brought up the issue
during talks with Syrian President Bashar Assad in the belief that the
Syrian president could exert pressure on Hamas's Damascus-based leader
Khaled Mashaal.

He also said he had brought a "message of peace from" Assad to Olmert.

Sarkozy said direct talks between Israel and Syria would likely begin after
the new US administration was sworn in but stressed that France would try to
expedite the process.

Olmert, by contrast, seemed to be avoiding the Israeli press and had not
scheduled a briefing with the traveling reporters as is generally the case
on state trips abroad.

Olmert also met Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and thanked him
for his mediation efforts in the Israel-Syria negotiation.

Meanwhile, as Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni addressed the gathering foreign
ministers in Paris, her Syrian counterpart, Walid Moallem, walked out of the
hall before her speech.

Livni said the Israeli-Palestinian conflict need not be an obstacle to
cooperation between countries in the region.

2. Israel concerned Hizbullah will attack after prisoner swap

Jul. 14, 2008 Yaakov Katz , THE JERUSALEM POST

Fears have mounted in Israel that Hizbullah may try to carry out an attack
along the northern border following the prisoner swap for abducted
reservists Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser scheduled for later this week,
The Jerusalem Post has learned.

According to estimates, Hizbullah may use the period following the swap as
an opportunity to "change the rules" along the border and particularly
inside towns located close to the border fence. Recent interviews of
Hizbullah leaders, as well as articles by reporters associated with the
terrorist group, have hinted that Hizbullah is planning such an attack.

As a result, the IDF has raised its level of vigilance along the northern
border. The army is preparing for the possibility that after two years of
relative quiet since the Second Lebanon War, Hizbullah will try to kidnap
soldiers or even infiltrate Israel and raid a border town.

Since the 2006 war, there have been two incidents of rockets being fired at
the North - once in Kiryat Shmona and once in Shlomi - but both attacks were
attributed to Global Jihad elements and not Hizbullah.

Estimates in the defense establishment are that even following the swap,
Hizbullah will still have many excuses to attack Israel, including the
revenge it has said it would like to exact for the February assassination of
its military commander Imad Mughniyeh, which it has attributed to Israel.
Defense officials have said in the past that if Hizbullah retaliates abroad,
the violence will likely reach the Israeli-Lebanese border.

Israel is also concerned that from its new position in the Lebanese
government, Hizbullah may try to block the upcoming renewal of the mandate
of the United Nations peacekeeping force in southern Lebanon.

UNIFIL's mandate is up for renewal in August, and the IDF is concerned that
with veto power in the Lebanese cabinet, Hizbullah will be able to prevent

Despite the concerns, senior IDF officers told The Jerusalem Post that while
there might be delays in the mandate's renewal, Hizbullah was not likely to
challenge the international community by vetoing it.

"Hizbullah will ultimately not want to defy the entire international
community," one officer said.

Still, the feeling in the IDF is that UNIFIL is not completely implementing
UN Security Council Resolution 1701, which ended the Second Lebanon War and
calls for the disarming of Hizbullah.

A senior officer told the Post last week that Hizbullah had set up positions
inside Shi'ite villages in southern Lebanon where UNIFIL could not operate
freely without being accompanied by the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF), whose
soldiers would usually tip off Hizbullah before a raid. Israel is also
concerned with the continued smuggling of weapons to Hizbullah and via the
Syrian-Lebanese border.

"The LAF is two-thirds Shi'ite and will not challenge Hizbullah," the senior
officer said.

But despite the disappointment with UNIFIL, the officer said Israel
preferred that the force remain in Lebanon.

"The IDF has not given up on UNIFIL," the officer said. "The alternative
without them is much worse, but we still expect that the force does more."

As an example, the officer revealed that UNIFIL recently constructed a
security fence north of the split city of Ghajar, half of which sits on the
Israeli side of the Blue Line international border and the other half on the
Lebanese side. In addition to constructing a fence, UNIFIL regularly patrols
the area and has prevented hostile elements from entering the village, the
officer said.

"UNIFIL does have some successes," the officer said. "We do, however, still
expect that they do more."

