Kineret water level
-212.98 m +41 cm We passed the Lower Red Line! Story - Back Page
F WWW.KOLEINU.CO.IL VOLUME I ISSUE 3
(ט‘ אדר ב‘ תשע“א פרשת צו )זכור
E E R MARCH 15, 2011
A m e m b e r o f t h e 5 To w n s J e w i s h T i m e s F a m i l y o f N e w s p a p e r s
HAPPY PURIM! Yabba Dabba Doo Shmu’s Shmooze Esther, or perhaps the day before. We would habitually preAs I sit watching my family pare the packages only just pripack the 100+ mishloach manot or to going to hear the megillah. bags we will deliver over Purim With a large garage, we had and Shushan Purim, I am struck plenty of room to spread things by the extremely odd juxtapo- out and store the packages, yet we never felt the need to prepare them too far in advance. Each kid was allotted ten packages to distribute to the friend of their choice, with another 50+ going to our friends, relatives, and neighbors. We had a list that was pretty stable, with a couple of additions and subtractions each year, but nothing maEmail us YOUR picture in costume to email@example.com jor. We had a routine there and it was very organized sition of how we have changed and always completed in the our habits from being in the U.S. last day or two before Purim. Except for the “very orgato being here in Israel. In America, we used to buy all the ingre- nized” part, it sounds standard dients for our package and store Israeli. Last-minute things getthem in the closet until Taanit ting done without any real con-
BY SHMUEL KATZ
cern or panic. A set routine that we would follow on a regular basis. Which is strange, because here in Israel we have become much more aggressive about getting things done early. The mishloach manot ingredients were bought more than 10 days before Purim. We packed them the very next day. And oh yes, the entire festival of Purim has become much more focused upon the kids than we ever dreamed it could be in the U.S. Even though we always participated in our shul’s mishloach manot program, unlike here in Israel, that participation did not preclude our delivering at least 30+ personal packages to our neighbors and other shul families who had also been a part of the shul’s mishloach manot. Our list was at least equal to or greater than the sum of all the kids’ lists, be-
YABBA DABBA DOOOOOOO!!!!
cause our family gave out the majority of the packages as a group. Here, we hardly give out any personal packages. A couple of relatives. A few friends who are not members of the same shul we are. That’s it. We might have all of 15 people on our list in a big year, much less in a normal year.
יהי זכרם ברוך Udi Fogel, a”h
Ruth Fogel, a”h
Yoav Fogel, a”h
Elad Fogel, a”h
The kids have totally ﬂipﬂopped with us. Our teenage daughters gave out almost 50 each last year, so many that they were forced to deliver packages without their parents as chauffeurs, because there simply would not be enough time in the day to make so many stops. (We put our feet down this year and are holding them—we hope—to closer to 25 each.) There is a certain frenzy that we encounter on Purim here that was not as prevalent in the old country. Even though the neighborhood we lived in was heavily Jewish with a large number of religious Jews, and the yeshiva bachurim would run from house to house in their stretch Humvees in a mad dash to collect tzedakah, the day was essentially a family day. We deliv-
Continued on Page 15
(Editorial - Back Page)
Hadas Fogel, a”h
Do You Have Elderly Parents? BY AARON KATSMAN As life expectancy continues to increase, the burden of both financially and physically caring for aging parents is one of the most important and pressing issues for adult children that exist today. I often see families torn apart by this responsibility. It’s sometimes difficult for families to retain harmony and still provide the necessary care needed for their parents. Managing family finances is often carried out between spouses. But what happens when children have to start taking control of their parent’s situation? There are many different approaches families take in handling this issue. Some elderly parents single out one child to handle their financial affairs. In most cases, the siblings who are not singled out are happy to be free of the responsibility. Other elderly parents don’t explicitly mention anything and adopt a “wait and see” attitude. Here, an alert child should step in before any irreversible fiscal damage is done. The most common approach is where parents don’t want to single out any one child for fear of insulting other children, so they ask all their children to cooperate in overseeing their financial matters.
Which Method Is Best? There is no “best” method for success. The goal should be to limit the amount of family discord while pro-
viding the greatest quality of financial oversight. Each family needs to understand its own dynamic and to take geographic relationships and fiscal experience into account. The most common case I see is where there is one child living in Israel, and the rest of the siblings still live abroad. The parents sell their house and come to live in Israel. The siblings come to consult on a financial plan for the parents. We discuss the assets, the basic income requirements, and health-related expenses. The sibling living here accepts the burden of physically caring for the parent, and all of the siblings plan on jointly handling the money. Then, they all return to the States. That’s when the trouble begins. Since the rest of the siblings are far away, they begin to lose touch with the day-to-day issues involved in caring for their parent. Nonetheless, they feel confident in their ability to handle money, so they all have strong opinions in the financial decision-making process. The child actually caring for the parent, on the other hand, though no money expert, is the one who has to pay all the parent’s bills. There is often an incredible disconnect between the siblings in terms of financial priorities. They each seem to have their own agenda. Furthermore, each sibling doesn’t want to burden the other, so they call the advisor(s) with minor details. The lack of clear communication between the siblings themselves and
with their parents makes for a tricky situation.
The Need For Objectivity Siblings need to open up the lines of communication between them, and should definitely consult with an advisor if they need help in creating a financial plan. Often it takes an objective third party to smooth out emotional flashpoints and maintain family harmony. A financial advisor can develop a plan for an elderly parent in consultation with the responsible sibling, and then can invite the rest of the siblings in to hear the proposal. Everyone can learn the details, ask questions, and understand the greater picture, without one sibling appearing too domineering or pushy. Assuming control of your parent’s financial responsibilities can be emotionally draining and time consuming. However, having a concrete plan as to what needs to be done, and who should do it, can help reduce some of the emotional energy. Siblings should be prepared to consult with one another, and assign specific duties to all the family members according to their individual abilities. Aaron Katsman is a licensed ﬁnancial professional both in the United States and Israel, and helps people who open investment accounts in the United States. Securities are offered through Portfolio Resources Group, Inc., a registered broker dealer, Member FINRA, SIPC, MSRB, NFA, SIFMA. For more information, call (02) 624-0995, visit www. aaronkatsman.com, or e-mail aaron@ lighthousecapital.co.il.
United With Israel: Explosive Unity With Israel On Facebook Bet Shemesh, Israel — “United with Israel,” a grass-roots pro-Israel organization started by American Jewish families living in Israel, has become the fastest-growing pro-Israel Facebook page on the Web. In less than three months, they have experienced explosive, viral growth, increasing their fan base by over 100,000 people. Israel supporters from all over the
March 15, 2011 ʥʰʩʬʥʷ
world have been joining United with Israel at a super-fast pace. Many thousands of people across the globe interact with their Facebook page and website each day. As Israel tops world news on a regular basis, supporters of Israel from all faiths are attracted to this grass-roots organization that promotes global unity with the people of Israel. United with Israel
promotes the fact that Israel is a great blessing to the world and explains why it’s important to be an active supporter. They recently launched a new website (www.unitedwithisrael.org) that provides a comfortable place for supporters to connect with Israel in a meaningful way and share their passion for pro-Israel advocacy. “Connecting with Israel is not a fad, like many of the popular sites on Facebook,” says Michael Gerbitz, founder of United with Israel. “It is very real and very deep-rooted. Using Facebook as a means to build a large, active proIsrael community is social media at its best—‘loving Israel’ is truly viral and will continue to grow.” Gerbitz proclaims that “our immediate goal is to gain one million members from around the world who are proud to stand United with Israel. And that’s just the beginning.” You can visit United with Israel’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ unitedwithisrael.
The Voice קולינו 052.952.7500 firstname.lastname@example.org Published by: Shmu Media, Ltd. Editor: Shmuel Katz Associate Editor: Larry Gordon Managing Editor: Goldie Katz News Director: Samuel Sokol Copy Editor: Michele Justic Copy Editor: Shmuel Gerber Contributing Editors: Rabbi Yair Hoffman, Aron Katsman, Rabbi Dov Lipman Staff Photographer: Yissachar Ruas News Intern: Zahava Pinsker Design by Design-ER Printing: Graphoprint, Tel Yitzhak DISCLAIMER: The Voice | קולינוis an independent newspaper o wned and operated b y Shmu Media, L td. O pinions e xpressed b y the c olumnists and contributors ar e not nec essarily those of the editor, publisher, or owner. Opinions e xpressed b y the adv ertisers ar e not necessarily those of the editor, publisher, or owner. We are not responsible for the hashgachah or kashrut of an y product or establishmen t advertised or featured in the newspaper . All submissions ar e pr operty of the newspaper . The edit or r eserves the righ t t o r eject any submissions for publica tion and/or advertisements, at his discretion. We are not r esponsible for an y t ypographical errors or omissions or the content of any advertisements or submissions.
ʥʰʩʬʥʷ March 15, 2011
Celebrating 20 Years Of Service At The BCL Mazal Tov! The Benjamin Children’s Library is 20 years old this year! The BCL is where the municipal “melting pot” of Bet Shemesh—made up of immigrants from Ethiopia, Russia, English-speaking countries, and native-born Israelis—come together over a love of the written word. Founded by former Bet Shemesh resident Tami Kruger to perpetuate the memory of Benjamin Kruger, who died at the age of four, the BCL has introduced a generation of children to what Benjamin loved most—the joy of curling up with a good book—while providing a wide range of educational programs and cultural events. But for all it has given to the city, this beloved resource is in danger. It is bursting at the seams, with its growing book and periodicals collection, its computer lab, its children’s play area, and its ofﬁces squeezed into a space suited for a library half its size. At the library, the lack of physical space leads to hard decisions. While maintaining books in Amharic, the Russian and French language collections have been eliminated. At the same time, the library is struggling to expand sections—like junior-high ﬁction—that are getting more traf-
ﬁc as the library’s clientele grows up. The limited space also limits library programming—such as story-telling hours and seminars for parents— which can only be held when the library is closed. In order to most effectively serve the community as it enters its third decade, the library plans to redesign the small space in the Meyerhoff Matnas where the library makes its home. This community-sponsored project will provide the “breathing space” the library needs to expand.
A student doing homework in the library.
In addition to giving of their time— which over 50 volunteers do every week to keep this institution running—the library is asking the community to strap on their sneakers, and make sure that the library can continue to grow.
