Derech HaMelech

The Weekly Raid From Galus

Thursday, May 26, 2011

PA will hold Gilad Shalit hostage

PA will hold Gilad Shalit hostage: "IMRA speaks with PA Deputy Prime Minister Nabil Shaath (and PA Deputy for Gaza) and asks, once the reunification between Hamas and the PA is complete what will happen to Gilad Shalit. Will he be released?

PA Deputy Prime Minister Nabil Shaath explains that Gilad Shalit will be used by the PA to get as may prisoners (terrorists) released from Israeli jails as possible. He could not say if negotiations will be easier or more difficult than they are directly with Hamas.

IMRI: When unification is completed, of the Gaza Strip and West Bank under one authority again, what do you expect would happen with the handling of the Gilad Shalit case? Would that still be the purview of Hamas, or would it be the responsibility of this unified authority?

Shaath: It should be the responsibility of the unified authority, and we should proceed as soon as possible to exchange Shalit for as many Palestinian prisoners as possible...
Our Peace Partner.

h/t Elder of Ziyon

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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Helicopter Left Behind

The Helicopter Left Behind: "

I think that now, weeks since the mortal remains of this generation’s most reviled mass-murderer were offered to fish and crustaceans, it’s safe to bring up an important Jewish thought that should have occurred to us all in the wake of the operation at Abbottabad.

No, nothing to do with its ethical merit or legality; formal procedures and qualms have no place when it comes to removing a clearly dangerous object, animal, or person from the world. Nor is it with regard to the jubilation seen in some places following Bin Laden’s killing; there are moral grounds for celebrating the demise of evil.

What may not have received sufficient contemplation was something else: the helicopter left behind.

Two Black Hawks were reportedly employed in the raid on Bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan. One experienced some sort of trouble and made a hard, damaging, landing. The commandos tried to destroy the damaged chopper before leaving the compound on the other helicopter, apparently concerned that the Pakistanis might learn some secrets from the cutting-edge technology of the now-abandoned aircraft.

But there is something valuable in the wreckage from which we might all learn—or, at least, be reminded of: Things can go wrong.

That was a thought that surely reverberated in the minds of President Obama and his advisors as they awaited word of how things had proceeded during the raid. After all, when Jimmy Carter sent helicopters to the Iranian desert in 1980 to rescue the Americans then held captive in Tehran, one crashed en route; one turned back; one malfunctioned; and, the mission aborted, yet another plowed into a transport plane, killing eight soldiers. The servicemen involved in the mission were from Delta Force, the Army’s equivalent at the time of “Seal Team Six.”

And in fact, in an interview last week, Mr. Obama admitted being struck with the fear of failure. “You think about Black Hawk Down,” he said, referring to the 1993 Battle of Mogadishu in Somalia, in which eighteen U.S. Army soldiers lost their lives. “You think about what happened with the Iranian rescue. And I am very sympathetic to the situation for other Presidents where you make a decision, you’re making your best call, your best shot, and something goes wrong…”

That fear, of course, dissipated when the report came in of the “double tap” (Seal slang for one bullet to the chest, another to the face) and the prominent EKIA (enemy killed in action). But recognition of what can go wrong shouldn’t ever dissipate. Fear should unfold like a flower into gratitude.

Which, in turn, should be directed Heavenward. Yes, we owe the President kudos for not putting Bin Laden on the White House back burner, and for risking a confrontation with Pakistani forces to get him. (One hopes some of the more thoughtful Obama-bashers among us were able to summon a smidgen of good feeling for the commander in chief’s determination and decision.) Ditto for CIA Director Leon Panetta. And we have to deeply appreciate the skills and, more importantly, the grit and bravery, of the Seal Team Six commandos.

But what we have to do above all is to remember that an errant gust of wind can wreak havoc on a low-flying aircraft’s ability to generate lift; electrical and hydraulic systems can and do malfunction; rotor blades crack; and human error happens.

And then we have to realize that the fact that none of those things took place—and that Bin Laden hadn’t booby-trapped his room and wasn’t protected by a dozen bodyguards and wasn’t wearing a suicide vest—are all the result of siyata diShmaya, Divine assistance.

It’s a realization that should inform our every humdrum day, for any day can easily be interrupted by things that make us pine dearly for humdrumness. A realization that a Jew should feel in his or her heart and even verbalize, clearly and without embarrassment, at every large or small turn of life that goes the way we hoped it would: Baruch Hashem.