3. Needed A Jewish State in Israel - Paul Eidelberg

Paul Eidelberg writes:  let me offer five measures required to obtain an efficient as well as authentic Jewish

(1) Replace multi-party cabinet government with a presidential
system, one that excludes Knesset members from the cabinet.

(2) Introduce constituency or multi-district elections to make
Knesset members individually accountable to the voters.

(3) Enforce Basic Law: The Knesset, which prohibits any party that
negates the Jewish character of the state.

(4) Democratize the mode of electing the Supreme Court, now a
self-perpetuating oligarchy/

(5) Introduce serious Jewish studies in the public school curriculum.

That's right: we need a Jewish state in Israel.

3. Shemittah article printed with permission. Mr. Yosef Ben Shlomo HaKohen

In a message dated 7/10/2008 7:02:36 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time, writes:
Radical Sabbath of the Land

copyright (c) 2008 by Mr. Yosef Ben Shlomo HaKohen

"Hazon: Our Universal Vision"

"My Search for the Soul of Zion" Series, Essay #7

         Excerpt:  "During the early days of the State of Israel, there was a beloved sage, Rabbi Yosef Shlomo Kahaneman, who was the founder and head of the Ponivez Yeshiva in Bnei Brak.  Rabbi Kahaneman was aware of the difficulties facing those farmers who were striving to fully observe the Shmittah.  On the eve of the Sabbatical Year, this sage traveled to Kibbutz Chafetz Chaim, a religious kibbutz affiliated with Poelei Agudath Israel which was keeping the Shmittah laws....Rabbi Kahaneman desired to strengthen the spirit of the farmers, and he spoke to them about the holiness of this 'Shabbos for HaShem' -- a holiness which permeates each plant and each 'boimelah' (an affectionate Yiddish term for a tree).  As the Shmittah year was about to begin, he suggested that every farmer go over and wish a tree, 'Good Shabbos, boimelah!'  He himself then kissed the earth and wished it a 'Good Shabbos'!".

         Reprint Notice:  Permission granted to redistribute this R&B Information Services item through email Lists, and to post on Internet web sites, as long as text & title are not modified.  Source (R&B Information Services) and author's copyright must be displayed.

YERUSHALIYIM, Israelite Tribal Territories of Judah and Benjamin, Kingdom of David and Solomon, United Israelite Kingdom of Judah and Joseph, Eighth Day ("Tammuz"), (Shmittah/Sabbatical Year) 5768; Erev Shabbat (Eve of the Sabbath), Yom Shishi (Sixth Day of Week/"Fri"-day, July 11, 2008), Root & Branch Information Services [ ] [ ]:

        Dear Friends,

        Among the mitzvos which we are to specifically fulfill in the Land of Zion is the following land-related mitzvah regarding Shmittah -- the Sabbatical Year:

         "Six years shall you sow your land and gather in its produce.  But in the seventh year, you shall let it go and abandon it, and the needy of your People shall eat, and the wildlife of the field shall eat what is left; so shall you do to your vineyard and your olive grove".

        [ Shemot/Exodus 23:10-11]

Maimonides, in his classical work, "The Book of the Mitzvos", discusses the above mitzvah, and he writes:

         "By this injunction, we are given a mandate to renounce as ownerless all produce of the land in the Shmittah Year, and to permit anybody to take what grows in our fields".

        [ Mitzvah 134]

Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch discusses the above verse in his biblical commentary, and he writes:

         "By observing the mitzvah of Shmittah, an entire nation proclaims before the world that its land belongs to God and that He is the land’s one, sole true Master.  In the seventh year, the nation refrains from exercising its rights of ownership and humbly returns its land to the Master of all the earth.  By doing so, the people acknowledge that they are strangers and sojourners on their own land, dwelling on it only by the grace of the Owner.  Then the arrogance that causes people, secure in their own land, to become callous and harsh in dealing with those without property, melts away, yielding place to love and kindness toward the stranger and the poor.  Even the wild animals, as God’s creatures, are considered endowed with rights on God’s earth, on which all are to dwell together".