Library director Bibsi Zuckerbrot says that the 20th anniversary of the library is the right time to rededicate ourselves to the library’s future growth. “The library is a grass-roots success story,” she says. “Now it’s time to write the next chapter, with everyone’s help.” According to Zuckerbrot, the library’s tradition of giving is best exempliﬁed by its learning center, which offers free A special “story hour” program last Chanukah. homework help by Bet Shemesh Family 5K Charity Run. trained teachers on a drop-in basis. This run, sponsored by the Bet Shem- “The program beneﬁts all children,” esh Runner’s Club, is the largest all- she says, “but it has become a vital charity ﬁtness event in Israel and will home-away-from-home for a large begin in the park across from the Bet group of Ethiopian students, whose Shemesh ﬁre station at exactly 9:30 parents frequently lack the basic lita.m. on Friday, April 1, to raise much- eracy skills to grapple with Hebrewneeded funds for the library’s operat- based curricula.” “As an institution, the BCL does eving budget. You can register to particerything it can to give the next genipate at http://tinyurl.com/4hmm739. The run is the ﬁrst of many 20th- eration a step up to literacy. We inanniversary events planned to raise vite the entire country to support this awareness about the library’s impor- worthy cause by stepping out, and joining us at the 5K Race on April 1.” tant contribution to the community. The library’s 20th-year celebration will kick off with the fourth annual
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Nonproﬁt Conference Launched for Israeli Amutot BY STUART ISSACSON Having worked for a decade in the nonprofit world, first in the U.S. and then the last four years here in Israel, I am quite familiar with the challenges facing nonprofit organizations. The constant battle for resources, the drive to maximize expenditures to fulfill the organization’s mission instead of spending on overhead, personnel, and other indirect costs, even the need to demonstrate financial transparency to donors and the public—these are just a few of the variables that make a nonprofit a unique and challenging business. Yes, I used the word business. That is because despite the fact that they are by definition charitable organizations, they are being asked to run more and more like businesses every day. I personally believe that this is a good thing because professionalism, efficiency, and planning are core ideals to a successfully run business, and adding these values to a nonprofit are essential to ensuring its viability in the 21st century. That’s why I was excited to cover the FONSI (Future of Nonprofit Summit – Israel) conference MK Avishay Braverman (Labor) coproduced addresses the conference. by Causil and Reach3k. The conference was modeled after a similar conference from the U.S. and is designed to bring ideas and practical advice to those in the nonprofit industry in a one-day event, exposing them to solutions that they might not otherwise come across in their daily operations. This is especially valuable to us here in Israel because of the high percentage of organizations and individuals employed in the nonprofit sector, relative to other countries. After an opening address by MK Avishay Braverman (Labor), himself an experienced nonprofit professional as the former president of Ben Gurion University of the Negev, participants had a full slate of panels and lectures on a variety of topics, each presented by either experts in the field or by nonprofit professionals experienced in the subject matter. Ranging from the use of technology in furthering an organization’s objective to a discussion on social media and many subjects in between, it was clear that the organizers had planned a well-rounded program. Without having to hire outside consultants or spending large sums of money on identifying ways to keep up with the pace of the modern world, the FONSI conference was certainly a boon to many mid-to-small-size nonprofits, in addition to the large organizations. There
Paamonim’s Oriel Lederberg explains how IT solutions helped streamline operations and cut costs.
Conference participants applaud the outstanding speakers.
is no question that the FONSI conference will help resource-strapped nonprofits tap undiscovered tools and potentials for their organizations.
PESACH 2011 The Ultimate Pesach Experience in Israel
LE MERIDIEN DEAD SEA (GLATT MEHADRIN)
The most luxurious and exclusive 5 star hotel in the Dead Sea Special “Young Israel” program for English speakers
Rabbi Shlomo Riskin-Scholar in Residence Rabbi Zvi & Sharon Ron, formerly of Richmond, Virginia, Educational Directors Daniel & Yael Ehrenpreis Meyer – Hosts Spacious Rooms•Gourmet Cuisine• Suites & Garden Apartments• The largest SPA in the Dead Sea•Indoor and outdoor swimming pools• Balcony & Sea View in every room• Fitness room •Daily children and teenage programs •Entertainment shows and lectures •Organized trips on Chol Hamoed Also Available: Dan Panorama, Tel Aviv•Kfar Hamacabia• Blue Bay, Netanya•Dan Carmel, Haifa•Maale Hachamisha• Tel: In the USA – Aryeh – 718 887 7216 In Israel - Daniel – 02-6505924 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.iyim.org.il/pesach International Young Israel Movement (IYIM) - Israel Region
ʥʰʩʬʥʷ March 15, 2011
Youth Group Seeks To Bridge Hamas/Fatah Divide BY SAMUEL SOKOL NEWS DIRECTOR
Samuel Sokol routinely reports from inside the Palestinian Authority
During the few minutes we traveled together through downtown Ramallah, the 25-year-old activist informed me that he is the president of the Palestinian Youth Parliament, a movement dedicated to providing educational and social opportunities for the youth of Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Gaza. The PYP describes itself as having a “great concentration on educating youth categories in leaders’ issues, de-
Ramallah and Sheikh Jarrah, March 2— Sitting in the back seat of a jitney-cab on the way to meet with former Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Nabil Shaath several weeks ago, I made the acquaintance of a young resident of eastern Jerusalem named Mousa Abassi. Unsure of my way, as a ﬁrst-time visitor to Ramallah, I identiﬁed myself as an American reporter and asked if anybody on board knew which stop would bring me closest to the city’s central Al-Manar Square. Indicating that he spoke EngA poster of Yasser Arafat and Mahmoud lish, Mousa offered to direct Abbas in Ramallah. me. After the minibus brought us to the square, Mousa helped me hail a mocracy, human rights, and the civil socicab and directed the driver in rapid-ﬁre Ar- ety culture.” The Almustaqbal Society for Developabic to my destination.
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the York University alumnus and sometimes dance teacher is in charge of spreading Fatah’s message in the city. Not all of Mousa’s activities may be palatable to Westerners, however. The youth leader represents a party that this week blasted the United Nations agency UNRWA for its plans to teach the Holocaust to Palestinians. Salah al-WadiNews Director Sam Sokol in Nablus (Shechem) yeh, a representative of Mousa’s party, was quotment and Democracy, during a conference ed as saying that the Holocaust was “a big sponsored by Yasser Arafat, decided that it lie” and that the Palestinians “know more was “necessary to coordinate efforts and than any other people the history of their unite youth energies to build a compre- enemies and their false claims and lies.” hensive framework encompassing all Pal- Members of his youth movement have estinian political parties as well as to reap also been photographed by Reuters giving the beneﬁts the civil society institutions the Nazi salute at rallies attended by senior had worked so hard for,” and subsequent- party ofﬁcials. According to Mousa, he was arrested by ly founded the youth parliament in 2004. Mousa’s organization has another, more Israeli security forces on three separate ocambitious goal, he would later tell me: to casions. He was ﬁrst arrested as a teenagbring about grass-roots reconciliation be- er for throwing stones at Israelis, a charge tween the Hamas regime in Gaza and the he denies, and ended up serving a onePLO-run Palestinian Authority that con- year term in an Israeli jail. His latest arrest resulted in a short stint in prison, and he trols territories in Judea and Samaria. Turning to give me his business card, spent a half a year under house arrest. the young man offered to bring me as his guest to an upcoming event that he is planning, at which Mahmoud Abbas will speak to the youth of the West Bank. Several days ago, I again met with Mousa at Sheikh Jarrah’s American Colony Hotel, a favored hangout for journalists on assignment to Jerusalem. Several minutes after I sat down to wait in the lobby, Mousa arrived, decked out in a dark pullover and with an intense Al-Manar Square in downtown Ramallah, including a look on his lightly bearded “Stars & Bucks Café.” face. After introducing me to His imprisonment, Mousa stated, was his girlfriend, a tall, blonde, chain-smoking German national, he indicated several due to his afﬁliation with Fatah as well armed Israeli policemen and asked if we as his participation in a 2009 Arab League could speak in what would be for him a initiative designed to highlight Jerusalem as an Arab capital. However, there may be more comfortable setting. Twenty minutes later we reached a some doubt regarding his claim of innosmall Arab restaurant where Mousa, be- cence in the rock-throwing incident, as tween puffs of a water-pipe, consented to Fatah activists in Jerusalem have become tell this correspondent about his history, known for such activities. Muhhamad Abu Humus, a fellow party the Palestinian Youth Parliament, and his activist and resident of the Issawiya neighhopes for the future. Mousa explained that he is not only the borhood in East Jerusalem, was convicted president of the PYP but is also a regional of leading bands of young Jerusalem Arleader of Shabib Et Fateh, the youth move- abs in blocking off streets and conductment of PLO Chairman and PA President ing a small-scale rebellion in East Jerusalem during Israel’s 2009 incursion into the Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah faction. Heading up the movement’s branches in schools throughout East Jerusalem, Continued on Page 12
Israel Apartheid Week BY ZAHAVA PINSKER NEWS INTERN
It seems that my friend Shlomo Siegelman, an active member of the Hillel of Rutgers University, is constantly battling an overwhelming and outspoken anti-Israel presence. I recently called him, eager to hear what the infamous Israel Apartheid Week had brought to his campus this year and was disturbed to discover that in addition to the usual distribution of pamphlets, BAKA (Students United for Middle Eastern Justice) had set up a 12-foot inﬂatable wall to represent the West Bank barrier.
