Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Katrina's Wrath

My prayers are with everyone who is in the path of this terrible hurricane. I heard some stories on news radio during my drive into work that had me almost in tears. I probably would have cried, but driving on LA freeways is hard enough without obscuring my vision. Stay safe, my friends, especially dear pal to the Blogway -- the Seawitch.

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Sunday, August 28, 2005

Heval Hevalim #34

Find out what Jewish/Israeli bloggers are posting about this week by visiting Batya's post here. She's got some great stuff listed!

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This Little Fella Needs A Name

Hat tip to AOW. You can vote for which name the little guy should get by clicking here. There are a few choices and all you have to do is give your email address. It also makes you elligible for a trip to DC. If I win, it would thrill my parents to no end, I'm sure. But I'm entering anyway.

Just funnin' ya, Mom! ;)

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Saturday, August 27, 2005

Odd Custom

Hat tip to Rory for this strange story. Apparently there is a practice at Sde Boker Academy, located in the Negev, that might surprise a lot of us. What is this time-honored tradition? Let me tell you.

It's losing your virginity on top of David Ben-Gurion's grave. Apparently, students have been doing this for years.

"My friends and I always talked about it," one grad told Radio South. "We'd heard about it for years"
The student said that while he had never had sex at the gravesite, many of his friends "seized the opportunity" to maintain the school tradition.

But my favorite line from this article?

Academy angry, Ben-Gurion's grandson happy

His grandson is happy?! Too funny.

If the information is true, I think it's great. I'm happy that years after my grandfather died, he continues to inspire our youth and still gives the country an erection."
"But I wouldn't have thought a cold, hard stone was the best place to have sex," he said.

What happened to the backseat of one's car?

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Friday, August 26, 2005

Not Pleased With Condi


Hat tip to AOW. Apparently, the quote was fabricated. Check it out here.


Hat tip to my pal Renee. Haaretz has an article with the following...

"Everyone empathizes with what the Israelis are facing," Rice said, but added "It cannot be Gaza only."

How about it can't be just the Israelis suffering and making concessions? How about it can't be only the Israelis who are acting for the good of peace? How about it can't only be the Palestinians who are safe to walk the streets and go out to eat?


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Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Some in Israel Rescue Gaza Pets

We've heard story after story about people having to leave everything when they were removed from their homes in Gaza, but what about the animals left behind? Thankfully, a group of animal rescuers were sent to round up stray cats and dogs. Hat tip to Rory on this one.

Tal Levy, evacuated on Thursday by Israeli troops and police from the Gaza settlement Kfar Darom, said he saw many stray animals in the area before he left.

“Horses, dogs and cats and even chickens were wandering the streets,” he told Israel’s NRG Web site, affiliated with its Maariv newspaper. “There is no one to feed or care for them.”

Regular readers of my blog know that this kind of statement breaks my heart. I'm grateful though that someone is looking to help out these little critters.

Animals found in the settlements will be put in shelters in Israel until new homes are found for them. Israel has put out public service announcements calling on people to adopt them.

“We were promised that if they do decide to put even one animal to sleep, they would let us know 24 hours in advance. I will then go and rescue it,” Kuzi said.

Kuzi is now one of my new favorite people!

He said there was no clear estimate of the number of pets in the settlements and he expected to find mostly stray cats. Settlers had officially registered 150 dogs, but Kuzi said most of them probably left with their owners.

Cats always get the short end of the deal. I had to hide this story from my two sensitive felines.

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Monday, August 22, 2005

The Problem With Hollywood

Hat tip to my pal Ed. There is an incredibly brave article written by Robert J. Avrech about what it is like being an observant, well-educated Jew dealing with Hollywood's (including fellow Jews) power elite who don't have any clue about the threat we're facing from Islamic terrorists. I can vouch that this article is accurate to my experiences as well (not that I'm a writer, but still). And it probably explains why most of us have little use for anything Hollywood is producing at the moment.

