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"Israel, Lone Light in a Dark Region" by P. David Hornik

(Photo courtesy: Family Security Matters)
Israel, Lone Light in a Dark Region by P. David Hornik in FrontPage MagazineAugust 30, 2013 

As the Obama administration keeps weighing whether and how to act in Syria, one wonders if Israel is looking good—or at least better—to the administration these days. Seemingly, if there was ever a time, now would be the time to start taking note of Israel’s strengths in a bad region.
1. Some ways in which Israel differs from other countries of the region.  

No chemical-weapons attacks
. In the Middle East this can hardly be taken for granted. Along with Bashar Assad’s use, there was Iraq’s against the Kurds in 1991 and Egypt’s against Yemeni tribesmen in the mid-1960s. Egypt and Iraq are, of course, countries with which the U.S. has been allied or heavily involved, and for decades U.S. diplomats kept coming to Damascus to try and get President Hafez and then Bashar Assad to “make peace” with Israel.
Israel, of course, will never use WMD of any kind except to save itself from annihilation.
No intercommunal bombing campaigns. Along with the carnage in Syria, such campaigns are now being waged in Iraq and, to a lesser but growing extent, Lebanon; they’re basically spirals of reciprocal mass murder.
Israel too, even within its Jewish population, has had intense animosities between groups. The right and left were at loggerheads particularly in the 1980s and 1990s, and there are ongoing tensions between secular and ultra-Orthodox Jews. But violence, of course, has been small-scale and rare. Differences get settled at the ballot box.
No church burnings or other persecution of ChristiansIn fact, Israel is the only country in the region whose Christian population is steadily growing rather than fleeing.
No mass rapes in public squares.
No bigoted slanders of other countries by national leaders. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey recently pulled that one off when he declaredthat Israel was behind the overthrow of President Mohamed Morsi in Egypt. Although President Obama has in the past called Erdogan a great friend, this was too much even for the administration, which “strongly condemn[ed]”Erdogan’s words.
Israeli leaders, of course, do not engage in public defamation and conspiracy-mongering.
No journalists in prison. In that category Turkey now takes the lead in the world, surpassing Iran and China. In Israel even Uri Blau, a Haaretzjournalist convicted last year of holding thousands of classified military documents that were passed to him by a soldier who filched them, was sentenced to all of four months’ community service.
This is, of course, a very partial list, but it’s enough to point to an essential difference between a democracy and countries very far from democratic standards.
2. Some ways in which, nevertheless, Israel is treated differently from other countries in the region.
No recognition of its capital city. The U.S. embassy is in Tel Aviv, not Jerusalem, and the official position of U.S. administrations (though not of Congress) is not to recognize even “West” Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. No such problem, of course, arises regarding Cairo, Beirut, Damascus, Baghdad, Ankara, and so on.

Jewish sommelier reveals kosher wines & spirits (even from Israel) rank highly in quality and value

“This is delicious!” exclaims a friend, tasting a wine and requesting a second glass. “Are you sure it’s Kosher?” If you are celebrating Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, this year, you are in for a delicious treat. 

BlogCritics publishes Marisa D'Vari's article on kosher wines she recommends: 

For much of our families' lifetimes, most families sipped the sweet, grape-y Manishevitz. Today you will find some excellent, affordable, and delicious Kosher wines being produced in regions around the world that quite often outshine non-Kosher wines at a similar price point. If you are hosting a large party, you might take the opportunity to stock up on several different Kosher wines so you can serve a few as an aperitif, and then pair them with different courses. At the end of the evening, you might also ask your guests which wines they liked the best, and make note of your favorites for your next trip to the wine shop. Most of these wines are so delicious you will want to serve them all year round.
President of the Society of Wine Educators, Certified Wine Educator, Ira Norof  spoke with JooTube.TV regarding  quality kosher wines and spirits being sampled at the L.A. Times epicurean fair "The Taste" over Labor Day Weekend. 

Mr. Norof explains how 
the Herzog company has made kosher versions of local wine varieties from different countries which rival their non-kosher competitors'.  Herzog now produces Scotches which are kosher, and also was demonstrating their tequilas, which are not.