        [ Commentary on Exodus 23:10-11]

A related mitzvah is the Divine mandate to desist from cultivating the land during the Shmittah Year.  The source for this second mitzvah is found in the following verses where HaShem, the Compassionate and Life-Giving One, speaks to Moses about the Shabbos -- Sabbath -- for the Land:

         "Speak to the Children of Israel and say to them:  When you come into the Land that I will give you, the Land shall observe a Shabbos for HaShem.  For six years you may sow your field and for six years you may prune your vineyard; and you may gather in its crop.  But the seventh year shall be a complete rest for the Land, a Shabbos for HaShem; your field you shall not sow and your vineyard you shall not prune".

        [ Vayikra/Leviticus 25:1-4]

Through this mitzvah, states the Talmud, HaShem is telling Israel:

         "Sow for six years and let go of the Land in the seventh year in order that you know that the Land is Mine".

        [ Babylonian Talmud/Tractate Sanhedrin 39a]

It is written, "The Land is Mine, for you are strangers and sojourners with Me" [Vayikra/Leviticus 25:23].  With these words, say our sages, HaShem is conveying the following paradoxical message:  "When it is Mine, then it will be yours" (Sifra).

When we acknowledge that the Land belongs to the Creator, then the Creator gives us the right to live in the Land and to serve as its custodians.  To serve as the custodians of the earth was the original Divine mandate given to humankind, as the Torah states that the human being was placed in the Garden of Eden "to serve it and protect it" [Bereshit/Genesis 2:15].

Today, a growing number of farmers in the Land of Israel are fervently fulfilling the sacred principles and laws of the Shmittah Year.  Through their observance of this mitzvah which causes them to give up their control over the Land, they are proclaiming, "To HaShem belongs the earth and its fullness, the inhabited land and those who dwell in it" [Tehillim/Psalm 24:1].

During the early days of the State of Israel, there was a beloved sage, Rabbi Yosef Shlomo Kahaneman, who was the founder and head of the Ponivez Yeshiva in Bnei Brak.  Rabbi Kahaneman was aware of the difficulties facing those farmers who were striving to fully observe the Shmittah.  On the eve of the Sabbatical Year, this sage traveled to Kibbutz Chafetz Chaim, a religious kibbutz affiliated with Poelei Agudath Israel which was keeping the Shmittah laws.

Rabbi Kahaneman desired to strengthen the spirit of the farmers, and he spoke to them about the holiness of this "Shabbos for HaShem" -- a holiness which permeates each plant and each "boimelah" (an affectionate Yiddish term for a tree).  As the Shmittah year was about to begin, he suggested that every farmer go over and wish a tree, "Good Shabbos, boimelah!"  He himself then kissed the earth and wished it a "Good Shabbos"!

Have a Good and Sweet Shabbos.

Shabbat Shalom from Yerushaliyim,

Mr. Yosef Ben Shlomo Hakohen

Advisory Board Member, Ecology Fellowship, Root & Branch Association, Ltd.
Advisory Board Member, Social Welfare Fellowship, Root & Branch Association, Ltd.
Author, "The Universal Jew" (Feldheim Publishers)
Editor, "Hazon: Our Universal Vision"

Related Teachings:

1.      This year is a Shmittah Year in the Land of Zion.  During the previous Shmittah Year, for the first time in the history of the State of Israel, the grounds of the Knesset -- Israel's parliament -- were managed according to the laws of Shmittah.  The Jerusalem Municipality also observed the Shmittah laws in the city's parks.  Although some of the secular city council members were critical of this practice, council member Anat Hoffman from "Meretz", a secular leftist party, endorsed the observance of the Shmittah Year.  She praised the city’s efforts to observe the Shimittah laws as illustrating respect for both Judaism and the environment.

2.      The story about Rabbi Kahaneman appears in the book "Builders" by Chanoch Teller.  This book is distributed by Feldheim Publishers: .

3.      Many of the farmers who observe Shmittah find that the year of "Shabbos for HaShem" gives them the opportunity to increase their Torah study.  Thus, special educational programs are organized for these farmers during the Shmittah Year.

 4. It is time to Proudly Raise the Flag - by Ruth and Nadia Matar - (true heroines of our day) I

Dear Friends,

Today is a difficult day. Once again we feel betrayed. The
Olmert-Livni government has reached the lowest level of capitulation
to terror by planning the release of the arch murderer Samir Kuntar
and many other live terrorists in exchange for the dead bodies of our
kidnapped soldiers.

