I Guess G-d Has Other Plans for America

I really thought America was going to elect Mitt Romney and it’s economy would be much better. Now I see that G-d has other plans.

Perhaps it really is time for America’s Jews to make the move to Israel.

Time to come home!!!

Wake Up Jewish American Democrats

My parents were Democrats and voted for every Democratic nominee for president. I cringe to admit it, but I also voted for Dukakis.

Then I went to Israel for the first time, and realized that there really were bad guys out there who wanted to kill Jews especially, and Americans too. I then rethought about everything I had been told about how “paranoid” the conservatives/Republicans were. Since then I have voted for Republicans (and I make sure to get an absentee ballot for every presidential election).

I think that there will be a lot of other Jewish people in America who will  rethink their position about the two parties this time around. The following video explains why:


The Content of His Character

I have been watching the videos of the speeches at the Republican National Convention, including all of the highlights and some of the “minor” speeches also.

I have to tell you, I smell a landslide coming our way. Despite the polls which show a close race, I think Mitt Romney will win big in November.

The reasons can be explained by math and campaign strategies and slick commercials, but even more so I feel that he will win because of my gut feelings.

With Barack Obama, there is so much less than meets the eye. With Mitt Romney, there is so much more. Every time I hear something new about him I am impressed, and not because of his skills in business (heaven knows America needs that in its president now), but because of his character. This character shows when he is reluctant to brag about his good deeds. What a contrast to the narcissist currently in the White House!

I also think he is vastly underestimated, and he is a lot tougher than he looks.

He was able to speak about his plans to help America get out of its economic slump, and contrast his own approach with Obama’s. He also was able to cut Obama down to size, without being overtly nasty. His line that “Obama promised to stop the rise of the oceans and to heal the planets. I promise to help you and your family” was a perfect example of a gentleman devastating his opponent while taking the high road.  He is a class act, and the more the American people pay attention and get to know him the more votes he will garner.

I look forward to sending in my absentee ballot.

Oh No You Didn’t….

According to Obama, if you are a businessman or woman, you can’t take credit for your business, since “you didn’t build that”. (Doesn’t anyone edit his speeches?) How can anyone be so tone-deaf, not to mention hypocritical. Every other day he is going to very successful businessmen and women and asking for donations to his campaign.

Now there is a great website up, called “didn’tbuildthat“. Go on over and take a look.

For more laughs, read #Obama’skidsbooks

Mixed Feelings

This post about how Americans are fixing the flag flown over Ground Zero brought tears to my eyes, and it prompted me to write about something that I’ve been thinking about for a long time. That is my love for America and Americans, and my mixed feelings about Israel’s non-Jewish American supporters.

I was born in America and spent 30 out of my (almost) 50 years living there. My parents were secular Jews and proud Americans, who flew the American flag on July 4th and also took pride in Israel’s accomplishments. I became an Orthodox Jew at the age of 17, and when studying Jewish law and history and deepening my observance, I thought for the first time about the Jewish people’s “twin loyalties”. This strengthened after spending time in Israel and falling in love with it, culminating in our decision to make aliyah (move to Israel).

I would not be the person I am today without the freedom and the security to explore my roots that I had in America. I experienced some anti-Semitism (which ironically started me on my way to exploring those roots – see here), but in general I felt accepted by most of the non-Jews in which I came into contact. I feel love and affection for the country that I lived in for most of my life, while knowing that the one place to be a Jew in the fullest sense of the term is Israel. Israel is the only place that I think of as “home”.

I have very mixed feelings about the non-Jews in America who are Israel’s most vocal supporters. I am grateful for their support, and I admire their actions for Israel. At the same time, the wary cynicism that has awakened after living as an Orthodox Jew and an Israeli for the past twenty years tells me to step back and act with caution. After all, we Jews have been persecuted and kicked out of practically every country on earth. Will America follow suit one day (G-d forbid) or prove the exception to the rule?

When I first heard about Glenn Beck’s upcoming events in Jerusalem in August, these feelings intensified. On the one hand it is pretty mind blowing that this famous person is going to bring tens? hundreds? thousands? of non-Jews to Jerusalem to “stand with us”. Granted, some of the events he is planning are unapologetically Christian in nature (and why shouldn’t it be – he is a man of faith and that is what drives him and most of his followers!). The cynic in me also says that the PR he will get from these events will not hurt him in his future endeavors.

On the other hand I can’t help but feel that this kind of event could only be done by an American. I also feel that G-d has a hand in this (as he does in everything that happens in the world, whether we see it or not). When I let my imagination run a bit wild, I think that if America experiences an economic depression and times get really bad, and the forces of anti-Semitism rear their ugly heads, that these people are going to be the ones to protect the Jews.

Did I say that I have mixed feelings?

Not One False Note

If you haven’t seen it already, I urge you to see the whole speech by Bibi Netanyahu to the Congress today (scroll down a bit for the video).

There wasn’t one false note, and not one iota of apologetics. He clearly expressed Israel’s friendship and gratitude to the United States, he congratulated the American people on killing Bin Laden, he stressed the common values of democracy that we share, and he pointed out that the 1 million Arabs living in Israel enjoy more rights than the other 300 million Arabs in the Middle East.

In addition he expressed Israel’s positions on the peace process:

1) The reason there has not been peace in the Middle East is because the Arabs will not recognize a Jewish state.

2) Jerusalem will never be divided again, and will be the capital of Israel.

3) We will never go back to the pre-1967 borders, even after a peace agreement, although Israel will be willing to negotiate swapping of territory.