Observed in universities in 77 cities across the globe, Israel Apartheid Week arrives with documentaries, lectures, protests, radio broadcasting, and the constant recital of the organization’s motto: Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions. As I researched the various techniques employed during Israel Apartheid Week, a question dawned on me. What are the pro-Israel organizations doing to combat these claims? I started with AEPi, the Jewish frater-
nity that has found a home on over 130 college campuses. I spoke with Adam Teitelbaum, the international director of Jewish programming, who explained that although AEPi does not have an ofﬁcial protocol concerning Israel Apartheid Week, the brothers are always on the front lines, advocating for the State of Israel by partnering with various organizations and providing campus residents with educational opportunities. AEPi often sends its brothers on trips to Israel and offers them advocacy training so that they may aptly respond to situations such as Israel Apartheid Week. The ICC, Israel on Campus Coalition, (www.israelcc.org) uses more specific approaches with which to respond to Israel Apartheid Week, devoting a page on their website to “Counter Delegitimization (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) Resources.” Here, they provide links to various websites that offer methods of countering the agenda of Israel Apartheid Week. One such website belongs to StandWithUs (www. standwithus.com), an organization that serves to “empower students to counter anti-Israel bias and to proudly and persuasively make Israel’s case on cam-
puses.” The site allows viewers to register as members or report divestment campaigns on their campuses. It is one among many sites listed on the ICC webpage. But as my friend Shlomo informed me, it doesn’t have to stop with the big guys. In response to the erection of the pseudo–West Bank wall, he and his fellow Hillel members set up a table and began distributing pamphlets explaining that both Arabs and Israelis can and do serve in the Israeli government, along with many other realities that disprove the theory that Israel is an apartheid state. They also brandished a giant poster listing the number of deaths due to terrorist attacks per year before the construction of the West Bank wall and
the number of deaths per year after its construction, notifying their classmates that the wall had helped to decrease the number of victims per year from triple digits to double digits. The bottom of the poster read, “You do the math.” Additionally, the students carried signs
stating facts about Israel’s aid to Muslim countries with natural disasters. I am thrilled to report that my friend’s little table seemed to have drawn more attention and supporters than a 12-foot wall.
There will always be anti-Israel demonstrations. People will always ﬁnd reasons to hate us. It’s been that way forever and it’s only getting worse. They hold up signs displaying the magen david and the swastika side by side, comparing the victims of history’s largest genocide to the perpetrators of history’s largest genocide. We cannot stop them, but we certainly cannot sit idly by. We must take advantage of our individual networks of friends, whether it be social media or other forms of communication, to continually promote a positive, truthful image of Israel. We must overshadow or at least match the anti-Israel presence on college campuses by continuing to send our children to serve as shlichim or providing Jewish students with information and resources. The facts are on our side. If we remain silent while 77 cities continue to host anti-Israel campaigns at universities ﬁlled with young, impressionable students, well . . . you do the math.
Homeless In The Homeland In a country known more for its political situation, delectable falafel, and as the epicenter for three major religions, few outside Israel notice that homelessness is on the rise, and more apparent than ever on the streets of Tel Aviv. In many ways, Israel is a country of contradictions; how you can be surrounded by religious black-hatted men in the Old City, Jerusalem; and later sitting on the beach with tanned youth sporting bikinis and playing matkot (paddle ball) in the span of 40 minutes can be mind-reeling. Likewise, you could be strolling down the clean Northern Tel Aviv streets, browsing the designer shops, and within a 15 minute walk south ﬁnd yourself noticing more
BY ALEXANDRA MANDEL
Homeless man camps out in Tel Aviv
cockroaches, trash, rundown buildings, and the pungent smell of urine. Along with these unfortunate “southern comforts,” there is a noticeable increase in homeless men and women as one approaches the center. They tend to congregate around tourist areas and shopping centers in the hopes of coming
across generous, less apathetic foreigners. Their tactics have become increasingly insistent, whether it be staking out ATMs or ﬂoating among café patrons. With the increasing competition for peoples’ spare change, those who live on the streets are being forced to become more innovative in their technique. Another phenomenon among the homeless: recycling. While waiting for my bus to school in the early mornings, among the business people, tourists and elderly out for a morning stroll, the homeless are out and about attempting to collect all the glass and plastic bottles left by partiers from the night before. At any corner store, large glass bottles are redeemed for a shekel and a half (approximately 40 cents). Accord-
ingly, people living on the streets can be seen pushing strollers or shopping carts piled high with bottles pulled out of trash cans, off the beach or left on the street. The advantage to this legislation is that not only does it give the homeless a moderately stable means of surviving with enough bottles, but it also clearly contributes to a greener Holy Land. Local lawyer Gilad Harish established Tel Aviv’s ﬁrst homeless shelter, Gagon, in 1992. Today, there are countless refuges around the country that take in street-dwellers. And while last year it was cited that the national level of poverty has decreased by 29%, run-ins with homeless people on the streets and buses of Tel Aviv are standard occurrences of everyday life. ʥʰʩʬʥʷ March 15, 2011
A Door Closed, A Window Opened: Third Yahrzeit Of Mercaz HaRav Massacre BY RIVKAH MORIAH As my son’s third yahrzeit approaches, I can hardly believe it has been three years already. It seems like just yesterday I would wait in anticipation for him to arrive home from yeshiva, my ears pricked to hear him walk in the door. But sometimes it seems like an eternity since I last saw him. Avraham David was one of eight boys and young men killed in a terrorist attack on Rosh Chodesh Adar, March 6, 2008, while learning in the library of Yeshivat Mercaz HaRav; he was one of ﬁve who were high school students from Yashlatz. So much has changed since then. The most obvious, for me and my family, is that Avraham David is gone. Grief never goes away, but it changes over time. Initially, there was great shock. Just hanging in there was an act of faith that, if G-d had a plan, He would be there for us. Now, three years later, life has a lot more routine. His brothers get to school on time, supper gets cooked, there is even time and energy for extracurricular activities for the kids and a dance class for myself. I actually cry more frequently now. The greatest shock has passed, so now
when I think of how much I miss Avraham David, what I feel is intense sadness. That feeling is always somewhere in the background, informing my decisions, and that is precisely why most of the time I am just busy living. There is an expression, “When G-d closes a door, a window opens.” Going through a door is a way of getting someplace, or, metaphorically, not being “stuck.” When a door is closed to us, it is hard not to feel both lost and trapped. When Hashem opens that window for us, He is providing us with a way of getting unstuck. But it is our decision whether we take that window. When leaving a room, people almost always choose the door. Not only is it convenient, it is habit. When a person takes the window, chances are they need to be a little more creative than usual. Who knows if this metaphoric window is even on the ﬁrst ﬂoor? Not only that, but it forces a person to challenge his or her conventions, his or her expectations of what “ought” to be the way to leave a room, demanding a kind of emotional creativity, too. Sometimes it is tempting to stay next to a door, hoping, crying, and even praying that it will open again. What
most helped me and my family to cope with our loss was the decision to accept that the door had been closed: a big, important door had been irrevocably slammed in our faces. I made a ﬁrm decision to accept what we still had and to cherish our blessings. I decided to take the window. This helped me enable my other kids to go on living, to grow and thrive, despite their own grief. Also, it opened up new possibilities for me. I no longer felt as limited by convention, and I found I cared a lot more about other kids, as well. I realized I wanted to connect with Avraham David’s classmates at Yashlatz. On the one hand, it is symbolic. They are “the boys who lived,” but it is also genuine. It is conventional for a mother to care mostly about her own children, but, as long as I’m taking the window, why not buck convention and care about other kids, as well, if I’ve got love to spare? Proof that this was a good path was not long in coming. Approaching the ﬁrst Shavuot after the attack, I was overcome with grief to think that Avraham David’s seat would be empty during Shavuot learning. It dawned on me that the high-schoolers would probably feel even worse, with ﬁve of their
March 15, 2011 ʥʰʩʬʥʷ
fellow students missing. So we baked cakes. My kids and I baked cakes in Avraham David’s memory for his friends to eat in the beit midrash on leil Shavuot. Grief is a kind of love, so we expressed it in love, in a way that nurtured Torah and life. For the sake of Avraham David’s memory and for the sake of life, I continue to invest as much as I can in my family, and also in Yashlatz. It is no coincidence that my pet project at Yashlatz is the new dining hall that is still in the planning stage, but that we hope to begin building soon. “Without ﬂour there can be no Torah,” and if some of that ﬂour is turned into cake, all the better! Avraham David’s yahrzeit falls on Rosh Chodesh Adar, the day on which we proclaim, “Mishenichnas Adar marbim b’simchah— from the beginning of Adar, joy increases.” This injunction falls upon me no less than on all Jews. How does one experience great joy on what for me is the saddest day of the year? There is not one short answer to this, but the beginning of an answer lies in the change of path I have been forced to take. Although the day is associated with sadness for me, I am also discovering that there is simchah in so much more than I would ever have realized. Of course, this does not mean that we are happy Avraham David has died. It just means we can be happy even though we are sad that Avraham David has died. The window did not lead me back to the path that the door led to, but to someplace else that is full of my love for Avraham David, even though he is not in this world to receive it. I believe that Avraham David’s soul is now in the light of the Divine Presence, and I also believe that somehow he still knows how much we love him and miss him. As for us, the window we took is full of the light of his memory. Rivkah Moriah is the mother of Avraham David Moses, Hy’d, a student at the Yashlatz high school who was killed in the terrorist attack at Mercaz HaRav on March 6, 2008. She grew up in rural New Hampshire and studied at Oberlin College in Ohio. She moved to Israel in 1989 and studied at Machon Pardes, during which time she completed her conversion. Rivkah currently lives in Efrat with her husband, Rav David Moriah, an educator at Yeshivat Chorev in Jerusalem. To learn more about Yashlatz (The Mercaz HaRav High School) or to make a donation in memory of the kedoshim, visit www.yashlatz. com. This article, reprinted with permission, ﬁrst appeared February 22 on the Orthodox Union’s website and Shabbat Shalom newsletter.
Under The Sun: A Survey Of Bet Shemesh News Bet Shemesh Chosen To House New National Police Academy BY DOV LIPMAN Following years of talk and planning in an attempt to prevent duplications and more efficiently manage resources, an agreement was recently reached to construct the National Police Academy in Bet Shemesh. The project will consolidate 20 smaller academies currently spread throughout the country into one large campus to be located in the currently underutilized West Bet Shemesh. This area, currently housing an industrial zone of warehouses and office parks, is located immediately across from Bet Shemesh on Highway 38, in between the South Bet Shemesh and Ramat Bet Shemesh highway exits. The NIS 1.5 billion project will spread over 230 dunam with 62,000 meters of space for classrooms, training rooms, exercise facilities, housing for the cadets, and more.