With all of our feelings of sympathy and understanding for the
families of the kidnapped soldiers, we all understand that this deal
is a catastrophe. It is a victory for Nasrallah and Hizbullah. It is
an official declaration that Israel lost the Second Lebanon War.
Obviously this release will increase Arab terror and kidnappings.

We look with envy at the Colombian government, who last week, in a
heroic military operation, released Ingrid Betancourt, a famous
Colombian-French politician, and other hostages kidnapped six years
ago by the FARC terror organization. Colombian leaders made it clear
that they will not capitulate to terror, and will do all in their
power to free their citizens, no matter where in the jungle they are
held hostage.

In such difficult times it is of utmost importance not to fall into
depression but rather to act even more fiercely in areas where we,
the people, can make a difference. One such place is Shdema, an
abandoned army camp that the Israeli government wants to give over to
the Arabs. Here too we are talking about the Olmert-Livni's
government willingness to capitulate to Arab terror and demands. But
here we can make a real difference. We can act and prevent this from

That is exactly what Women in Green, together with the Committee for
a Jewish Shdema are working on. As we told you in a previous mailing,
we called on people to spend the night in Shdema this past Monday
night. The following is a report of our amazing experience:

Last night close to 150 Jews arrived at the Shdema camp, adults,
youth, and children, from Har Choma, Gush Etzion, Kiryat Arba,
Hebron, and other parts of Israel to spend the night, and demonstrate
a Jewish presence, as part of the continuing struggle to prevent a
hand over of this site to the Arabs.

Unlike the first time when we came and were forcibly removed from
Shdema, this time the security forces did not bother us and allowed
us to remain.

We organized a moving evening that began with the painting of the
walls of the buildings, under the direction of an artist from Gush
Etzion, who guided the participants in writing graffiti on the walls.
We succeeded in covering all the structures, and expunging the
graffiti that the anarchists had painted over our slogans, since our
first demonstration there.

After that, we enjoyed a concert by the singer Ari Ben-Yam. The
highlight of the evening was a fascinating lecture by the former Lehi
(Lohamei Herut Yisrael) fighter Ezra Yakhin, who mesmerized those
present with his strong encouraging words.

There was general excitement when an especially athletic youth
succeeded in climbing the very high water tower and hanging the
Israeli flag from it. The flag, that can be seen from the road,
proudly declares to all the Arabs in the vicinity: We will not agree
to abandon this place to the Arab enemy. We are a determined group of
Jews here, who, please G-d, will return to the place until a Jewish
city arises on it.

More activities are shortly planned for Shdema (a bicycle ride to
Shdema, and an evening marathon of lectures entitled "From
Destruction to Redemption"). The Committee for a Jewish Shdema calls
upon the public to join the struggle.

The letter we received from the Defense Ministry a week ago, which
states that they have not yet decided whether or not to agree to a
transfer of the area to Arab control, proves that public pressure and
Jewish presence at the site have a great impact. The larger the
public that joins the activities, the greater the possibility of
saving Shdema from a takeover by the Arab and anarchist enemy.

Pictures of our latest stay in Shdema: (credit
to Dan Leubitz)

Reminder:The Shdema camp is situated in Area C (full Israeli
control), and was abandoned two years ago. Despite opposition by
senior army officers, the government agreed to hand over the area to
the Palestinian Authority in order to establish an Arab neighborhood.
Recently, the Palestinian Authority people from Beit Sahur have been
taking control of the camp, aided by leftist organizations and
foreign anarchists, whose entire aim is to eliminate the Jewish
settlement in Judea and Samaria as a first step to the destruction of
the State of Israel.

We must act to keep Shdema in our hands, because this is Eretz Israel!

It is also essential:

* to ensure security on the eastern Gush Etzion-Jerusalem road
* to maintain the connection between eastern Gush Etzion and Jerusalem
* to enable the development of the Har Homah neighborhood
* to prevent a takeover by the anarchists and leftists, who have
recently stepped up their activity, especially in this area, and in
Judea and Samaria as a whole. They act with great sophistication and
with large European budgets. Their goal is to continually  incite the

The release of the arch murderer Kuntar and the attempted abandonment
of Israeli Land are just different aspects of the Olmert-Livni
government's continued betrayal of the Jewish People.

