Greeks and Palestinians, then and now

December 12, 2012

Nadav Shragai

Make no mistake, both “extremist” Hamas and the “moderate” Palestinian Authority, the raving Hamas political bureau chief Khaled Mashaal and the simpleton Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, will never make do with sovereignty in this land or the banishment of the “Zionist entity.” Similar to the way the Greeks behaved some 2,170 years ago during the struggle that is the basis for our Hanukkah celebration, they still struggle with the issue of a Jewish state and us Jews as a collective identity within that state.

The Greeks, as opposed to Roman Emperor Titus or Haman — the 5th century B.C.E. Persian vizier under King Ahasuerus — focused less on the physical destruction of the Jews than on the destruction of their identity and culture. Our sages accurately stated that the Greeks “contaminated all the oils, but did not spill them.” They made sure that the oil would be available, but not kosher for Jewish ritual use. Similarly, they let the Jews live, if they agreed to be Hellenized.

There is a well-known Talmudic discussion regarding which miracle Hanukkah is based on — our military victory of the few and weak over the many and powerful or the miracle of finding a single cruse of pure oil, which ultimately ensured the survival of Jewish identity and kept the menorah in the Temple lit for eight days, despite containing only enough oil to last one day. Our sages agreed that the cruse of oil was more miraculous than our military victory over the Greeks and Hanukkah forever became a holiday we celebrate in commemoration of the saving of our Torah and Jewish identity against which the Greeks fought their true battle.

There are those in this generation as well who continue to believe that our conflict with the Arabs is over territory or sovereignty. They tend to ignore that the conflict is based on religion, our Judaism and our identity as a people. Abbas has always meant what he says time and time again all over the world about Israel “contaminating Jerusalem’s Muslim identity.”

The masked men who appeared on stage at a Palestinian rally in the Gaza Strip on Saturday promised to “purify the holy sites of Jerusalem.” Both Hamas and the Palestinian Authority indoctrinate their publics in the “legend of the Temple” that never existed, or, as they call it, “al-Mazum” — the alleged and the false.

When Mahmoud al-Habash, the Palestinian minister responsible for religious endowments, speaks of the need for Palestinians to wage “ribat” — a holy war defending Islamic lands — and his students learn that their conflict with Israel is “one of the highest levels of ribat,” it is no wonder that Palestinian clerics call openly for the murder of Jews and surveys indicate a high percentage of support among Palestinians for suicide attacks on Jews.

The war the Greeks fought against the Jews was a unique war. More than wanting to kill us physically, they wanted to destroy our identity and culture. Our conflict with the Palestinians is also unique because not only does a non-Arab presence between Jordan and the sea irk them, but also that it is Jews who are present throughout the entire land, especially in Jerusalem and on the Temple Mount. It is due to this that their struggle against Israel has long ago been transformed from one of a national task to one of an uncompromising religious nature. Expressions of this have been declared openly on countless occasions by the PA, Hamas, and Islamic movements within Israel. A culture of lies in support of their struggle also features among these groups, such as their constant and systematic fabrications and rewriting of historical events in an attempt to deny any connection between the Jewish people and the land of Israel.

Those who choose to bury their heads in the sand, to fall into the abyss of illusions and play games mainly with themselves of formulating a Palestinian state with all kinds of different borders, have my blessings. But those who internalize the reality should perhaps congratulate the Palestinians for unintentionally returning us to our identity, our Judaism, and our Jerusalem.
http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_opinion.php?id=3033

President Obama Hanukkah Message

December 6, 2010

President Barack Obama celebrated the Jewish holiday Hanukkah on Friday:

Michelle and I send our warmest wishes to all who are celebrating Hanukkah around the world. The Hanukkah story of the Maccabees and the miracles they witnessed reminds us that faith and perseverance are powerful forces that can sustain us in difficult times and help us overcome even the greatest odds.

Hanukkah is not only a time to celebrate the faith and customs of the Jewish people, but for people of all faiths to celebrate the common aspirations we share. As families, friends and neighbors gather together to kindle the lights, may Hanukkah’s lessons inspire us all to give thanks for the blessings we enjoy, to find light in times of darkness, and to work together for a brighter, more hopeful tomorrow.  via enduringamerica.com

Obama doesn’t get it at all. Hanukkah isn’t about faith and aspirations to work together… it is about kicking the asses of outside powers telling us what to do like…. um Obama


Why Do European Socialists Like Hanukah?