(L to R) Bet Shemesh City Councilman and Head of the City’s Construction Department Moshe Montag (Degel HaTorah), Bet Shemesh Mayor Moshe Abutbol, Police Chief Dudi Cohen and Public Security Minister Yitzchak Aharonovich raise a glass together in celebration of the selection of Bet Shemesh as the site of the new National Police Academy
Speaking at a meeting in which the long-awaited agreement was announced, Minister of Public Securi-
ty Yitzchak Aharonovich said, “There is no precedent in the state for this kind of project.” He highlighted the fact that the budget for the academy is around 1/10 of his ministry’s overall budget and that he thinks the project will lead to general growth in the region. Bet Shemesh Mayor Moshe Abutbol welcomed the plans for the academy and spoke about how it will enhance the city. He also promised to work hard towards the quick completion of a new neighborhood in the city for security personnel and those connected to the academy. Police Commissioner Dudi Cohen announced that the project would strengthen the police force and that he viewed the construction of a residential neighborhood for security personnel as “an integral part of this project.”
Dov Lipman teaches at Reishit Yerushalayim and Machon Maayan in Bet Shemesh. He has semichah from Ner Yisroel and a master’s degree in education from Johns Hopkins University and is also the author of three popular books geared to teenagers and their parents. In recent years, Dov has become a community activist in Bet Shemesh. He can be reached at email@example.com.
MK Nissim Zeev’s Plan BY LARRY GORDON I followed Nissim Zeev down the hall of the Knesset, where a collection of Knesset workers were gathering for Minchah. We were in the middle of a meeting in his ofﬁce to discuss the plan that is being relentlessly pursued by his American-born aide, Shoshana Bekerman. The objective is vital to Israel’s future. The plan is to secure recognition from the United Nations that the Jewish people are the indigenous population of Judea, Samaria, East Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights. MK Zeev has traveled around the world to UN conferences in Paris and New York to hammer home the point that he and Ms. Bekerman, along with many others in inﬂuential positions, believe is within reach. And that is to implement the idea that the Jewish people have rights to this land based on the United Nations “Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples,” which was endorsed by the U.S. administration in December 2010. MK Zeev says, “The issue of the rights of Jews to live in Judea, Samaria, and the other territories is at the heart of the current crisis in the peace process and the basis for the battle being waged
by Israel’s enemies to delegitimize Israel as a Jewish State.” He adds that every historical fact that corroborates Jewish historic ties to the Land of Israel is being met with lies and manipulation. The recognition by UNESCO of Rachel’s Tomb as an Islamic heritage site and the UN’s recognition of the Cave of the Machpelah in Hebron as a Muslim site are the most recent examples of the distortion of the historical narrative. Professor Irwin Cotler, a well-known authority on aboriginal issues and former Minister of Justice of Canada, pointed out: “Israel, rooted in the Jewish people, as an Abrahamic people, is a prototypical First Nation or aboriginal people, just as the Jewish religion is a prototypical aboriginal religion, the ﬁrst of the Abrahamic religions. In a word, the Jewish people is the only people that still inhabits the same land, embraces the same religion, studies the same Torah, hearkens to the same prophets, speaks the same aboriginal language—Hebrew—and bears the same aboriginal name, Israel, as it did 3,500 years ago. Israel, then, is the aboriginal homeland of the Jewish people across space and time.” The UN’s involvement in protecting the rights of indigenous populations
may have been originally intended to protect the rights of obscure tribes and peoples in far-off and remote lands, but the point is being hammered home by people like MK Zeev that these natural laws apply to the greatest extent to the Jewish people in the Land of Israel. Ms. Bekerman, the director of the Knesset Caucus for Israel, Judaism, and Global Ethics, participated in last year’s meeting of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in New York. Ms. Elsa Stamatopoulou, the chief of the secretariat of the Permanent Forum, conﬁrmed in a meeting with Ms. Bekerman that Jews living in Judea and Samaria are entitled to claim their rights in accordance with the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. She noted that in her 20 years as secretary of the Forum, there has never been any Israeli or Jewish involvement, while the Palestinians have claimed their rights as indigenous to Israel and have formed alliances with other major indigenous peoples. Ms. Stamatopoulou further con-
ﬁrmed that she never made the connection that Judea and Samaria is the ancestral home of the Jewish people. For her, she says, it was always “the West Bank, the occupied territories.” She emphasized that most probably this is the case with all UN ofﬁcials, including the Secretary General, and that it is up to the Jews of Judea and Samaria to make their case to the world. In an op-ed piece in the New York Times last year, Israel’s ambassador to the U.S., Michael B. Oren, wrote: “The core of the Israeli-Palestinian conﬂict has been the refusal to recognize Jews as a people, indigenous to the region and endowed with the right to self-government.” Studying the source material on this subject, it becomes increasingly and abundantly clear why the Palestinian position has been so steadfast in its refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish State. The validity of the issue of being declared indigenous to Eretz Yisrael is just beginning to snowball and has the potential to be a game-changer in the region. For more information, the Knesset ofﬁce of Mr. Zeev can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ʥʰʩʬʥʷ March 15, 2011
The Seat Of Power BY LARRY GORDON Associate Editor Larry Gordon, the N.Y.based publisher of our sister paper, the 5 Towns Jewish Times, recently spent ten days in Israel on assignment. He spent a day in the Knesset, meeting and greeting several MKs. Here are his thoughts, as an outsider looking in . . . Michael Ben Ari, one of the four Knesset members representing the rightist National Union (Ichud Leumi) party in Israel, believes that the uprising in some of the surrounding Arab countries is the best thing for Israel and the Jewish people. We are spending most of what has become a beautiful sunny day looking out large Knesset ofﬁce and dining-room windows, talking with several members who sit in the seat of power in the Jewish State. Reﬂecting on the experience, I wonder why these men and women spend so much time with representatives of media outlets that serve Diaspora Jews, people who are not part of their constituency and who cannot vote for their political parties. One MK gives me his personal cell number and says that anytime I am doing a story about Israel and its political or diplomatic situation and want a quote from him to just call him directly. I believe that it’s not just about the attention that political personalities may need to advance through the system. Mostly it speaks to the fact that regardless of where we reside in the world, we all have a stake in the future of Israel and how it is impacted by the ongoing situation in the world. Things are beautiful and calm in Israel, particularly in contrast to the growing tumult and air of revolution that is currently plaguing the Arab world. I’m sure you’ve seen the recent reference in the Torah about the stiff-necked nature of the Jewish people. Well, Moshe Rabbeinu’s assignation of that poignant characteristic of who we are did not come with an expiration date, and its validity is very much in evidence in the Knesset building. As a consequence, the philosophical mixture of the men and women remains
March 15, 2011 ʥʰʩʬʥʷ
steadfast and even ﬁrmer than their political positions may have been in the past. MK Ben Ari says all he wants is for the leftists in the Knesset to admit that they made a colossal miscalculation by dabbling in a peace process with the Palestinians, who remain bent on dismantling the Jewish State. “There is no peace partner, and people like Haim Ramon and Binyamin BenEliezer parade around like everything is normal and going well,” Ben Ari says. He adds that even Shimon Peres, Israel’s president, said recently that because there is such turmoil in the Middle East, now is the time for Israel to accelerate efforts to enter into a peace agreement with the Palestinians. “It’s delusional and wrongheaded, and they won’t admit it,” Mr. Ben Ari says. Michael Ben Ari, though he is a member of the parliament of the most secure and indeed admirable democracy in all of the Middle East and perhaps the world, cannot, after almost two years in ofﬁce, manage to secure a visa to visit the United States. He says the reason is his articulated association and admiration for Rabbi Meir Kahane, of blessed memory, whom he identiﬁes as his mentor and inspiration. Ben Ari says that George Mitchell, special envoy to the Middle East for President Obama, made a point of specifically directing the State Department not to allow Ben Ari into the U.S. He is appealing that decision and hopes in the near term to secure permission to enter the country. MK Yaakov Katz says that when we write about him, unless we refer to him as “Ketzaleh,” no one knows whom we are referring to. We had a relaxed lunch at midday in the Knesset dining room. To my left, dining with some guests, was veteran MK Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, a longtime member of the left-leaning Labor Party, a former minister in the Rabin and Barak governments, and a frequent visitor to Egypt as well as a close conﬁdant of the now deposed president, Hosni Mubarak. So here I am sitting with the arch-religious-rightist in Ketzaleh, and a couple of table away is Mr. Ben-Eliezer. Ketzaleh gets busy on the phone, and his assis-
tant Harel sees me looking over at BenEliezer and says to me that, by the way, Ben-Eliezer was Ketzaleh’s commander in the IDF during the Yom Kippur War. I suppose that the fact that I do not care for Mr. Ben-Eliezer’s vision of Israel’s political future was displayed on my face. Harel said of Ben-Eliezer that he was known as an extraordinarily courageous commander and fearless even when encountering enemy ﬁre in war. Ben-Eliezer is 75 years old now. His politics, I was thinking, falls in line with what Michael Ben Ari was saying earlier that day, that those on the left simply cannot come to grips with their ﬂawed approach to the Palestinians and peace. Ketzaleh is an interesting man and is the one individual I know who personiﬁes the consummate Israel experience cloaked in the mantle of Torah and faith in Hashem. And on top of all that, he knows his way around the nooks and crannies of the complicated Israeli political process. Though he is in his ﬁrst term as a member of the Knesset, he conducts himself like a seasoned veteran. Today he does not hide the rather low regard he harbors for Prime Minister Netanyahu. “Netanyahu is an actor; what you see is not the real Bibi, and no one knows for sure where he will stand on any given day on the important issues,” says Katz. As you know, Bibi leads the right-leaning Likud Party, which has traditionally been identiﬁed with the settler movement and continued building in Judea and Samaria. On that count, Ketzaleh tells us, “In the area of building in the territories, Bibi is the worst of all possible prime ministers.” He adds that all in the Knesset are aware that, except in name, Ehud Barak is the real prime minister. Katz believes in the power of the Right in the Knesset and what can be accomplished for the beneﬁt of Israel if the parties can somehow unite. A natural ally of Ketzaleh’s National Union is Habayit HaYehudi, but the two groups have differences that to this point have prevented them from working together. I asked Ketzaleh what the differences between the two parties are, and all he could say was that they are not about issues but rather about personalities. He then said he believed he would have an announcement to make on the matter in a few weeks. He believes the parties are very close to overcoming their differences and hopes to announce that in the next election they will be able to run as a bloc that currently controls seven seats in the Knesset. “We must unite,” Katz says, “because voters are more inclined to vote for a party that has a more signiﬁcant presence in the Knesset.” He says that in the last election, over 20 percent of the dati electorate cast their votes for Likud. He adds that he believes that in the next election, his faction as a united party can garner as many as 12 seats in the Knesset. That would make them a party to reckon with along the lines of Avigdor Leiberman’s Yisrael Beitenu.