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Sunday, August 21, 2005

Enough of Juan Williams

He bugs me big time. NPR's Juan Williams on this week's edition of The Beltway Boys on Fox News voiced his left position (Fred Barnes voices the right -- fair and balanced™ of course)... that the ball isn't in the Palestinians court now... because in his words, they don't have a court, or a bat or a ball so he feels they need help. He does feel that help should come from the rich Arab neighboring countries but he'd also like to see it come from Israel and the US.

If he knew anything about the conflict, he'd know that the Arabs have no interest in helping the Palestinians succeed. They like having them as a thorn in Israel's side. He also made it sound like the "settlers" oppressed the Palestinians. What?! I thought Israelis helped to employ them, giving them jobs on their farms. They probably provided more honest work for Palestinians than their own government has done.

Then today on Fox News Sunday, Juan continued his clueless thread of thought by saying that Gaza was never a part of Israel. He seemed to conveniently forget that whether it was part of Israel or not, Jews lived in Gaza and the West Bank. They lived there until they were expelled by the Arabs and the land was made Juderein. And it stayed that way for 19 years -- until the Arabs lost their war of aggression in 1967. Sort of pokes a few holes in Juan's theory.

I wonder if the DNC has ever complained about having Juan as "their voice" on the network because he sure as hell doesn't represent the left's side in a positive light. On the flip side, I was exceedingly proud of Fred Barnes (we only agree on Israel for the most part) and how he responded to Juan on both programs. Way to go, Fred!

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Saturday, August 20, 2005

I'm Mad at Loews Cineplex!

Read this post at Regular Ron's to find out why. It will break your heart.

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'Now the Stones Will Speak'

Courtesy Shalem Center
Jonathan Tobin has written an interesting article in the Jewish World Review about a discovery made during an archeological dig in Israel that is mind blowing.

As professor Jonathan Rosenbaum, president of Gratz College here in Philadelphia and himself a leading authority on Ancient Near East studies, said: "If you can upend the idea that King David was a historic figure and that ancient Israel was real, then you can delegitimize modern Israel."


But last week, the debunkers of Jewish history got some bad news. And all it took was for a dedicated archaeologist to start digging.

Dr. Eilat Mazar, senior fellow of the Jerusalem-based Shalem Center's Institute for the Archaeology of the Jewish People, announced that she's uncovered ruins of what she believes was the palace of David.

"[This] fantastic building [is a] big, obvious answer to those who say Jerusalem was an unimportant settlement."

I can't even imagine what it must be like to discover something that brings the pages of the Bible to life.

Just as telling was an artifact only 1 centimeter long, uncovered from a slightly later period. It was an impression of an ancient seal, or "bullah," which bore the name of Jerucal, son of Shelemiah, son of Shevi.

Who was he? Nothing less than a minister of the Kingdom of Judah in its last days before the Babylonian destruction of the city in 586 BCE. We know of him only because he is mentioned in the book of Jeremiah. But the bullah proves his existence isn't a literary flight of fancy.

Unreal. While I imagine most of you had faith that the Bible was indeed written about actual occurrences, for those who were skeptics, this find has to be overwhelming.

The find shows again, as many other archeological discoveries have also proven, that the Tanach is a credible historic source. For Mazar, this tiny piece of clay — found amid thousands of years of remains — "goes straight to the point" to understanding the role of the biblical text in reconstructing history.

"Layer by layer, we must take the Bible much, much more seriously than was ever thought, and treat it as a most important historic document that contains a lot of realistic descriptions," declares Mazar.


Though Mazar says she "welcomes controversy over the meaning of the evidence," she urges her colleagues to deal with facts and not fantasies.

But by uncovering the remains of David's palace, Mazar has struck a blow not only for the cause of archaeology, but helped make clear just how deep the Jewish roots of this place run.

Amen to that.

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Wednesday, August 17, 2005

I'm Sorry

Yes, once again, since I lack the time to blog I'm simply hoping that throwing up yet another picture of my adorable cat will do. I feel horrible about not posting/commenting more. This is one of the most important times in the history of Israel and rather than doing my people proud, I'm working on some lame project cause I need the income. But know my heart is with all of you in Israel right now.

