The Book: The Unified Body | The Blog: Am Echad | |


"It is better to take refuge in Adonai than to trust in human beings; better to take refuge in Adonai than to put one's trust in princes." -Tehilah 118:8-9

I bet Ted Kennedy would endorse Olmert

The Winograd Report may not mean much to many American Jews, but the implications of Prime Minister Olmert's lousy decision-making during the last Lebanon War will continue to have a massive impact on the psyche of Israel, a nation whose military is a true "citizen's army."

Citing a comment by historian Michael Oren, published in today's Wall Street Journal, Carl in Jerusalem writes, "This is perhaps the worst result of Olmert's self-serving behavior. Who will fight for this country in the future knowing that its political leadership won't be accountable if it causes the war effort to fail?" In a later post Carl cites the first post-Winograd poll, reporting that "56% think Prime Minister Ehud K. Olmert should resign while 27% believe he should stay in his job. 45% believe Defense Minister Ehud Barak should leave the government and take his Labor party with him, while 41% believe he should stay in."

Olmert's days in office are numbered. But, I highly doubt that a nation like Israel will allow the stupid, pompous actions of one man to weigh them down and destroy them. Not when their popular singers sing songs like this:


A tree stands alone in autumn
No shade or a warm moment
Some times it wants to feel safe as well
Not like a flower that dies

And sometimes time tests us
It lays obstacles in from of us
But we have our strength
We will show it that we can

To see the pain and look it in the eye
To strongly embrace life and not give up
To believe with all our heart that it will get better
And despite of it all we will overcome

G-d sees everything and watches from above
That we will not lose hope
And even if it hurts sometimes, we need to move on.
It doesn't matter, it is all for the best.

And sometimes...

From the album Child of Love by Sarit Hadad (2002)

Labels: , , ,

posted by Shoshana @ 10:02 PM

Messianic Jewish Zionism... Where is it?

Mainstream American Judaism (for lack of a better term) has a number of organizations dedicated strictly to Zionism. A few that come readily to mind are the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), Hadassah, and the American-Israel Political Action Committee (AIPAC). These organizations are fairly secular in nature, preferring to focus on the surival and success of the Jewish State from a non-denominational perspective. Their work is mainly social and/or political in nature. Both organizations are extremely well-known and well supported among and by the American Jewish community, regardless of denominational affiliation (or lack thereof) and both have made an enormous impact on the nation of Israel.

From what I've observed, Messianic Judaism tends to couple its Zionist efforts with ongoing ministry work. Many Messianic organizations incorporate ministry to Israel (i.e. the MJAA's "Restoration of Israel" Project and the UMJC's Tikkun Olam Project, both of which focus on giving humanitarian aid to Israel) into their greater package of objectives. There are also a number of Messianic ministries in the land of Israel, such as MAOZ and the Joseph Storehouse, that act as recipients of much of the Zionistic will of the Messianic community in America. Generally, I have absolutely no argument with the organization of these efforts. In fact, I encourage them. But, my question is: Where is the collectivity in all of this?

The problem with ministy-centered Zionist efforts is simple: There is too much to focus on. Instead of having one core body to distribute news, calls to action, and to solicit tzedekah, we have a number of smaller ministries with Israel listed as one of the many projects on their list. Often, as a result, news and information about the goings on in Israel becomes extremely limited, if not completely non-existant in much of the literature distributed by these organizations. In turn, their Zionistic efforts become less and less about the survival of the Jewish State and more and more about raising funds for simple humanitarian aid.

Moreover, the majority of the focus is put on aiding the Messianic Jews in the State of Israel, versus the nation as a whole. Now, it should be made clear that not every ministry is like this: the Joseph Storehouse Ministry and Netivyah both focus on aiding those in need, believer or not. However, with the backlash against Christian Zionism's anti-Evangelical efforts, some Israel-focused ministries within the movement are beginning to target fellow believers as the only recipients of their support. For example, the most recent MAOZ newsletter contains a slogan of support for the "Messianic" Jewish people in Israel.

As a result, the Messianic community by and large is given a definition of Zionism that doesn't extend far past the basic idea that supporting the Jewish State means donating money to starving, homeless Jews in the Promised Land. Of course, these ministries also couple their humanitarian efforts with touring opportunities, most of which give believers the chance to connect with Israel for 10 days through a bus window. Humanitarian Aid is good. Tourism is good. But there's more to Zionism than all that. Mainstream American Jews have organization on top of organization, blogs, websites, parades, protests, and tons of resources advocating for the State of Israel on a daily basis. Messianic Jews acknowledge that Israel is important by making sure to give her a cut from their tzedekah boxes and taking a ten day trip at least once in their lifetime.