Remember the lessons of Jewish communities sacrificed from Gaza to test Arab sovereignty

Kfar Darom, Gaza Strip - Aug 18, '05:  Israeli activist leader Colonel Moshe Leshem waves the Israeli flag as Israeli riot police break onto the synagogue roof where hundreds of resistors had barricaded themselves during the expulsion from the veteran Gaza Strip Jewish community of Kfar Darom. Hundreds of expulsion-opponents barricaded themselves behind barbed wire in this Jewish settlement's synagogue - as security forces dragged screaming residents out of homes. Settlers elsewhere burned houses, fields and tires in protest of Israel's withdrawal from the Gaza Strip.  (Photo by David Silverman/Getty Images)
This week in August 2005, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's government forced Israelis to withdraw their 30-years-in-Gaza lives - as a step towards demonstrating their willingness to co-exist in peace with Palestinian Arabs.  Instead of reciprocating, Palestinian Arabs burned the synagogues and launched ongoing rocket attacks from closer to Israeli population centers, requiring Israel's Operation Cast Lead incursion to stop rockets from Gaza in 2008. 

Mrs. Rivka Goldschmidt, a Gush Katif expellee, told a Gush Katif Museum audience in NYC - her family's story of building communities in Gush Katif- only to be forced to dismantle them some 30-years later.

Watch Mrs. Goldschmidt's referred-to, Jewish women's prayer-appeal for divine intervention from removing Jewish families from lands holy to Jews- for political pressure by Muslims Covenant-keeping, pilgrim Jewish women pray their unswerving devotion to God's will - in the face of the failure of their resistance against the destruction of their temple and civilization in Gush Katif's Neve Dekalim, August 2005.   

Translation of "Tefillah Le'Ani" "Tefillah le'ani ki-ya'atof, ve'lifnei Hashem yishpoch sicho. 
A prayer of the afflicted man when he faints, and in front of Hashem he pours forth his supplications.

Hashem, shema se'fillasi, ve'shav'asi ei'lecha savo. 
L-rd, hear my prayer, and my cry - to You let it reach!

Al tas'teir panecha mi'meni be'yom tzar li. 
Do not hide Your face from me on the day of my distress."  (Tehillim 102:1-3) 

The Rambam writes, "It is a Mitzvah from the Torah to cry out to Hashem for help...whenever trouble strikes the community." 

The Sefer HaChinuch adds: "And someone who is in difficult circumstances and does not call out to Hashem to save him has violated this mitzvah of prayer...for it is as if he has removed himself from the overseeing of Hashem." (Courtesy, "Know the Words" ) 

Watch speech of Israeli colonel resistance-leader to Christian Zionist, Days of Elijah, in 2007:  Moshe Leshem: Forfeiting Israel? 

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Mandela-era parliamentarians, African Christian Democrat Party Meshoe-family denounce hijacking of "apartheid" as inaccurate to describe Israel

"Palestinians have used the falsehood that Israel is an apartheid state to gain sympathy for their cause, By doing so, they and their allies in the churches and elsewhere , purported concerned with "Palestinian suffering," are their own worst enemies. By maintaining the animosity against Israel, perhaps they are deliberately trying to prevent a peaceful process of negotiation to end the conflict," writes Michael Curtis, distinguished Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Rutgers University and author of Should Israel Exist? A Sovereign Nation under attack by the International Community.  In his article, Evangelicals: Righteous Gentiles for Israel  (May 31, 2012 Gatestone Institute) he declares:
The existence of Israel as a legitimate state is now being challenged in a number of ways and by a variety of media: by a Palestinian-initiated offensive to portray Palestinians as suffering from human rights abuses and colonial crimes committed by Israel; by the Electronic Intifada, an online Internet news website; by the United Methodist Kairos Response; by individuals and groups, such as the writers and academics Grace Halsell, Timothy Weber, Tony Campolo, and Gary Burge, (Wheaton College), as well as attendees, especially Stephen Sizer, the anti-Zionist Church of England priest, at the Christ at the Checkpoint Conferences organized by the Bethlehem Bible College.
An exceptional individual who has been an important counterweight to the disparagers of Israel is Dr. Kenneth Meshoe, a member of the South African Parliament, president of the African Christian Democratic Party, and pastor of a South African Church. What is particularly significant about pastor Meshoe is that he, as a black South African, on a number
of occasions, has put paid to the lie spread by the Palestinian narrative, that Israel is an apartheid state. At the international conference of legislators from around the world held in Budapest on October 31, 2011, Pastor Meshoe replied to the kind of fulminations published by the Electronic Intifada that Israeli actions are "the epitome of apartheid" and aim at the systematic destruction of Palestinian society. He describes those who promulgate the lie of Israel-as-apartheid as ignorant individuals who are not aware of, or who deliberately disregard, the true nature of the negative impact of apartheid on black South Africans -- an experience quite different from that of Palestinians in nature and intensity. South African blacks were treated as second-class citizens and were denied basic human rights. By contrast, he points out that in Israel there are no laws discriminating against people on the basis of their color or on the basis of their religion. Palestinians have not suffered the pain of apartheid experienced by black South Africans.
Pastor Meshoe amplifies his general remarks by specific examples. He calls attention to the fact that in South Africa there were separate modes of transport for blacks and whites; there were coaches in trains only for black people, and others only for whites. Segregation was present in schools, hospitals, public places, city parks, benches, chairs, beaches. No such segregation exists in Israel.
Esther Meshoe, daughter of conservative South African parliamentarian, Dr. Kenneth Meshoe, refutes false allegations of apartheidism on the part of Israel.  