[Rabbi Shafran is an editor at large and columnist for Ami Magazine]

The above essay may be reproduced or republished, with the above copyright appended.



Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Chassidim: The Taliban of the Jews!!!

Chassidim: The Taliban of the Jews!!!: "

The biggest problem I have with yesterday’s events is that I’m not surprised. I have watched over the years as the Chassidic movement has shrunk from it’s holy stature in my mind, to a bunch of zealots who place more value on dress and language that on the personal welfare of children and women. Go and take a look at any of the Jewish news blogs and you will see a daily crime blotter of mostly Chassidim convicted on charges of fraud, child molestation, rape, government scams and so on. This is not a once in a while thing, it happens every day and it’s disgusting. I find it even more disgusting that the Chassidim – whether we like it or not – is what the secular world thinks the orthodox world is made up of. To the secular world there are no divisions – they think the orthodox Jew must wear the garb, the peyos and the beard.

I know there are people out there who will argue about the close knit communities (part of the problem with cover ups) and the amazing chesed that goes on and so forth – but after the reaction of yesterday’s events by the Chassidish and frum world in general – I am beginning to see this group as a whole new religion. A man tried to murder an entire family and not one Chassidic leader has said a word, it can’t be that they do not know of this – they remain silent, just like they do whenever something else happens that tarnishes their name and our religion.

This is a chillul Hashem in the highest and I am sickened by it. Is there any hope for the Chassidim, or will they continue on their path of closed minded zealotry and claim that their form of authentic Judaism (it’s only 300 years old) will live on while everyone else becomes modernized. The non-observant Jewish movements seem a whole lot frummer than the Chassidim a lot of the time.

I am wondering if the Skverer Rebbe will even acknowledge this violence committed in his own little shtetl, or will he remain silent in hopes that it will just go away.

Notes: This post was generalizing a lot – I am sure that within the Chassidic community there are those that do not scam the government, cover up molestation charges and allow women to think for themselves, but these people fear getting killed so they stay in the closet.

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Israel: My Land, and that of the Jewish People

Israel: My Land, and that of the Jewish People: "Prime Minister Netanyahu's speech before the US Congress today brought many accolades from Jews around the world.

'Kiddush Hashem' -- a sanctification of God's Name.

'Amazing Speech'


...were some of the responses to his speech. Eloquent as always, Netanyahu managed to seemingly put enough obstacles in the face of the Palestinians, to prevent any agreement with them forever:

1. Hamas must not be part of the Palestinian Authority
2. No 'Right of Return' to Israel for Palestinian refugees
3. Long lasting Israeli security presence on Jordan River
4. Demilitarized Palestinian State
5. Unified Jerusalem under Israeli control
6. No return to indefensible 1967 borders.

I have 2 primary issues with Netanyahu's speech and his premise for a Palestinian State:

1. Israel will remain a Democracy with a 20% Arab population -- yet the Palestinian State demands to be Judenrein, free of Jews. The land of Israel is the heartland of the Jewish people, the spiritual hub of Judaism -- giving it away in the name of the biggest PR scam in history, the 'existence of a Palestinian people' is simply ludicrous. Giving in to the demands for a Palestinian State is the worst capitulation to terror in modern history.

2. Assuming I ignore everything stated above, I don't believe that Netanyahu would actually stand up to his own conditions. Just as the Oslo accords were full of fanciful arrangements (some which all collapsed immediately and the rest of them over time) -- they were a marketing masterpiece. The radical left wing idea of a Palestinian State in 1993 would never have received backing of the Israeli people, so it was spun and marketed till it became facts on the ground...and the idea gradually took hold of Israel's center...and has even encroached on the Israeli right.

Netanyahu has openly written about the dangers of a Palestinian State. He has already capitulated and rejected his own published works...I see no reason to believe he will back his own conditions in future negotiations.

It's irrelevant that my home and community are on the chopping block -- every single Jewish home and community in Judea and Samaria should remain under Israeli rule.

Regardless of whether any Palestinian State ever comes into existence or not, the land of Israel, in its entirety, will forever be the homeland of the Jewish people.

It will yet again be entirely ruled by Israel.

The land is indeed, very, very good.


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Reform Commitment? from The Blog of Garnel Ironheart by MIghty Garnel Ironheart

Reform Commitment?

from The Blog of Garnel Ironheart