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Monday, August 15, 2005

Must Read

Thoughts by Seawitch has a very important post you should check out. It's about helping our soldiers.

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Gaza: End of an Era

The gates of Gaza have been permanently closed to Israeli civilian traffic. This is a dark day. Will it lead to a new peace for Israel with her neighbors? Time will tell. Will it take years or a few hours before we find out that answer? This has been a huge gamble on the part of Sharon and his government. But it's Israel's population that has supplied his bankroll of chips. Time to pray.

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Sunday, August 14, 2005

Baby's Gettin' Cuter!

Hat tip to AOW once again. Baby (pictured at left) is now a month old!

Keepers said the cub stayed quiet for most of the brief exam, sometimes making suckling noises. But when he let out a squeal, Mei Xiang got very upset and ran around the enclosure. She immediately calmed down once her baby was back in her arms.

Another news tidbit...

The next step for the baby panda is opening his eyes, which could happen any time now.

Can't wait!

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Saturday, August 13, 2005

Adventure of a Lifetime!

A young friend of mine is getting ready to move to Israel for ten months to do this program called Otzma. I'm so excited for her I just can't stand it! Oh how I wish I had done something like this.

OTZMA is a service-based leadership development program offering young adults ages 20-26 the unique opportunity to contribute and acquire an in-depth understanding of Israel and the Jewish people.

Check out the program. If you're still of age... you lucky duck!

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Friday, August 12, 2005

Letter of Resignation

I realize I'm late to the party by posting this but if you haven't seen it -- you should. Read Benjamin Netanyahu's letter of resignation to Ariel Sharon. He says a lot of what I'm feeling but a helluva lot better than I could.

Mr. Prime Minister,

From the moment you presented your disengagement plan to me, I told you I was against a unilateral withdrawal in which Israel would receive nothing in return. Such a withdrawal, I argued, would only strengthen the forces of terror. At a minimum, I implored you to place the settlement blocs within the security fence before beginning the withdrawal and to maintain Israel's control over the Philadelphi Corridor. In doing so, we could have established new security lines that protected our national interests rather than create the impression that we are running from terror. Later, we established a mechanism enabling the government to decide whether or not to proceed with the withdrawal depending on the changing reality on the ground.

Unfortunately, the security fence has not been completed, the Philadelphi Corridor will be handed over to the Palestinians, and worst of all, we are permitting the Palestinians to open a seaport that will enable them to import weapons with abandon.

Sadly, the government is blindly moving forward. Just as I feared, Hamas is getting stronger, the terror is continuing, mortars and kassams are being fired on our towns, and our enemies boldly declare that they will transfer the rockets that expelled us from the Gaza Strip to Judea and Samaria, and fire them until they achieve their goal of "the complete Liberation of Palestine."

I do not know when the full force of Palestinian terror will return. Perhaps it will take a month or two, perhaps a year or two. I pray that the terror will stop, but I fear it won't. Just as I was convinced in 1993 that the Oslo agreement would result in rocket attacks from Gaza and terror attacks from Judea and Samaria, I am convinced today that the disengagement plan will strengthen terror and not weaken it. As you well know, our security experts expect that terror in the medium-term will increase.

In short, it is becoming crystal clear that the unilateral disengagement is bringing no benefit to Israel. On the contrary, it is endangering our security, dividing the nation, and justifying the untenable demand that Israel return to the indefensible borders of 1967.

This is not the way to achieve peace.

I have always thought that a withdrawal from Gaza was possible within the context of a peace agreement or in return for a tangible benefit. But what is Israel getting in return for its decision to uproot families, destroy their homes and disinter their loved ones? In return, we are getting a new base for Islamic terror.

After the terror attacks in New York, Washington, Madrid, London and in the Sinai, the world is beginning to understand that terror must be confronted, not appeased. And Israel, the nation that once showed the whole world how a free people courageously confront terrorism, is now taking a different course.