Mrs. Lydia Meshoe, wife of 19-year South African Parliamentarian Dr. Kenneth Meshoe, relates that reality of Muslim treatment by Israel nowhere approaches the false allegations of apartheid by South African politicians, seeking to curry favor with Muslim interests. She feels compelled, as a Christian, to stand up against this treachery against G-d's home and guardians.


Dr. Kenneth Meshoe, 19-year member of South African Parliament, says that Islamist propagandas exploiting 'apartheidist' to mis-characterize Israel's treatment of Arabs- actually harms humanitarian growth in Africa by inhibiting African access to Israeli innovation in health, biology, environment, and energy.

Cameroonian journalist, Stephen Mugwa Tebid, explains how overcoming negative beliefs about Israel could be more beneficial to Africa than solutions from the West.

Mr. Tebid spoke at the Celebrate Israel Parade on June 2, 2013. He is presently in Israel to enhance relations with Africa.

The Meshoe Family, Dr. Kenneth, wife, Lydia, and daughter Esther fleshed-out the situation in South Africa, their attitudes towards the lies of apartheid, and the burden they assume because of their commitment to defending Israel. They addressed an audience in Los Angeles on 11 Aug 2013, organized by Lily Steiner and Pastor Kevin Diekelman of One-Heart for Jerusalem.

Did Moshe Feiglin invoking Jabotinsky legacy in NYC what drove Obama to L.A. for NBC's Leno?

It is 73 years since Ze'ev Jabotinsky's death in 1940 in upstate New York. His words, warnings, beliefs, prophecies are all uppermost in our minds today as we witness the shameful and pointless actions of Israel's leaders. Jabotinsky wrote: "We are not consigned to our fate. We need not concede our national intersts in search of the ever-elusive moral high ground. Our cause is indeed just, and if we have the courage, even in the 11th hour, we can redeem ourselves."

M.K. Moshe Feiglin interviewed about control over the Temple Mount and Western Wall of the Beit Hamikdash by The Temple Institute

Americans for a Safe Israel (AFSI) and the Nordau Circle are sponsoring their Annual Memorial Tribute to Ze'ev Jabotinsky on Tuesday, 6 March, 7:30 p.m., at the Westside Institutional Synagogue, 120 West 76th Street (between Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues in NYC). The roster of speakers is impressive. AFSI's Chairman, Mark Langfan will lead off, followed by Rabbi Pesach Lerner, Executive VP Emeritus of National Council Young Israel.

The final speaker will be MK Moshe Feiglin, Deputy Speaker of the Israeli Knesset.  The Memorial program will begin at 7:30 upstairs in the ballroom.

Israelis and Americans are bewildered and confused by the actions of the leaders of both countries. Is Bibi giving in to pressure from the U.S.? Are his actions self-motivated? Is Obama betraying both Israel and America, and indeed the western world by his actions? Is Jabotinsky's "Iron Wall" insufficient?  Speakers on Tuesday evening will be addressing these issues. 

Mark Langfan, AFSI's Chairman has written an insightful article about where the Benghazi trail really leads. Op-Ed: Benghazi Leads to Iran, Not Al Qaeda

L.A. Jewish Symphony's participatory KlezFest jam - freilachs the Ford Amphitheater

L.A. Jewish Symphony staged "KlezFest 2013 - a free event for the community - on Monday, July 29th at the Ford Amphitheater. 

Yiddish dance-master, Bruce Bierman, led the attendees to dance onstage to the sounds of the Los Angeles Jewish Symphony and guest "jammers" playing instruments and percussion under the stars.

Among the clips in this JooTube playlist, Cantor Linda Rich shares her experience of the communal singing, dancing, and playing at the secular, Ford Amphitheater venue.  

Dr. Noreen Green, the symphony's artistic director and conductor, utilized the Ford's second year's invitation to the group as an opportunity to promote the 10th annual Cultural Collaborations concert, featuring Broadway's memorable Tevye, folk-entertainer, Theodore Bikel on August 25th.