Later that afternoon, we visited with Shas MK Nissim Zeev, who last year was in New York and spoke at an event in the Five Towns. Rabbi Zeev is a founder of the Shas party and a close conﬁdant of Rav Ovadia Yosef, the former Sephardic Chief Rabbi of Israel and the guiding force of Shas. Our meeting, which was arranged by MK Zeev’s aide Shoshana Bekerman, was convened to discuss the matter of having the Jewish people declared by the United Nations to be the indigenous population of parts of Israel that include Judea, Samaria, Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights. This would make it illegal under international law for the so declared people to be evacuated from their homeland. The feeling in MK Zeev’s ofﬁce is that this will be the determining factor in ﬁnally putting to rest the long-held notion that Jews are occupiers in the Land of Israel (see sidebar on Page 9). And ﬁnally we stopped in at the end of the day to say hello to Deputy Knesset Speaker Danny Danon. He was in another ofﬁce at the other end of the Knesset building, where the immigration committee that he sits on was conducting meetings. He said that he is very focused on continued Jewish immigration into Israel and that earlier in the day the committee had decided to allow entry into Israel of the last group of Ethiopian Jews. “There are still 7,000 that want to live in Israel and we will be absorbing 200 per month until they are all here,” he said. He is also working actively on bringing many additional Jewish families to Israel from the former Soviet Union. He said that as a member of the Likud, he was very concerned about the lack of building permits being issued in the territories and that after our meeting he was going to a Likud ministers’ meeting where he would express his concern directly to the prime minister. He added that the lack of building in larger West Bank communities like Ariel has made it impossible for young couples to make Ariel home, and that as a result it was progressively becoming an area dominated by older residents. Danon commented that he hoped this was not by design but only a consequence of the pressure from the U.S. not to build. The local papers in Israel reported the next day that Netanyahu had for now rejected their demand. As you can see, each of the few MKs we met has his own special projects and concerns, though all at some point intersect with what is the greater good for the country. The Knesset is far from a simple governing body; on the contrary, it is rather complex and frequently difﬁcult to comprehend. Add to that the fact that the major powers, including the U.S., Russia, the European Union, and the UN, are all observing with heightened concern every comment and move that emanates from members here. One cannot help walking away wondering what the future will bring. For now, this is just a tiny glimpse into the big picture of a very small but powerful and inﬂuential country.
Middle East Wrapup BY SAMUEL SOKOL NEWS DIRECTOR
Likud Knesset faction, urging the Prime Minister to, in the words of MK Yuval Steinitz, “return to building throughout the Land of Israel.”
Fatah Youth To Rally For Unity With Hamas Settlement Movement Blasts Lack Of Building Permits Leaders of the settlement movement in Israel have accused the Netanyahu administration of silently continuing the temporary building freeze that the Prime Minister pushed last year as an incentive to bring a recalcitrant Abbas back into direct negotiations. Dani Dayan, the head of the Council of Jewish Communities in Judea and Samaria, the body representing Israelis’ settlement enterprise in the disputed West Bank, lashed out at the government following news reports that claim a 72% drop in building over the past year, and, more speciﬁcally, in response to a statement by Prime Minister Netanyahu that government involvement in building in Judea and Samaria must be focused on current building rather than with the issuance of new tenders. “It is true that in some places there are no tenders, and that is being looked into. We are currently investing efforts in maintaining existing building,” the Prime Minister said.
Dani Dayan, head of the Council of Jewish Communities in Judea and Samaria.
“At a time when Israel must show its continued resolve against Palestinian blackmail, where the Palestinians continuously refuse to come to the negotiating table unless Israel gives in to their demands, the Prime Minister seems to be playing directly into their hands with statements like these,” Dayan countered. Dayan expressed his concern that Netanyahu will “try to again freeze our families’ natural rights to build and grow.” The Central Bureau of Statistics issued new numbers quantifying settlement activity last week, indicating that the number of housing starts over the past year was the lowest in 20 years. Peace Now has disputed the numbers, contending that there indeed has been a post-freeze building boom in the lands east of the Green Line. The settlement leadership recently released a compilation of quotes by 19 out of the 27 lawmakers from Netanyahu’s
Palestinian youth in Gaza and the West Bank have begun calling for the uniﬁcation of the secular-nationalist Fatah and Islamist Hamas factions. Writing on Facebook, emerging youth leaders have called for unity rallies to take place on the 15th in the territories controlled by the rival factions.
Despite Hamas’s continuing rhetoric of jihad, activists have not been turned off from the idea of uniﬁcation. A political manifesto being disseminated by the organizers of the Facebook group reads in part, “we voted for Hamas government [during the 2006 Palestinian elections]. We all did. We were tired of Fatah’s corruption.” Hamas enjoys more popularity in the West Bank than in Gaza, where the local civilians have largely borne the brunt of Hamas’s aggressive policies and enforced Islamic morality.
Denmark’s decision follows that of fellow European Union nations Britain, France, Ireland, Portugal, and Spain.
Hebrew-Speaking Jew To Become Next American Ambassador To Israel
A statement by the Danish Foreign Ministry indicated that “the European Union has said many times it would take the step [of granting formal recognition] at an appropriate time, on the basis of the contribution the recognition would [lead] to negotiations and to the two-state solution.” Despite the announcement that Denmark is not currently considering ofﬁcial recognition of a Palestinian state, there is concern in Jerusalem that Denmark’s move signals a climate shift that could prove conducive to United Nations recognition of Palestinian Statehood further down the road. Speaking in Ramallah last Sunday, President Abbas called upon the United Nations to admit Palestine as a full member. The PA currently enjoys observer status in the General Assembly.
Dan Shapiro, an advisor to American President Barack Obama, is slated to replace the current American ambassador to Israel, James Cunningham, as the top American ofﬁcial stationed in the embassy in Tel Aviv. Shapiro, a Conservative Jew and a ﬂuent Hebrew speaker, received accolades from both Jewish and Arab groups upon
Public-relations poster for Palestinian youth rally.
Despite the calls for unity from a younger generation that has grown increasingly disillusioned by a leadership widely seen as corrupt and divisive, the leadership in both Gaza City and Ramallah have begun using social media as well. The two main Palestinian political movements have “been using Facebook to incite against each other,” wrote Jerusalem Post correspondent Khaled AbuToameh. According to reports in the Palestinian Ma’an News Service, since the ignition of revolution in Egypt in January, supporters of Hamas in Gaza started a Facebook group calling for mass protests to overthrow the Abbas government in Ramallah. Meanwhile, Fatah activists called on Gazans to “throw off” Hamas rule. “The rallies will be the ﬁrst of their kind in Palestine,” Abu-Toameh quoted Facebook activist Nuha Ammar as saying. “We will continue our campaign until Fatah and Hamas do something.” Possibly in response to calls by youth activists to achieve a united Palestinian front, Hamas politburo member and head of the Syrian branch of the movement’s political bureau Khaled Mashal stated that the time has come to “establish a new Palestinian situation” and that he wants “reconciliation that upholds resistance, and that the leadership leads its people on the path of Jihad.” Mashal, a Hamas communiqué read, “called for national reconciliation based on armed resistance of the Israeli occupation and not repeatedly failed negotiations.”
America’s new ambassador to Israel, Dan Shapiro (L), speaking with Dennis Ross.
the announcement of his appointment, Israeli media reported. Daniel B. Shapiro is currently senior director for the Middle East and North Africa on the National Security Staff at the White House.
Palestinian Diplomatic Blitz Continues Building up to a possible unilateral declaration of Palestinian statehood in 2011, President Mahmoud Abbas’s government in Ramallah has been making great strides in winning over foreign support for its vision of a diplomat endgame with Israel. After securing the recognition of a Palestinian state along the 1948 armistice lines by several South American nations, the PA has again set its sights on Europe and has scored a further diplomatic coup in the form of an upgrade in the status of its delegation to Denmark. Speaking with Abbas during a press conference last week in Copenhagen, Danish Prime Minister Lars Rasmussen announced his government’s decision to “upgrade the status of the Palestinian representation in Denmark.” The delegation, which until now has been classiﬁed as the “Palestinian general representation,” has been ofﬁcially upgraded to the status of “mission.”
Fatah youth marching in the PA.