4) We will never accept the Arab refugees into Israel, they will need to be absorbed by the Arab countries.

5) We must have control over the Jordan Valley.

6) We will not sit down at the negotiating table with Hamas, which is the equivalent of Al-Qaeda.

In addition to these points, he said something that no other Prime Minister has ever said, especially in such a public forum. He said that the Jews living in Yehuda and Shomron (Judea and Samaria) are NOT occupiers, but we are living in our ancestral homeland.

The warm reception in Congress was overwhelming. There were so many standing ovations that I stopped counting.

In a way it is ironic, but the fact that the current American president is so anti-Israel has been the best thing to happen in a while, in terms of making our Prime Minister state the facts so clearly.

Dear Westbankmama

Dear Westbankmama,

We have requested assistance from some etiquette experts as to our Bin Laden problem, but for some inexplicable reason we have not received an answer. Therefore we chose to write to you, as you live in an area where you unfortunately have much experience with delicate matters of this sort. Can you help us? We are so very confused about the right thing to do. As you know we debated about what to do with the deceased, and came up with a solution that we thought was both practical and, frankly, elegant. Now we don’t know how to deal with the public relations aspect. Can you please give us some advice?

Wondering in Washington

Dear Wondering,

Gentle reader, please note that as admirable as it is to try to apply the rules of etiquette to all situations, dealing with an arch terrorist that killed nearly 3,000 of your citizens and threatened to kill more is not one of them.

As to your “public relations” problem, I am genuinely confused. What exactly is the message that you want to project and to whom? If you are concerned about appearing polite and sensitive to the terrorist himself and to his friends, then shooting the individual in question was certainly not the way to go about it. If you want to appear strong and deter other terrorists from killing Americans, then excessively worrying about how to treat the resulting body sends the wrong message.

As to the message you want to convey to the American people, I must say that so far it has been a complete muddle. Perhaps you should learn from the Israelis, who don’t publicize operations of this sort until weeks, and sometimes months afterwards, so that they can protect their intelligence sources. In addition, when they do come out with details, they are consistent, having given the experts time to debrief those involved in order to get the complete picture and all of the facts straight.

As to your current dilemma about publishing the picture of Bin Laden’s body, think of it this way. In the past an enemy’s head would be cut off and placed on a spike in front of the castle. Admittedly this was somewhat messy and malodorous, but surprisingly effective at convincing the public that the enemy was indeed gone.  By publishing the picture you will be able to do the same thing, in a more hygienic way. This will help many people achieve what is currently called “closure”. The victims’ families will know that the terrorist is actually dead. The terrorist’s friends and families will know that he is actually dead. And the American people will know that he is actually dead – saving quite a lot of time in mulling unnecessary conspiracy theories.

If the liberals are shocked and dismayed at the picture, then tell them to use a simple imaginatory exercise. Ask them to imagine that it is not Bin Laden they are looking at, but Sarah Palin (who I sincerely love dearly, and am sure that if she were in your position she would not be wasting my time asking silly questions!). Your liberals will undoubtadly calm down right away.

Facing the Threat

A very interesting article appeared in the Science section of the New York Times, about how best to survive a nuclear blast. Surprisingly, the best thing to do is go down into a basement and wait for a few hours. Even hunkering down in a car for awhile will cut down casualties. 

What is more interesting, to me at least, is the fact that this simple solution has been known for quite some time, but the authorities in America are afraid to publicize it, for fear of throwing people into a panic. Note that this article did not appear on the front pages of the New York Times – just in the Science section. (Perhaps they thought that people who are interested in science would be less prone to panic?) Note also the title – preparing for the “unthinkable”. How can you prepare to survive something that you can’t even think about?

It all comes down to culture I guess. Here in Israel, we know that bad things can, and do, happen. Our history as Jews, both ancient and modern, contain so many horrors that we don’t have the luxury of denial. Our society takes the responsibility of saving lives so seriously that not informing the public of a way to help survive an attack for fear of panic is absurd, if not criminal.

We exchanged our gas masks a few months ago, as I wrote on the blog before. I still receive robo-calls from the Home Front Command to do so, so the campaign is still going strong. These calls do not make people panic – we do what we can to protect ourselves, and then get on with our lives.

What will it take for Americans to learn to do the same?

This Stuff Is Priceless!

A lot will be written about the Wikileaks release of thousands of classified materials. Whatever you think about the issue, though, there is one group of people who are thrilled.

I’m talking about the comedy writers. They must feel like a kid with literally thousands of birthday presents – what do I rip open first?

Our local comedy team, Latma, for instance, won’t have a hard time putting together a skit about Obama’s disastrous meeting with the Saudi king a few years ago, now that we know what really happened there, and how clueless Obama was.

I can just see it – Obama trying to reassure the king that all is well, he is going to make sure that westbankmama doesn’t add on an extension to her house, and the Saudi king foaming at the mouth in frustration, because the President of the United States doesn’t get it that he needs to bomb the crap out of Iran. (“Don’t these stupid Americans KNOW they’re not supposed to really believe we care about the Palestinians….”)

And this is just a taste…

Whether You Love Her or Hate Her…

Whether you love her or hate her, you have to admit that Sarah Palin knows how to fight back. I’d love to see her in the White House, although many are now saying that she doesn’t have a chance. The prevailing logic is that because of the relentless media bashing, too many people think she is dumb, and the independent voters will never go for her.

Personally I see their point – although there is a lot of time between now and the next election. If independent voters have to decide between Sarah Palin and Barack Obama, I think Sarah has a much better chance than it looks now. Especially if she fights back the way she is known to do. In any case she has my vote….

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