In the last few months, I hoped that the government would open its eyes and change direction. But the very opposite has happened. A center-right government that expressed the will of the nation following the last elections was replaced with a government that automatically implements policies that are contrary to the principles of the Likud and the mandate we received from the public.

Mr. Prime Minister, you could have preserved a center-right government. You could have prevented a split in the nation. For many months, I implored you to hold a referendum that would have preserved unity in the party and unity in the nation. Unfortunately, you opposed a general referendum and at the same time broke your promise to accept the results of a referendum within the Likud. As we face the difficult days ahead, the need for both the government and the public to act with the utmost restraint and responsibility has never been greater.

For a long time, I have remained in the government despite my opposition to the disengagement plan and my growing reservations with the developments taking place on the ground. I did so in the hope that my influence within the government could help minimize the dangers of the disengagement plan. At the same time, I remained in the government because of my sense of responsibility as minister of finance. We were in the midst of passing revolutionary economic reforms that I believe are critical to the nation's economic future, including most recently the capital market reform and tax reform.

When I became Minister of Finance two and a half years ago, the Israeli economy was on the verge of collapse. Today, the economy is healthy, growing and prosperous. If the economic policy I led is not changed, growth will continue and all of Israel's citizens will benefit.

Today, we have reached the moment of decision. There is a path toward peace and security. A unilateral withdrawal under fire is not that path. I am unwilling to be a partner to a process that chooses to ignore reality and blindly advances a policy that will create an Islamic terrorist base that will threaten the nation. I am unwilling to be a partner to an irresponsible policy that endangers the security of the state, divides the nation, establishes the precedent for Israel's return to the indefensible 1967 lines, and even endangers the future of a united Jerusalem.

I therefore submit this letter of resignation.

Benjamin Netanyahu

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Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Comments Section Issues

Sorry guys; had to get rid of allowing anonymous comments for the time being. Got spammed 4 times in ten minutes. Bummer.

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Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Movie Tagged!

Seawitch, a dear friend to the Blogway, has tagged me (!) with a Movie Meme that consists of four questions; I'll answer but I won't be taggin' any of you guys, so don't worry...

1. The number of movies I own.

Almost 70.

2. The name of the last film I purchased.

Oh dear G-d, you had to ask me this now? OK, it sounds really lame but it was a really funny movie -- Dickie Roberts Former Child Star. Fine, I hold my head down in shame, lol. Do I make up for it at all with the fact I also bought Mary Tyler Moore Season II?

3. The name of the last film I saw at a theatre.

The new Batman flick -- it was actually quite good.

4. 5 movies that mean a lot to me or that I have seen over and over.

Ten Commandments -- classic, needs no explanation
What's Up, Doc? -- easily one of the funniest films ever, back when Streisand was bearable to watch
Holiday -- Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn are amazing... just a feel good movie
The Story of Us -- something everyone in a relationship should see despite it starring Bruce Willis and Michelle Pfeiffer; teaches a lot about communication
Dirty Dancing -- guilty pleasure... touches me, don't know why...

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Monday, August 08, 2005

How Low Can People Go?

It doesn't get much sicker than this.

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Sunday, August 07, 2005

And So It Ends...

Peter Jennings has passed away at 67 from lung cancer. He announced he had it not long ago... in April. You can read about it here. At least he didn't suffer for too long.

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Netanyahu Resigns!

Wow. Among his reasons why were that he didn't want to be a part of something that was tearing Israel apart as well as handing over land to Hamas for a terrorist state (or something to that affect).

If he feels this way, why didn't he resign back when Sharansky did? I'm glad he did it, don't get me wrong. Takes the stink off of him if he ever wants to run the country again (which we all know he does). But what's with the timing? Thoughts?

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It's A Girl!

A miracle has truly happened. Susan Anne Catherine Torres was born today. She was 1 pound 13 ounces and measures 13 ½ inches long. Why is this a miracle? Because ever since May 7th, her mom has been brain dead, diagnosed with stage four melanoma. The best commentary I can manage is... amazing.