UN Watch: Syria Looks To Replace Libya On Human Rights Council Syrian dictator Bashar Assad has announced his country’s candidacy in United Nations’ May 20 election to ﬁll the seat on the UN Human Rights Council recently vacated by Libya. The Syrian Arab Republic is listed alongside 13 other countries as candidates for the place on the United Nations body responsible for “strengthening the promotion and protection of human rights around the globe.” Hillel Neuer, executive director of the Geneva-based NGO UN Watch, quickly issued a statement calling on the United States and European Union to “lead a vigorous campaign to defeat Syria’s candidacy, and to ensure there will be competition on the Asian slate of candidates.” “Syria clearly failed to meet the criteria of UNGA Resolution 60/251, which established the UN Human Rights Council in 2006,” Neuer alleged. When assessing candidates for a seat on the council, Neuer said, the United Nations has stipulated that “consideration ought to be given to whether the candidate can meet the obligations of Council membership, which include (a) to ‘uphold the highest standards in the promotion and protection of human rights’ and (b) to ‘fully cooperate with the Council.’” “It’s vital this year that the U.S. and the E.U. announce early that they are opposed to having the oppressive Ba’athist regime of Bashar Assad judging the world on human rights,” said Neuer. ʥʰʩʬʥʷ March 15, 2011
Youth Group Seeks To Bridge Hamas/Fatah Divide Continued from Page 6 Gaza Strip. Throwing rocks at police ofﬁcers sent to maintain order, Abu Humus’s cellphone was tapped by security services and he was recorded directing his “soldiers” to various barricades and encouraging them to take part in the violence. Rock-throwing incidents are very common in Silwan as well, where a volatile mix of nationalist Arabs and Jews frequently leads to unrest. The restaurant experienced several brownouts during our interview, and during one power outage, in which the only light came from the glowing embers of cigarettes and the proprietor’s ﬂashlight, Mousa told me that Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad would be hosting a delegation of PYP members this Thursday in order to discuss the inclusion of a youth representative under 35 years old in the soon-to-be-formed PA cabinet. The PYP has access to many of the top Fatah and PLO leaders, but has not had much success in the Gaza Strip, where its one representative has been effectively muzzled by the Hamas administration, Mousa told me. At the movement’s ﬁrst conference in 2005, billed by the PYP as “the single most important youth conference to be held since . . . 1936 in Palestine,” President Abbas stood before the assembled delegates, discussed the importance of Palestinian youth, and declared that he does “not accept the Jewish State, call it what you
will.” As the youth parliament conference wound down, Abbas was given a commemorative map, with the PLO ﬂag covering both the areas publicly claimed by the PA and territories within the Green Line which are internationally recognized as Israeli territory. Mousa said that his travels have brought him from Jordan to Tunisia in search of Palestinian reconciliation and that while his group has met with the ruling Jordanian monarch and President Abbas, it has gotten nowhere fast in dealing with Hamas. However, Mousa told me, he will not give up and intends to bring Hamas back into the leadership of the PA, in conjunction with his own Fatah faction. “Hamas is against the Palestinian Youth Parliament,” Mousa said. “Hamas wants to control” it as a tool for its own ends. Among the activities that Mousa is currently planning is a tour of Israeli-controlled neighborhoods in East Jerusalem in order to highlight “the occupation,” and agitating for both Hamas and Fatah to release prisoners arrested for belonging to the rival factions. Mousa did not mention if such a widely applied amnesty would include terrorists with “blood on their hands.” Closing the interview, the Fatah representative stated that “Abbas needs Hamas MPs” in the Palestinian Legislative Council, the now largely neutered PA parliament, if Palestinian society is ever to become truly democratic. The Fatah representatives meet, Mousa told me, and sometimes the few remaining Hamas MPs will meet, but the two groups never convene together.
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March 15, 2011 ʥʰʩʬʥʷ
“...”אם החרש תחרישי בעת הזאת מ א ת ד ’’ ר א ב י ג י ל ר א ק
Dear Editor, I found the article in your ﬁrst edition “The $2,000 Shidduch,” by Chananya Weissman, most interesting. We are happy to report that the International Young Israel Movement–Israel region is implementing many of the suggestions that are mentioned in the article. While the traditional shidduch or family/friends introduction works for many when seeking their life partner, the large number of English-speaking singles in the 25–40 age range in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and other hives of Anglo residency in Israel speaks volumes that alternative methods are required. IYIM–Israel, with partial funding from the Jewish Agency for Israel, launched its singles programs department, headed by Micki Lavin-Pell, in June of last year. We have held one or two events monthly, with great success. Our non-confrontational events have included Friday-night dinners and onegs, paintballing on Chanukah, tiyulim, music evenings, trivia night, and so much more. Next on the agenda is a make-and-eat-sushi evening. We invite all singles in the relevant age range to contact us at mgpell@ gmail.com and join us to have fun while trying to meet their signiﬁcant other. After you’ve tried it all, it may be over chicken soup or sushi that you meet someone special. Daniel M. Meyer Executive Director IYIM–Israel Dear Editor, Any chance of having your paper in Rehovot? There are Anglos here too. Reuven Goldstein
Dear Editor, I made aliyah to Eilat from the UK in December 2009 and we have a small but fun-loving Anglo population here. Is there any chance of getting Koleinu here? I just read the current issue online and loved it. I’m sure my friends would love it too! As for the name, personally I don’t see why you have to translate it at all—Koleinu sounds perfect to me. Isobel Phillips The Editor Responds: Dear Readers, Rehovot, Netanya, Yad Binyamin, even Eilat. The e-mails and calls generated by people who want Koleinu in their city, town, or yishuv has been personally overwhelming. The above e-mails are only a sample of what was sent by the many people who contacted us in the past few weeks. I look forward to opening my inbox each day and seeing who else may have seen the paper or heard about us and is interested in being a part of the Koleinu family. And with the exception of Eilat and Zichron Yaakov and points north (which we are still trying to ﬁgure out), we are getting out to as many places as want to see us. We are also happy to have received e-mails with many constructive suggestions. All feedback is helpful, even the negative kind. So please keep your comments, recommendations, and suggestions coming. We need to know what you liked, what might not have been to your taste, and where we could do better. Shmuel Katz
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אסתר בתחילה,כאשר מרדכי מצווה את אסתר להכנס אל המלך אחשוורוש ולבקש על עמה כיצד מצליח מרדכי לשכנע את אסתר לסכן את נפשה ולהכנס אל המלך? מרדכי אומר.מסרבת כי אם החרש תחרישי, ”אל תדמי בנפשך להמלט בית המלך מכל היהודים:לה את המשפט הבא ומי יודע אם לעת,בעת הזאת רווח והצלה יעמוד ליהודים ממקום אחר ואת ובית אביך תאבדו כזאת הגעת למלכות?“ מה בדיוק מרדכי מנסה לומר לאסתר? מרדכי מאיים על אסתר שאם לא שהרי, דבריו של מרדכי קצת תמוהים. הרי שהיא ובית אביה יאבדו,תמסור נפשה למען עמ“י ( שכן ככל הידוע לנו )ע“פ הפשט, אין לאסתר עבר )בית אביך( ואין לה עתיד,אסתר יתומה אם כן למה בדיוק מתכוון מרדכי כאשר הוא אומר לאסתר ”את ובית אביך,אין לאסתר ילדים ?“תאבדו מרדכי ואסתר הם מבני משפחת, כידוע.נראה לי כי בית אביה של אסתר הוא שאול המלך שאול נבחר למלך על ישראל דווקא. שאול המלך הראשון של עמ“י נכשל בהנהגה.שאול בן קיש שכן הסכנה המרחפת מעל ראשו של מלך בישראל הוא חטא הגאווה,בגלל תכונת הענווה שלו ענוותנותו של שאול באה, ולכן הקב“ה בוחר בשאול,( כ,”לבלתי רום לבבו מאחיו“ )דברים י“ז פונה שאול,לידי ביטוי כבר במפגש הראשון שלנו עימו כאשר הוא ועבדו מחפשים את האתונות ה( וכי אביו, ט, פן יחדל אבי מן האתונות ודאג לנו“ )שמואל א,לעבדו ואומר לו ”לכה ונשובה שאול, כאשר שאול נבחר למלך, ומיד אח“כ.היה דואג לנער? אלא זהו סיגנון ענווה של שאול לועגים לשאול הביישן והעניו ותגובתו שאול כלפי,”נחבא אל הכלים“ ומיד עם בחירתו למלך (כ“ז-כ“ב, י,“ )שמואל א.לועגיו היא התעלמות ”ויהי כמחריש ענותנותו היתירה של שאול גרמה לכך.אך דווקא ענוה יתירה זו של שאול הכשילה אותו שאול אינו מונע מן העם מלקחת משלל עמלק אשר.ששאול לא מגלה מנהיגות בשעת הצורך וכדברי שמואל אליו הנקראים, שאול לא רואה עצמו ראוי למשימת ההנהגה,נצטוו להחרים יז( וכתוצאה מכשלון הנהגה, ט“ו,“ )שמואל א. ”הלא אם קטון אתה בעיניך:בהפטרת פרשת זכור ”קרע ה‘ את ממלכות ישראל מעליך היום ונתנה: מאבד שאול את המלכות וכדברי שמואל,זה המלכות נקרעת משאול ונמסרת לידי אדם שהוא ”רעך הטוב,( כ“ח,לרעך הטוב ממך“ )שם שיודע לגלות אחריות ומנהיגות בשעת, הוא דוד, הטוב ממנו, כמובן מחליפו של שאול,“ממך .הצורך הזדמנות. ניתנת לבית משפחת שאול הזדמנות שניה, בזמן גלות פרס,אך מאות שנים אחר . לאסתר ניתנת הזדמנות לגלות אחריות ומנהיגות ראויים.לתקן את המלכות הכושלת של שאול אסתר זוכה למלוכה באותם מלים בהם איבד שאול את,המגילה רומזת לכך בצורה מפורשת שאול כזכור איבד את המלוכה במלים ”ונתנה ה‘ לרעך הטוב ממך“ ואילו אסתר זוכה.המלוכה יט( וכך,“ )אסתר א. ”ומלכותה יתן המלך לרעותה הטובה ממנה:במלכות באותם מלים בדיוק , אסתר לא נבחרה רק כדי להציל את עמ“י, לדעת מרדכי.מבין מרדכי את בחירתה של אסתר ואם אסתר לא תציל את בני ישראל ”רווח והצלה יעמוד ליהודים,שהרי הרבה שלוחים לו למקום שלא תחזור,“ המטרה העיקרית בבחירתה של אסתר היא מתן הזדמנות חד פעמית.ממקום אחר ”אם החרש תחרישי בעת: וכדברי שאול. לאפשר לצאצאי שאול לתקן את חטאו,עוד על עצמה ”ואת ובית אביך, “הזאת“—מעורר מיד את האסוציאציה של שאול שעליו נאמר ”ויהי כמחריש אסתר נענית לאתגר שמציב, ואכן. שוב לא תהיה תקומה ותיקון לבית שאול,תאבדו“—כוונתו אלא אף העם היהודי בהנהגת, ולא זו בלבד שאסתר מתקנת את חטאו האישי של שאול,לה מרדכי ואילו, חטא העם היה בכך שלקח מהחרם.מרדכי ואסתר מתקנים את חטא העם בהנהגת שאול והתיקון האחרון.(במגילה מוזכרים שוב ושוב המילים ”ובביזה לא שלחו את ידם“ )אסתר פרק ט ואף חטא זה תוקן בכך שכל אחד מזרעו של המן,הוא חטאו האישי של שאול שהשאיר את אגג חי .בן המדתא האגגי נהרג ואולי זהו אחד הסיבות שכל אחד מעשרת בני המן מוזכרים ”יזל מים מדליו וזרעו במים:ונסיים בדברי המדרש מילקוט שמעוני לפרשת בלק על הפסוק ז( ”יזל מים מדליו“—זו מלכות שאול, כ“ד,‘ וירום מאגג מלכו ותנשא מלכותו“ )במד,רבים .שיש לה הפסק “ אף עך פי כן חוזרת, שנאמר ”וירם מאגג מלכו,ועל ידי מה פסקה מלכות שאול? על ידי אגג .“ונשאת על ידי אסתר שנאמר ”ותנשא מלכותו Avigail Rock holds a Ph.D. in Tanach from Bar-Ilan University. Avigail teaches Tanach at MaTan Bet Shemesh and MaTan Chashmonaim. She is a certiﬁed Rabbinic Advocate and lives in Bet Shemesh with her husband, Rabbi Yehuda Rock, and their ﬁve children.