I just don't get it. Where's all the Messianic passion for Zion? They talk about it in metaphorical terms, about the "restoration of Israel" and "returning to Zion" but they aren't doing very much to excite their congregants about it all. I'll be that most Messianics couldn't even tell you who the current Prime Minister of Israel is, let alone what Gush Katif and Yesha are. Today's Messianic Jewish community has no real way of relating to Israel at all-- at least, not that I've seen.


Labels: , ,

posted by Shoshana @ 7:47 PM

Turning the Tide

I read posts like this one over at Israpundit that make pretty clear points about the way the world really works and I wonder how long it will be until this tick pops and the entire population is forced to face reality.

In the above-linked post, Ted Belman points out, "For that matter, one wonders why US is the chief sponsor of Fatah? Oh, we know that they also have Nazis roots. For that matter so does the CIA." Belman's far from the first to draw attention to the sad, but true fact that the United States government hasn't always fought on the side of truth and righteousness. Political conservatives, Christians (especially the Evangelical ones), members of the Greatest Generation, and even older Jewish Americans have a tendency to view America through rose-coloured glasses.

A few years ago, I attended a Pesach seder that was punctuated not with the classic "L'Shanah Haba B'Yerushalayim" toast, but with a chorus of "G-d Bless America" instigated by one elderly lady who said, "Jerusalem is lovely, but America is our home." I attended the seder with a few fellow Hillel members. At the time, we were establishing a watchdog group to monitor increasing levels of Muslim anti-Jewish and anti-Israelness on campus. The group was renegade at best, unable to even count on Jewish support after an explosive Parents' Weekend Hillel meeting at which more than one 50-something professional Jewish American declared, "I don't want my child involved in anything controversial on campus! They should just keep their mouths shut!" We kept our mouths shut, alright: we could conquer the hatred espoused by Muslim exchange students at on-campus events, but how could we respond to the American patriotism expressed by our Jewish elders?

Liking America isn't a bad thing. Using your appreciation of the nation as a whitewash to cover over the many faults and poor choices of American political officials can, however, be quite a dangerous thing. Especially when you're Jewish. How do you reckon your love for America with the actions taken by the American government (actions dating back to 1947 and before-- to FDR's Administration and their response to the Holocaust) to purposefully ensure the destruction of the people and the State of Israel?

The other night I was flipping the channels and came across a rebroadcast of The 700 Club. Pat Robertson's son, who apparently now hosts the show, was remarking on Bush's visit to Israel and his statements about "ending the occupation that began in 1967" by saying that he wasn't sure why the President was doing what he was doing, and saying what he was saying, but he hoped that Bush would rethink things, because his actions certainly didn't bode well for America, given the truth of the Biblical prophecies about Israel. His comments were benign, but they also carried with them a great deal of confusion. After all, how could the President of the Evangelicals go to the Holy Land and tell the Jewish people that they had to give up Jerusalem? It just doesn't make sense. And it certainly doesn't bode well for the pro-Israel Evangelicals, especially not the rapture-ready crowd.

What will be the event that tips the scales, that pops the tick, that forces people to wake up and face facts for what they truly are and not what they seem to be based on history, or politcal platforms, or sermons, or popular opinion? Or will it be like the days preceeding the last century's world wars, when current events forced chaos and panic to overrule logical thinking?

Labels: , , , , , ,

posted by Shoshana @ 7:15 PM

This Just In

In The Real World: More than 2,000 people lined the walls of Old Jerusalem this week. In honor of President Bush's first visit to Israel, the 2,000 demonstrators carried Israeli flags and signs reading: "BUSH READ YOUR BIBLE: ISRAEL BELONGS TO THE JEWS" and "JERUSALEM = JEWISH".

In the Messianic Times: A three-quarter page article on Chalutzim Academy childhood sweethearts who got married after college.

Commentary/Opinion: The level of self-inolvement exhibited by the Messianic community is dangerously pathetic.

This has been the latest edition of This Just In....Stay tuned for more breaking news as it cracks....

Labels: , , , , ,

posted by Shoshana @ 8:50 PM

Vote '08: Analysis of Iowa's Winners

I haven't yet commented on the 2008 Presidential election, but with the Iowa Caucus coming to a close, it's time to remark on the front-runners of both parties.

Let's start with Barack Hussein Obama. First off, the idea of an American President with the middle name "Hussein" should send shivers up any logical voter's spine. If that doesn't, check out his spheres of influence, starting with his formative years spent living and learning in Jakarta, Indonesia. about which he said,
"For a while, I lived in Indonesia because my mother was teaching there. And that’s a Muslim country. And I went to school. But I didn’t practice. But what I do think it does is it gives me insight into how these folks think, and part of how I think we can create a better relationship with the Middle East and that would help make us safer is if we can understand how they think about issues."
Obama's "Muslim-Not a Muslim" game, while a fantastic throw-up to Saturday Night Live's infamous "Jew, Not a Jew" sketch, pretty much leaves any voter thinking that Obama has pretty much locked himself in the Islamic closet- at least until January 2009. Despite his claims to the contrary, Daniel Pipes cites witnesses, friends, and the muslim rule book to establish a clear case for Obama's Muslim identity. For example, while I don't know what Muslims think about Obama's platform, Pipes does point out that Barack would be considered a fellow member of the tribe by muslims, who interpret one's degree of "muslimness" by their parentage, not their current or chosen religious affiliation.