UPDATE in comments.

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Saturday, August 06, 2005

Good Israel Discussion

I've been remiss in providing good Israeli discussion but there are some fine threads over at our friend Drummaster2001's site, High Voltage. The link to it is on my righthand sidebar. Check it out.

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Gotta Dance

OK, I'm taking the easy way out of blogging once again by posting a funky picture of one of my cats. But she is inspirational, is she not? Sometimes ya just gotta dance....

As soon as I get a working scanner again, I want to show you the picture I have of her fighting me for a piece of lambchop.

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Thursday, August 04, 2005

Work Is Cramping My Blogging Style

OK, just started a short term job yesterday -- so between that and the over two hours commuting, never mind needing to spend some time with my boyfriend and cats when I get home -- it's killing my time to go to your blogs. So I'm sorry for now that I've been horrible about it. Will try to make it everywhere this weekend and find a way to work it back into my daily routine. Please don't give up on me. Just wanted to explain my absence...

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Wednesday, August 03, 2005

So, So, So Not Fair!

Once again, Sherry Stringfield has quit ER. I have adored her for years, since she first started on the soap opera Guiding Light but then quit. I was thrilled when she quit NYPD Blue (hated the camera movement but had to watch as long as she was on). I was bummin' when she quit ER the first time. And now she's done it again. Noooooooooooo. I'm so done with ER now. I've watched it all along. I managed to stay with it through Sherry's last hiatus. Nothing is left there for me now. All my faves are gone. Sucks.

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Tuesday, August 02, 2005

It's A Boy!

Hat tip to Always On Watch for alerting me to the fact that we now know the baby panda at the National Zoo is a boy! What a cutie. (This time the picture is him; I "borrowed" it from the site.)

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Monday, August 01, 2005

Women Beware -- What You Must Know

I fear women don't really get how vulnerable they are to predators. And I don't just mean sexual predators. Not too long ago, when I was in DC for a conference, I met a gal on the Metro. She was sweet as pie and very artistic... her head in the clouds. She was telling me about how she'd discovered religion (tried to woo me for it; boy was she barking up the wrong tree) and was very into it. She then let loose a bomb -- she'd recently met this Muslim man and after talking to him for five minutes -- he asked her to MARRY HIM. But she was considering saying yes! Not by the time I was done with her though.

I asked if he was a citizen of the US. She admitted that he wasn't. I gently pointed out that this is a technique "certain" foreigners use (finding a sweet naive girl) to try to gain citizenship into this country, so they're able to move around more freely. She agreed she wouldn't marry him and instead was now even more motivated to convert him to Christianity. I wished her luck and departed.

But it doesn't just happen here. This happens around the world, including Israel, often with a more sophisticated approach than was used on this young woman in DC. Men, especially Palestinian men, can hide their true motives, woo tourists or Israelis in an attempt to gain citizenship through their spouses. It sort of goes back to my previous post about how they have no problems lying to get what they want, whether its purpose is for personal propaganda, political gains or something far more nefarious.

I've heard from someone about a phenomenon that is very frightening and happening more and more to women in this situation. The man demonstrates interest in using the woman's body as a for-profit business, but because Israel is too small and the community too tightly-knit, he wants to go off to places like Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Egypt and Turkey to accomplish these goals. There are many Jewish girls in this situation already.

How can one know if their new beau has good intentions? I wish I knew a surefire way but at the very least, keep your eyes open. Check him out using Google search. If you know anyone in law enforcement or even in Human Resources, these people have access to doing background checks. While this sounds harsh, I don't think anyone wants to feel responsible for making life easier for a criminal or worse -- a terrorist. I would do this regardless of the guy's religion or background. But if either is dicey -- you really need to do this. You owe it to your own future. I hate to be an alarmist but things are worse today. You don't have the simple fear of yesterday, when the worst thing would be him running off with your bank account. These days, if you find out too late that you need to get out of a dangerous relationship, attempting to end things could put you at risk for an honor killing.

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