We must gather every ounce of our strength to fight this perfidious
government on all fronts. Ideally, we would love to have you
physically join our struggle, but we know this is not possible.

However, we do count on you to be partners with us and to help us
defray the many expenses that this struggle for the very survival of
Israel entails.

To help through Paypal, go to: and click
on the Paypal button.
To send a check, go to: .

With Love of Israel,

Ruth and Nadia Matar
Women in Green

5."Rabbi Meir Kahane: His Life and Thought " by Libby Kahane.mpg - 4 min - Jul 9, 2008

This is a book written about the Late Rabbi Meir Kahane zt"l by his Eishes Chayil Mrs. Libby Kahana shetichye Orech Yamim and Shnot Chayim.....

It the above video link

Libby Kahane writes :

"I wrote this book because I really wanted to let people know about Meir, why he acted as he did.  His most severe conviction was in America in 1971.  Meir said to Judge Weinstein.   "What you have to say to me at this trial is important, but more important is what the Judge up there (Libby points her finger to the heavens) will say to me when I get there.  Have I done what I should have done for the Jewish People?  Have I done what I should have done,  for my Brothers and Sisters.  I never condemn the Christian world for not doing for Israel because I never expect more from them.  That's real villain of the Holocaust wasn't the Christian World... it was the Jewish Establishment that knew that the Holocaust was taking place as early as 1942 and did nothing."

Libby continued.. "Meir often landed up in jail.  Meir wrote a letter home to the children from jail.  He wrote: "Not many children can say that their father is in jail charged with the crime of fulfilling the Mitzvah "Do Not Stand Idly by Your Broththers Blood".

6. Bnos Tzelafchad Dvar Torah from Rabbi Binyaminm Walfish from

The daughters of Tzelofchad
Rabbi Binyamin Walfish

The Shiur was given on Tamuz 5767
Summarized by students

Dedicated to the speedy recovery of
Yehudah ben Hadasah Hinde Malkah

A large section of this week's parasha deals with the daughters of Tzelofchad and their request for an inheritance in Eretz Israel (Bamidbar 27:1-11). A central theme in the recounting of this story, both in the Torah and in the Talmud, is the importance and centrality of "yerusha" - inheritance in Eretz Israel. It is quite evident that the daughters of Tzelofchad did not present their claim merely because they wanted land. They desired to be part of Eretz Israel. "Why should the name of our father be omitted from among his family" (Bamidbar 27:4). They did not want their father's memory and his contribution to the settlement of Eretz Israel to be forgotten.

One of the laws that we find in the Talmud is that one cannot forgo an inheritance in Eretz Israel - the heir must accept it and be responsible for it. The land can only be sold until the next Jubilee year. According to the Talmud, the daughters of Tzelofchad were wise and learned women. They knew this Halacha and therefore came to Moshe demanding that he observe it. They truly acted "le-shem Shamayim" in order to receive their inheritance in Eretz Israel, to the extent that they were willing to restrict their freedom to marry outside of their tribe.

As a result of their request, God set forth the laws of the inheritance of the land and dictated them to Moshe Rabbenu. These laws conclude with the defining statement of their importance: "And it shall be for the children of Israel a statute of judgment, as the Lord commanded to Moshe" (Bamidbar 27:11).

What more important message can there be for our time! We who live in a time when Eretz Israel has been restored to Jewish hands - dare we violate the Halacha of foregoing our inheritance?
Here and now is the time for every Jew to make Aliya and for every Jew who lives in Eretz Israel to make certain that Eretz Israel remains in our possession as the "inheritance of our people."

7. *Edted transcript of the Eidelberg Report, Israel National Radio, July 14, 2008

Can parties be made a bit more clean and a bit more professional?  Have you thought about this?  As an old classical political scientist, I have come to what may seem like a strange conclusion.    The only way to get out of the cesspool of democracy is to think in terms of aristocracy.  So I suggest that no party be licensed to compete in an election unless its list of candidates includes persons with an education that shuns moral relativism and equips them to supervise the various ministries of government. 