Despite his Jewish political connections, Obama is a member of the anti-Israel, pro-divestment United Church of Christ. He also likes playing "Muslim- Not a Muslim" with his supporters: "'My support within in the Jewish community has been much more significant than my support within the Muslim community,' Obama said at the April forum, adding: 'I welcome and seek the support of the Muslim and Arab communities.'"

Most recently, Israpundit questioned the Barack campaign about their candidate's active support of the racist, anti-Semitic Al Sharpton, who refers to Jewish Americans as "Bloodsucking Jews". They were, of course, placated and patronized with a response that included the statement: "One of Senator Obama's mentors was the late Senator Paul Simon, a man of great ability and integrity. He believed that people could disagree without being disagreeable, and Senator Obama has taken that guiding principle as his own." To which Israpundit responded with:
In other words, “We’re sorry you feel that way about our candidate’s public and ongoing promotion of a racist and anti-Semitic hate monger, but we don’t care because we own the Jewish vote anyway.” It is therefore vital for us to spread the word as widely as possible that Barack Obama has so little respect for common decency that he consorts openly with the Negro counterpart of the Ku Klux Klan and the Stormfront White Nationalist Community. We encourage our readers to write letters to their local papers to let their communities know that Barack Obama is promoting racism and anti-Semitism while he claims to be the candidate of hope (or whatever). The truth is that Barack Obama is a phony smile on top of an empty suit, a media and George Soros creation who stands for absolutely nothing whatsoever.
Apparently, Obama scored big in Iowa thanks to "young voters" under 30. I suppose that proves...what? The corruption of American academia is complete? Or has Hollywood just claimed that headscarves and full-body covering for women is totally "hot"?

Mike Huckabee, former Southern Baptist minister and Governor of Arkansas (like that shouldn't set off an alarm bell or two-- I wonder if he had any secretaries named "Flowers" or, possibly, a predeliction for Yehudiyot?) is believed to have won the Iowa vote thanks to the Evangelicals in the crowd. They could've gone for the Mormon Romney, or the war veteran McCain, but instead, the Iowa Christians chose the guy who allgedly "pushed" for the "early parole of a convicted rapist who went on to rape and kill two other women." Somehow, I just don't think that's what Jesus Would Do.

Not much has been written about Huckabee, yet. A Powerline post, quoted at Israel Matzav, cites a Des Moines Register interview with Huckabee where the Presidential candidate summarizes his foreign policy down to, "Do Unto Others as they Do Unto You", to which the author comments, "So there you have it; treat Iran, Syria, and North Korea with the same respect with which we want to be treated and experience the joys of international fellowship and good will. I don't recall even President Carter being that naive." I think Carl in Jerusalem is right when it comes to Huckabee: "Somehow, I think that Huckabee may have stolen to the front of the pack because he was shielded from media scrutiny, and now that he's at the front, he's not going to last there very long."

Right, well, that's who's winning so far. The real question is, would they win in the minds of any true, pro-Israel, Torah observant, Messiah believing voter?

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

posted by Shoshana @ 7:59 PM

Big Brother is Full of It

I love the way the American media (and international media, for that matter) create this world of thought that they expect the average public to just live within, without question or complaint.

For example, we all spent last Friday watching and listening to endless 24/7 coverage about Benazir Bhutto's asassination in Pakistan. What we didn't hear about was the murder of two off-duty IDF soldiers by a Palestian policeman and a Fatah terrorist. From Israel Matzav:
According to details of the murder of off-duty soldiers and nature enthusiasts David Rubin (21) and Ahikam Amihai (20), the gunmen, Ali Dandis, 24, and Amar Taha, 26, surrendered on the day of the attack to the Palestinian security forces in Hebron out of fear that they would be caught by the IDF. They also handed over the weapons they captured from the hikers.

Dandis worked as a clerk at the Sharia [Muslim religious. CiJ] courts in Hebron. Both are residents of the West Bank city, security officials said. They noted that Friday's attack was not the first time that Palestinian security officials or policemen were involved in terror attacks. Last month, Ido Zoldan was gunned down in the West Bank by Palestinian terrorists that turned out to be members of the PA security forces.