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Presidents And Patriots Mark Naiman / GPO
BY KOLEINU STAFF
ed and are in Israel to promote trade and commerce with Israeli companies. In addition, Robert Kraft, the owner of the New England Patriots, attended the meeting. Kraft is a regular visitor to Israel and supports a variety of worthy causes such as his dedication of the Kraft Sports Stadium in Jerusalem, used for a variety of community sports activities and events.
Mark Naiman / GPO
Mark Naiman / GPO
President Shimon Peres met last week with the Governor of Massachusetts, Deval Patrick, and a delegation of senior government, business, and education leaders from Massachusetts who are accompanying him on his visit here. The President gave the delegation a diplomatic overview of the situation in Israel and the region. The delegation joining the governor included the secretaries of Housing and Economic Development, Energy and
land—Israel Business Council. The president-elect of the University of Massachusetts and the dean of the International Business School of Brandeis were also part of the delegation.
Environmental Affairs, and Labor and Workforce Development as well as the Director of the Massachusetts International Trade Ofﬁce and the New Eng-
A number of CEOs from the fields of software, hi-tech, bio-tech, and clean energy were represent-
Chelm On The Med CHELM-ON-THE-MED O
BY DANIELLA ASHKENAZY BY DANIELLA ASHKENAZY Pot Luck Global warming has resulted not only in less rain for Israel. The intensity of less frequent rainstorms has increased. One such storm was so ﬁerce it ﬂooded businesses hugging the Med, particularly eateries in the Old Tel Aviv Port area. Assessing the damage to his demolished eatery, the Comme il Faut, chef Adi Abu was heading out the door when a gigan-
tic wave literally inundated his ﬁsh restaurant . . . leaving in its wake a 4.2 kilogram grouper. While it’s hard to know who was more surprised by this kettle of ﬁsh—the astonished chef or the open-mouthed ﬁsh—Abu recovered ﬁrst, and grabbed the ﬁercely ﬂapping grouper . . . which was soon swimming in a savory sauce of fresh tomatoes seasoned with fennel, garlic, and cilantro. An hour later, Abu and his manager, Tal Chaliba, sat down for a last supper among the shambles of their restaurant.
You’ve Got Mail—A La 2011 The second anniversary of the 2009 Cast Lead campaign is safely behind us without a repeat performance. Yet, Israel’s nationwide network of wailing sirens and tzeva adom (Code Red) audio alerts that warn civilians of enemy rockets and missiles is hardly about to be
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mothballed. In fact, enhancements are in store: With everyone and his brother armed with a cell phone, the IDF Home Front Command plans to add personalized SMS messages to all cell phones within a deﬁned radius of any incoming projectiles anywhere in the country. The ingenious albeit unique SMS application integrates input from GPS technology and input from the national cellular antenna grid, pinpointing in a split second the location of any and all cell phones at any given moment. Such Instant Messaging will tell recipients what’s headed their way and what they should do—hit the ground or run for shelter.
Strange Foreign Aid Israel gets some strange requests via diplomatic channels, but surely the plea from the monarch of the Zulu tribe, King Goodwill Zwelithini, is one for the books. The South African ethnic leader asked Israel to help circumcise 10,000 members of his newly formed royal guard—most
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March 15, 2011 ʥʰʩʬʥʷ
The Comme il Faut restaurant in the Jafa Port, before the rain
Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini
of them Zulu warriors between the ages of 17 and 24. The king hopes ﬁve million rank-and-ﬁle Zulu will follow suit. The strange foreign-aid request is part of the war on AIDS, spurred by research that suggests circumcised men are less susceptible to AIDS. The problem is there are few experts in Africa in circumcision employing modern surgery procedures, so, quite logically, the king called on the Jewish state to lend a hand. Israel already sent a team of doctors, nurses, and public-health experts to set up a clinic and teach local medical personnel the art of safe circumcision, but the king has issued another royal request: That Israel set up 70 to 80 circumcision clinics throughout his kingdom. Courtesy of www.chelm-on-the-med.com.
Yabba Dabba Doo Continued from Page 1
Pesach experience we had with Standing Together delivering Pesachdikke food and treats to chayalim at checkered the packages as a group and spent points, we started to make regular visalmost the entire day together—even its to checkpoints to bring treats to those on duty. Hot pizza with my yethe teens. The past few years, I was lucky to see shiva students, other treats with the my teens at all. They ran to their friends kids when we had the chance, special and only joined us in the car when we winter blankets to chayalim bodedim drove across town and once we arrived, last year on a base in the Negev and they would disappear again. While it without fail, mishloach manot on Purim, Shushan Purim, and even the days following. Our kids, and I assume most kids, love interacting with chayalim. Being with them, showing them our love and support, is a tremendous encouragement to our family, maybe even more so than it may be to some of the chayalim. They delight in getting a smile or even a hug. And we delight in seeing the kids’ exMordechai Katz having a great time with Chay- citement. alim at an army base in the Negev Of course, it isn’t Purim without the costumes. We have done is partly a result of their growing age, “The Katz in the Hatz” as a family (great maturity, and responsibility, there is costumes actually and one of the only no question that our kids are so much times we actually pulled off a theme more socially independent in Israel idea successfully) and have had Spiderthan they could (much less would) ever man, Superman, Barney the Dinosaur, be in the U.S., one of the prime beneﬁts lions and tigers and bears, sports players, Harry Potter and princesses by the of life in Israel. We also have much less time avail- score, just to name a few. While Goldable to us in the day than we did in ie is a bit shyer about dressing up than I America. I know, that seems weird to am (and certainly at my publicizing it), I hear, because a day has 24 hours and have been a samurai, a clown (most peoshkiah is not that much earlier or later ple will say that I am always a clown), than where we used to live, so we have the King from the Burger King commerto have similar amounts of daylight as cials, and my favorite, Fred Flintstone. we did in America. I am not referring to I have the right build for the costume, the amount of time though; I am actual- which helps as well. Fred is actually a two-time costume ly referring to how we use it. From the day we ﬁrst arrived, we for me. In the mid 1990s, I came up have made an effort to recognize and with the idea and custom designed the appreciate our ﬁghting men and wom- one piece outﬁt, which was brought to reality by our friend and neighbor, en as much as possible. Working off a
Bina Zaiman in Far Rockaway. I had the costume for a few years and in a 1998 move to our Woodmere home, the costume disappeared. (I have my suspicions about how that happened, but that is another story.). A couple of years ago, I decided that the time was right to resurrect Fred. With the help of Shulamith Felsenthal, Didn’t they wonder why this costume was so cheap? a neighbor (and cousin) here in Israel, Fred 2 was born. And he is a bigger hit here than kids even applauded as we walked to our table. he was there! On the way home to Bet Shemesh, Last year I wore Fred 2 on Shushan Purim in Yerushalayim. I worked half a we stopped at the Beitar checkpoint to day in my ofﬁce and had to go to sever- give mishloach manot to the chayalim al meetings throughout the city and ev- on duty. Normally, our kids scramble to erywhere I went, car horns honked and get the chayalim to take a picture with I got a ton of thumbs up and other (gen- them. This time, the chayalim went runerally positive) comments. I even gained ning for their own cameras to take their an appreciation for how ventilated the picture with the crazy American in the great costume. costume was on such a cold day. I have seen some outrageously good I had arranged to meet Goldie and the kids in the Malcha Mall for dinner costumes here. There is of course the that evening. After getting the kids set- funny shot of all the Meah Shearim Santled down with their meals, Goldie and tas that went viral last year and myriad I were choosing our Chinese food when Mordechais, Esthers, Hamans, and Ninja the guy behind the counter said to me, Turtles, just to name a few. If you have “See this last eggroll? I will give it to you a costume you are especially proud of, for free if you say YABADABADOO really shoot me a picture via e-mail (editor@ koleinu.co.il). We plan on having a full loud right now.” I couldn’t help but laugh. Goldie page of some of the best costumes we turned to me and said, “you aren’t go- see this year in our next issue. I haven’t decided what I will personing to, are you?” and I answered that as soon as I stopped laughing, I would def- ally do, if anything, for Purim this year. initely do it. She looked at me in hor- I am thinking that Fred might be a good ror and when I drew in a big breath, she choice again, since he has been in Bet Shemesh retirement for a couple of years. went running away from me. It was awesome. People were laugh- Maybe dig out the old Katz in the Hatz. ing; the guy in the Chinese restaurant No matter what I do though, I will enjoy loved it so much that I got two free Purim much more than I did in the U.S. eggrolls and several sides of salad. My And isn’t that why we all came here?
Purim In Rwanda BY DAVID DRUCE In 2009, I had the privilege of working as a research assistant in Rwanda. A nation in the Great Lakes region of East Africa, Rwanda attracts many Jewish visitors and is home to a youth village with many staff members from Israel and the United States. Nevertheless, it has no organized Jewish community and the nearest Chabad House is hundreds of miles away. Still, I was able to observe many mitzvot, with the exception of Birkat HaChamah, which was thwarted by an atypical cloudy day. Purim was an especially poignant holiday. Waiting for the sun to set, I gazed at sprawling environs of Kigali as evening fell, coloring the hills in hues of pink and purple. My megillah had been removed from the closet where it was stored near Osem chicken soup mix and lemon-ﬂavored Wissotzky tea. Freshly baked hamentaschen sat on the table and bags of mishloach manot stood waiting in paper bags below. In place of wine, there was Akarusho, the traditional Rwandan beer,
brewed from fermented bananas. It was impossible to sing ‘Al HaNissim’ without a lump in my throat, thinking of recent Rwandan history. In April 1994, Rwanda’s president was assassinated, capping off three years of political unrest. Immediately, and not by accident, the conﬂict turned from a low-intensity civil war into genocide, targeting every member of the Tutsi people in Rwanda and other opponents of the current regime. Fighting did not end until July, when the RPF, the group that had initiated the rebellion, conquered the entire country. Over 800,000 Rwandans had been murdered and many more had ﬂed the country. Thus, every Rwandan has their own stories of miracles and salvation—and of loss and tragedies. The next day, my friend and I brought a bag of mishloach manot to our employer, a journalist then writing a book about Rwanda’s genocide, events that he had personally witnessed. As we sat in his ofﬁce, he ruminated over Megillat Esther, looking through a Bible written in Kinyarwanda, the national language.