November 30, 2010

Hanukah, as we know, commemorates a miracle. This year, I witnessed one firsthand.
I just gave a lecture in Toulouse, France, on “The Political Ideology of Israel’s De-Legitimization.” On the conference’s panels were French intellectuals and public figures who refuse to write and talk in Newspeak, such as Richard Prasquier (President of CRIF), Yvan Rioufiol (Le Figaro’s least politically correct columnist), Philippe Karsenty (a media analyst who’s been fighting, with guts and resilience, the French state TV channel France 2 on the Al-Dura blood libel), Robert Redecker (a French philosophy professor who lives under permanent police protection because of a fatwa issued against him for a critical article he once wrote on Islam), and Jacques Tarnero (a French author and filmmaker who argues that European opinion makers are trying to absolve Europe from the Holocaust by accusing Israel of behaving like its former torturers).
There was also a French Senator, Jean-Pierre Plancade. Originally a member of the French Socialist Party, he is now an independent.
Plancade ended his talk by begging the Jews to bring light to the world, and he referred to the upcoming Hanukah holiday to make his point. Coming from a politician who rose within a party that is both staunchly secular and sympathetic to the Palestinian narrative, those were striking words indeed.
Why do these people side with Israel and the Jews? Because they realize that their own freedom is threatened by Israel’s enemies. As Jacques Tarnero explained during the conference, he feels like France is going through another Dreyfus Affair: The France 2 channel knows and privately admits that it is lying about the Al-Dura Affair, but the media and the Government are circling the wagons around Charles Enderlin because Raison d’État and corporate solidarity come before the truth. Who cares if Daniel Pearl was beheaded to “avenge” the blood of Muhammad Al-Dura, and if Al-Dura has become an icon to justify the murder of Jews?
The panel I attended in Toulouse was not an isolated event. More and more Europeans are speaking out against the assault on truth and freedom, against the appeasement of Islamism, and against the demonization of Israel. Former Spanish Prime Minister José María Aznar says that if Israel is vanquished, the West is finished. His “Friends of Israel Initiative” is gaining new recruits by the day. German Chancellor Angela Merkel recently declared that “multiculturalism in Germany has failed” –a polite way of saying that most of Germany’s Turkish immigrants never integrated into German society. More and more political parties in Europe are gaining ground on platforms that call for a restriction of Muslim immigration and for the defense of Western values.
Merkel’s comments came in the wake of a new book that is both hugely popular and controversial: Deutschland Schafft sich ab (“Germany Does Away with Itself”) by German politician Thilo Sarrazin. Like Plancade, Sarrazin is a Socialist, a left-winger who, because he is speaking out his mind about Islam and the West, is being vilified and ostracized.
For what did Sarrazin write, after all? That Germany’s immigrant Muslim population is reluctant to integrate and tends to rely more on social services than to be productive, and that the Muslim population growth may well overwhelm the German population within a couple of generations at the current rate. True, Sarrazin also made silly comments on gene and intelligence, but that’s not why he is under attack. He is under attack for addressing a topic that is unofficially but effectively banned from public discourse.
The fact that Sarrazin’s book sold out after a few days says a lot about what many Germans want to hear and about what their elites want to silence.
As Matthias Matussek from Der Spiegel wrote: “Political correctness is silencing an important debate … Sarrazin’s findings on the failed integration of Turkish and Arab immigrants are beyond any doubt. He has been forced out of the Bundesbank. The SPD wants to kick him out of the party, too. Invitations previously extended to Sarrazin are being withdrawn. The culture page editors at the German weekly Die Zeit are crying foul and the editors at the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung are damning Sarrazin for passages he didn’t even write. But what all these technicians of exclusion fail to see is that you cannot cast away the very thing that Sarrazin embodies: the anger of people who are sick and tired—after putting a long and arduous process of Enlightenment behind them—of being confronted with pre-Enlightenment elements that are returning to the center of our society.”
Instead of trying to please Europe’s appeasers, Israel should assist Europe’s résistants. As more and more Europeans are showing courage and moral clarity, let us do what they expect from us: lead the struggle of the Maccabees and dissipate darkness with the lights of Hanukah.


President Obama’s Hanukkah Message | Enduring America

December 12, 2009

barack-obama-for-presidentPresident Barack Obama celebrated the Jewish holiday Hanukkah on Friday:

Michelle and I send our warmest wishes to all who are celebrating Hanukkah around the world. The Hanukkah story of the Maccabees and the miracles they witnessed reminds us that faith and perseverance are powerful forces that can sustain us in difficult times and help us overcome even the greatest odds.

Hanukkah is not only a time to celebrate the faith and customs of the Jewish people, but for people of all faiths to celebrate the common aspirations we share. As families, friends and neighbors gather together to kindle the lights, may Hanukkah’s lessons inspire us all to give thanks for the blessings we enjoy, to find light in times of darkness, and to work together for a brighter, more hopeful tomorrow.

Obama doesn’t get it at all. Hanukkah isn’t about faith and aspirations to work together… it is about kicking the asses of outside powers telling us what to do like…. um Obama


New for Hanukkah: Vodka donuts – Israel Business, Ynetnews

December 4, 2009

Don’t eat and drive: Latest holiday trend to hit bakeries is vodka-infused sufganiya, with alcohol content equal to that of bottle of beer

Yehudit Yahav

Alcohol importers in Israel have decided to market their vodka in an original way: By hiring a pastry chef who is also a bartender to create vodka-soaked donuts ahead of the holiday of Hanukkah.

“Adults await sufganiyot (Hanukkah donuts) no less than children do,” a source from the company that imports “Hortiza”, the vodka to be infused into the donuts, said.

“Therefore,” he added, “we have decided to launch a line of donuts suitable for adults and party-goers.”

A 100 gram donut, sold at the price of NIS 4.5 (about $1.18), contains 90 milliliters of vodka diluted with jam.

The vodka contains 35% alcohol, and the alcohol content of each donut is equal to that of a bottle of beer.

In other words, anyone eating more than one vodka donut had better hand over his or her car keys to a friend.

In order to meet the requirements of the law, the vodka donut will only be sold to adults presenting the appropriate ID.

The vodka donut trend seems to be spreading this year, and has also reached many bakeries in lower concentrations.

and remember… don’t get fat and drive

Posted via web from noahdavidsimon’s posterous


New for Hanukkah: Vodka donuts – Israel Business, Ynetnews

December 4, 2009

Don’t eat and drive: Latest holiday trend to hit bakeries is vodka-infused sufganiya, with alcohol content equal to that of bottle of beer