The PA did not report the surrendering of the terrorists, the Shin Bet said. After learning of their surrender, the security agency transferred a request to the PA asking that they transfer to Israel the murder weapons and the weapons of those who were murdered. In response to the demand, PA officials confirmed that the two had surrendered and were being interrogated. [In other words, had Israel not found out, the 'Palestinian Authority' would not have said anything. CiJ]

All of the weapons were transferred to Israel on Saturday.

Security officials said the attack was premeditated and its goal was to kill the hikers and steal their weapons. Security officials said that declarations in the media by Palestinian officials to the effect that the incident was of a criminal nature were in direct contradiction to the findings on the scene, as well as to the confessions of the terrorists themselves.
In the eyes of the American and international news mediums, these two innocent Israelis, murdered by muslim arab terrorists while they were taking a walk in the park, don't count. Not because they aren't members of the one sane, logical, functioning democracy in the Middle East, but because they don't wear headscarves, they didn't spend the last decade vacationing in the Arab world's version of Monte Carlo, and they weren't stupid enough to poke their unprotected heads through a sunroof to wave at a crowd of men raised to operate according to sharia law. They were just two young guys in the park. There's no news there-- after all, plenty of people get attacked in parks across the United States every day. Heck, I spent last week watching an entire day of news coverage about a kid who got mauled by a tiger in a park. Somehow, I bet he didn't get mauled because the tiger hated Jews and targeted them specifically because he believed Jews didn't deserve to live. Tell me, do they have anti-Israeli tigers? Have we explored this angle yet? Let's get Geraldo on it, right away.

Today, Olmert confirmed to the Jerusalem Post that this is the year to divide Jerusalem. Happy 60th, Israel. The greatest birthday gift is knowing that your thousands of war heroes and victims of terror have died in vain. Mazel Tov:
Israel needs to internalize that even its supportive friends on the international stage conceive of the country's future on the basis of the 1967 borders and with Jerusalem divided, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has declared to The Jerusalem Post.

...In an interview at the start of a year that he hopes will yield a permanent Israeli-Palestinian peace accord...
Okay, yeah, enough of that.

In response to President Bush's remarks regarding Jewish settlement expansion: He told Reuters that during his visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories he would talk about Israeli settlement expansion, "about how that is, that can be, you know, an impediment to success.", Tzvi Fishman of Am K'Lavee has created posters that read: Bush, Read Your Bible: G-d Gave Israel to the Jews to be used to greet the President upon his arrival to Israel next week. I think American Zionists should download the image and click "print" and send it off to the White House, Attn: Condi Rice. Then again, maybe we should just fax it to Arafat's tomb. I hear it's a favorite vacation spot for diplomatic spiders.

How many Americans who care about Israel--Jewish Americans, Christians, righteous gentiles--know or understand the fact that our national media doesn't report about Israel because they don't want you to consider the Jewish nation a facet of your existence? These media agencies (and, namely, the corporations and money mongers behind them who call the shots) don't want you to think about Israel because they don't want Israel to matter to you, because if it did, then you might just take a moment to speak up about the radical injustices being done to the nation of G-d by our very own government, academic institutions, and media organizations. What better way to keep people quiet than to keep them totally uninformed? Ignorance is bliss, right? Well, for who? Apparently not David Rubin and Ahikam Amihai, nor Gilad Shalit, nor Ehud Goldwasser, nor Eldad Regev, if you even remember them-- if you even know who they are.

"To whom much has been given, much will be required," as the Biblical saying goes. We were given the Torah. We are expected to know better and act accordingly. Yet, the majority of us still wander around in the darkness of our own making, accepting the world as it is set before us by our media, our professors, our teachers, our Rabbis, our pastors, our priests, our officials. We sit there and we accept what we are told to do, to say, to think. In the meantime, the nation of Israel is dying a slow, painful death, and very few people from the grand sects that claim to care are bothering to do a thing about it. This tells me one thing: Israel-lovers need to start thinking outside their carefully constructed box.

And they'd better do it quick.

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

posted by Shoshana @ 9:05 PM

The truth behind Israel-U.S. Relations

Omri at Mere Rhetoric has an awesome post detailing the intelligence battle between U.S. and Israeli governments leading up to the fantastic Israeli bombing raid on a Syrian weapons factory last September. In the excerpt below, Omri begins by citing an ABC news report, and then adds his own commentary:
...A senior U.S. official said the Israelis planned to strike during the week of July 14 and in secret high-level meetings American officials argued over how to respond to the intelligence. Some in the administration supported the Israeli action, but others, notably Sect. of State Condoleeza Rice did not. One senior official said the U.S. convinced the Israelis to "confront Syria before attacking."
The awesome thing is that Israel probably had a mole in the facility, which means that the State Department's request for Israel to "confront" would have outed an intelligence asset and given the Syrians the heads up to start preparing for an IAF attack. These people should be fired. All of them.
I couldn't have said it better myself.

Labels: , , , , , ,

posted by Shoshana @ 8:51 PM