Megillah next to the local banana wine
One of my ﬁrst introductions to Rwanda was through a book written by a journalist named Phillip Gourevitch. Gourevitch gave his book the chilling title We wish to inform you that tomorrow we will be killed with our families. The title is derived from a letter sent by several Tutsi priests to the head of their church, who had the power to save them. The letter closes “Your intervention will be highly appreciated, the same way the Jews were saved by Esther.”
I thought about the contrast between the revelry of Purim and the stark events that it commemorates, reﬂecting events until the present day. It was impossible not to and yet at the same time the differences in time and place seemed almost inconceivable. Family members of Phillip Gourevitch survived the Holocaust, a point he does not dwell on often in his book on Rwanda. Similarly, it was hard not to think of the copy of Night that sat on my boss’s bookshelf, where Moshe the gabbai tells Elie Wiesel of the massacre of the Jews of Kolomeia, the Galician city where my great-grandfather lived and was martyred. Purim is a holiday of many layers—a holiday in which joy veils the stark history of man’s intrigues and conﬂicts. Just as there are many private Purims celebrated by Jewish communities to commemorate their survival, there are still some Hamans and many, many Achashveroshes in this world. As we celebrate Purim, a thinking person will pause for a moment and consider the lessons to be learned for the present. ʥʰʩʬʥʷ March 15, 2011
Caught Between My Heart And My Head BY SHMUEL KATZ EDITOR
There is a very old Yiddish proverb, “Mentsh tracht un G-tt lacht,” which translates as, “Men plan and G-d laughs.” Once we started to publish this paper, people with agendas started to ﬂood us with content—as I knew they would. We got news releases and article submissions that looked like they were prepared by propaganda ofﬁces, not journalists. Others were less obvious in their political bent, but still screamed to us as rhetoric-ﬁlled inﬂammatory essays with a clear agenda in mind. In discussing our editorial focus, the one thing we kept repeating in the room was, “We do not want to be the ‘I hate Arabs’ newspaper.” Regardless of our personal politics, we were quite happy to simply wave the ﬂag and be free with our expressions of patriotism, rather than focusing on the negative. We understood that not only are many of us passionate about these issues, but they are complex ones, with no simple approach or solution. We felt that as English-speakers, our readers, regardless of their political or even religious beliefs, came to Israel to fulﬁll their dreams and aspirations, not as an escape from persecution or oppression as our parents and grandparents did when they ﬂed Europe in the 1940s. Flag-waving patriotism would be something that we all could agree on. We expressed this to our feature columnists as well. “Present the facts,” we
told them, “and don’t sensationalize. Our readers are smart enough to draw conclusions without needing detailed instructions.” We were full of a righteous commitment to being evenhanded politically, allowing all sides to have a say, so long as it was respectful and intelligent. Mentsh tracht un G-tt lacht—although I don’t really think He is laughing today. More of the opposite. As members of the media, we are often sent information and images prior to their ofﬁcial release. So it was last motzaei Shabbat when the prerelease photos of the Itamar slaughter, which many of you have by now seen, reached our inboxes. The news was revolting; the images incomprehensible. As we put this edition of the paper to bed (we close the paper very early in the week because we go to print on Monday), we knew that we had to throw our intentions and plans into the garbage. Some things are too horrible to let pass. We all know the facts and have been reading all week about the Fogel family who were cruelly massacred in their home last Shabbat. We know about their expulsion from Gush Katif and how they ﬁnally found a new home in Itamar. We have been told over and over about the way that the animal(s) who did this set off a perimeter alarm and sneaked into a family’s home with murderous intent, simply a desire to kill Jews and revel in spilling their blood. Some of us have even had the anguish
Kineret Rises Above Lower Red Line BY GOLDIE KATZ Despite dire predictions by various Water Authority ofﬁcials last fall, the winter rainfall levels have driven the level of Lake Kineret above the level known as the Lower Red Line. Historically, that level is the minimum required at the end of the rainy season in order to ensure that the dry season usage does not drain the lake below the Black Line, a level at which the Water Authority’s pumps are supposed to be shut down. However, due to conservation efforts and increased desalination capacity, dryseason usage of Lake Kineret water has been reduced to a point where the Lower Red Line no longer serves as a completely accurate benchmark for avoiding the Black Line. In fact, although the lake’s level stayed below the Lower Red Line throughout 2009, the Black Line was not reached. As of last Sunday, Lake Kineret water levels had risen 113 cm, to a level of –212.98, 2 cm above the Lower Red Line. At the same calendar date in 2010, the Lake was actually 1 cm lower, but it had
March 15, 2011 ʥʰʩʬʥʷ
risen by 143 cm of an eventual 177 cm by that time, a year-to-year difference of 30 cm. Additionally, while last year’s additional 34 cm of water rise through the end of the season is unusual, it is not unheard of. Both last year and this year’s rain seasons got off to late starts, with signiﬁcant rainfall totals coming after January 1. If the pattern holds true, March and April rainstorms are possible. That, combined with the coming melt-off of the recently reported 1.7 meters of snow in elevated areas (Mount Herman) running off into the Kineret, could lead to an eventual rainfall total close to last year’s better-than-average numbers. With the Black Line no longer a concern for 2011 and additional desalination plants slated to come online in 2013, 2012 becomes a focal year in the water plan of the government. However, it is important that the government not become complacent in its approach. Our national demand for water will continue to grow, and we need responsible and effective plans to ensure that our supply keeps up.
of seeing the images of the Fogels’ bodies, lying in pools of blood. No matter who you are or where you live, no rational human can condone the massacre of a family as they sleep. No intelligent person can rationalize that a beast sneaking into someone’s home to butcher a husband and wife as well as two of their sons and their infant daughter could have any justiﬁcation or moral imperative to its (and an animal is an it, not a he or she) actions. It is so horriﬁc that the mind can barely absorb the information, much less make sense of it. You can claim whatever you want about oppression, occupation, aggression—it makes no difference. This was a crime against humanity, an outrage that is so clearly evil and abominable that the entire world needs to rise up and eradicate those responsible. One of my neighbors had the audacity to say to me that the attack made sense to him since it happened in the Shomron, in an area where the yishuv is surrounded by Arab villages. After all, he offered, the Arabs in Bet Shemesh only want to rob us (his words, not mine), not kill us. I reminded him of the murderous attack earlier this year one Shabbat afternoon just outside Bet Shemesh in which Arab terrorists killed an American tourist. It would be irresponsible to say that all Arabs want to kill Jews, yet sometimes—too often—it seems as if they do. And to insinuate (as did my neighbor) that anyone asked to be attacked because they live in an area surrounded by people with whom they dispute dominion over the real estate is equally— no, it is even more—irresponsible. The truth is that neither do all Arabs want to simply kill Jews nor is anyone who chooses to live anywhere within the borders of a democratic society inviting violence. So where does this all leave us? Sadly, right where we always seem to be. The world will ignore our pain and our losses and speak of the needs to look past the minor bumps in the road. They will tell us that we need to make peace in order to prevent more such deaths, that we need to deal with “moderate” Arab leaders who have denounced terror and terrorist actions in order to assure our long-term safety and security. Of course, they will overlook the fact that the Fatah-led PA’s armed wing took responsibility for this horror. It is as if President Obama would issue a statement renouncing the massacre of a farmer and his family by the armed militia of the Democratic Party of the USA (there is no such thing). They will dismiss the fact that they are passing out
candies in Gaza in celebration, just as they do with every heinous attack, including the 9/11 Twin Towers suicide attacks. They will treat us with the same disdain that they always do. Our side will declare unilateral moves (and has done so) to demonstrate that we will not be deterred from choosing our actions independently of the pressure of terrorists or the world. Those who wish us harm will seek to do more and more harm and inﬂict more and more pain in a fervor of passionate hatred and regionally supported terror. After my absolute loathing of those that carried out these murders and the murders themselves, the thing that I hate the most is that I have no answers. There are so many opinions and so many smart people who have offered them that the soup is muddled and murky. There are no simple solutions. It would be easy to simply say, “Kill them all” or “Kick them out—they have other places to go and we don’t” or any one of hundreds of other cookie-cutter solutions that have no glimmer of actually happening, much less working. This issue is so divisive, not just here, but worldwide, that such unilateral solutions are impossible, no matter if we believe them to be just or not. We sit a few days before Purim. It is a holiday that celebrates our victory over enemies that legislated our annihilation. In that time, there were Jews who lost their lives, victims of bloodthirsty enemies who were ﬁlled with zeal at getting a head start on the edict of extinction. I know that I speak for all of us in the hope that our generation sees a Purim-like redemption from our enemies, those who wish to eliminate us from the world. Our sins in participating in the feast of Achashverosh, a feast in which direct and indirect references to the conquest of Yerushalayim and the destruction of the Bet HaMikdash were made, helped in no small part to prompt the heavenly decree of death for the Jewish people of that era. Indeed, it was the teshuvah, teﬁllah, and tzedakah—which was prompted not only by the news of the edict, but also by the fear generated by the news of the early victims of Haman and his minions—that led to the reversal of fortune in which we were, as a nation, saved. It may be naive on my part, but I truly hope and pray that the Fogels’ lives are the last sacriﬁce of our era required by G-d for us to achieve the ﬁnal redemption. As for us at Koleinu, all I can say is that this was a very hard week to not be the “I hate Arabs” newspaper. I am not even sure if we made it. They have made it so hard not to hate.