This prompted me to examine the Christian-influenced constitution of the Republic of Ireland.  This constitution, which is more consistent with Jewish principles than the Jewish state of Israel, prescribes a bicameral parliament whose 60-member upper house, the Senate, respects professional knowledge.  Aside from 11 Senators chosen by the prime minister, 6 are elected by two Irish universities, and 43 are elected from five vocational panels consisting of the names of persons having knowledge and practical experience of the following interests and services. 


First and foremost, national Language and Culture, Literature, Art, and Education;

Second, Agriculture and allied interests, and Fisheries;

Third, organized and unorganized Labor;

Fourth, Industry and Commerce, including banking, finance, engineering and architecture;

Fifth, public Administration and social services.

Cynicism aside, I would like to see this professionalism incorporated in the constitutions of political parties, that is, in the manner in which they form their lists of candidates.  I have especially in mind the religious parties, even though I have been most critical of these parties.

I am well aware that the religious parties have not raised the level of politics in Israel.  Like their secular counterparts, they lack grandeur of vision; they more or less ignorant of statecraft; and they can be bought.  This is why hundreds of thousands of religious and traditional citizens vote for secular parties.  The religious parties are a disgrace because they fall so far short of the higher standards we expect of those ostensibly representing the ethics of Judaism and its respect for learning and knowledge which have made Jews the teachers of mankind.

Nevertheless, despite their present shortcomings, the religious parties are potentially the best qualified to inspire secular youth who, today, are alienated from Judaism and steeped in hedonism.

Although the Yamin Israel Party which I head has an executive committee consisting of professionals, we are not in the Knesset.  So we need a religious party in the Knesset to initiate party reform.  For this purpose the National Religious Party—Mafdal—serve as the initiator.  Mafdal is a Zionist party in disarray and in dire need of spiritual renewal.  Moreiver, compared to the other religious parties, it is more disposed to attracting candidates with professional degrees and experience.   

I therefore urge Mafdal to draw up a new party constitution.  The constitution should stipulate that its list of candidates will include persons who are not only learned in Torah and Jewish law, but who also have professional knowledge or experience in such fields as education, foreign affairs, defense, science and technology, economics, health, public administration, social services, agriculture, commerce and industry, and secular law.

The qualifications of the Sanhedrin should be Mafdal's model.  In addition to being of spotless character and expert in Jewish law, members of the Sanhedrin were versed in such branches of knowledge as astronomy, mathematics, logic, anatomy, and medicine.  They also possessed knowledge of Gentile systems of law and of non-Torah doctrines, which suggests they were multi-lingual. 

If Mafdal fields a party list with such professional knowledge, it will attract countless voters—religious and non-religious—who would otherwise vote Likud or some mediocre or pseudo nationalist party.

Ensconced in the Knesset, Mafdal could then initiate a law project requiring all parties to include in their party lists people qualified to draft the laws of the Jewish commonwealth.

Not that I expect any party to cheer this proposal.  But we need to convey to the people of Israel that so long as we maintain the deplorable character of existing parties, we should expect ineptitude and corruption of such magnitude as to endanger Israel's survival.


What prevents parties in Israel's so-called nationalist camp from uniting to form an inspiring Jewish government is more than the personal ambitions or egotism of this or that party leader.  Israel's system of multiparty cabinet government multiplies this egotism.  Most, if not all, politicians lust for a seat in the Knesset because they hope to obtain thereby a cabinet post, the road to power and political longevity.  The flawed character of human beings thus combines with the flawed character of institution to produce a malignant government—one that can commit the unspeakable crime of expelling 8,000 Jews from their homes in Gush Katif.  And there is no remedy in sight thanks to Israel's decrepit system of governance.

But what is even more blameworthy is Israel subversive system of higher education.  Instead of promoting love of Judaism and reverence for the Jewish heritage, our secular universities foster moral relativism, which can only arouse and intensify egoism.  Yes, Israel excels in high-tech, to which extend it is a blessing to mankind.  But what mankind needs more than high-tech is moral inspiration, and in this respect, the secular State of Israel, with all its paltry parties, is an abysmal failure. 

Post a Comment