Sunday, December 30, 2007

Abandoned By The Jblogosphere?

Smooth Stone has a post that is worth a read. What do you think?

Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael

Murder in Hevron Hills

Even though I have some thoughts to share about my recent birthday, Israel, and blogging in general, I couldn't let this pass without mentioning it first.
A land flowing with milk and honey. 
This past Shabbat's Torah reading includes G-d promise to take the Jews out of Egypt, and lead them to Eretz Yisrael -- a land flowing with milk and honey.
Those of us fortunate to live here today, and those of us even more fortunate to realize what a beautiful land we live in -- take the opportunity to tour the land, seek it out, and appreciate the trails, rocks, streams, springs and landscape.
This past Friday 3 Jewish hikers went out to explore the land, Nachal Telem in the Hevron mountains.   Guilty of touring.  Palestinian terrorists neared to group and opened fire.  2 of the hikers were in elite IDF units and bravely returned fire, and a gun battle ensued.  Outnumbered and attacked first, the hikers bravely fought to the end...killing one terrorist, seriously wounding one, moderately wounding another, and another one or two got away.
The third Jewish hiker hid and managed to alert security services which evacuated her.
"Two IDF soldiers on leave were killed on Friday in an apparent drive-by shooting south of Hebron. Cpl. Ahikam Amihai (20) and Sgt. David Ruben (21), both residents of the neighboring settlement of Kiryat Arba, were hiking through the Telem Creek area with an unnamed female companion when a group of four Palestinians drove up towards them and opened fire.
The third hiker in the group managed to take cover as the first gunshots were heard and called the Kiryat Arba security headquarters to alert them of the incident. "We've been hit, there are two critically wounded Israelis here," she reported. However the female hiker had difficulty giving rescue services the party's exact location and the searches took over an hour.

 Amihai and Ruben were seriously injured and died of their wounds shortly afterwards, they were pronounced dead at the scene by a military doctor. They will be brought to rest Saturday evening, after Shabbat.

Eli Rosenberg, a volunteer with the regional MDA rescue services told Ynet that the third hiker was crying hysterically when the search party reached the scene after a 1.5 mile walk from the central path.

"She said they had been walking near the creek and noticed a car driving back and forth near them several times. At some point the car left the path and began driving towards them, as its occupants pulled out their weapons," said Rosenberg.  YNET

One of the 2 hikers killed, Achikam Amichai, is the son of the head of Machon HaTorah VeHa'aretz (which is responsible for Otzar Ha'Aretz -- a mehadrin shmita solution which I've blogged about before).
A healthy Jewish response would be reaffirming our commitment to the land.
What Israel does: Ehud Olmert continues to release Palestinian terrorists and re-arm them with bullets, rifles and armored vehicles.  Olmert has  frozen all Jewish construction in the West Bank, and virtually stopped all new plans for Jewish construction in Eastern liberated Jerusalem.
What the EU does: Israel said on Saturday it had recently seized a truck carrying chemicals used to make explosives hidden in bags marked as EU aid for the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.  The army said 6.5 tons of potassium nitrate were in bags marked as sugar from the European Union for Palestinians in the coastal enclave.  EU officials in Jerusalem had no immediate comment.   The cargo in a Palestinian truck was traveling in the West Bank and seized several weeks ago at an Israeli checkpoint, the army said.
What Haaretz wants: (see below**) Israel needs to be raped. (After last week's story that IDF soldiers are racist and evil for not raping Palestinian women, it's only logical for the leftists to demand that Israel to get raped...?)
Don't worry - I'll post some good news later.
Shavua tov,

** Since the JPost link keeps breaking, here is the entire article before it's not available in the google cache.
Dec 27, 2007 21:45 | Updated Dec 28, 2007 9:25
Ha'aretz editor: Israel wants to be raped

Ha'aretz editor David Landau told US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice at a recent private dinner that Israel "wants to be raped by the US" and needed more vigorous American intervention to resolve Middle East conflicts, according to a report in the New York Jewish Week.

Landau made the remarks at a confidential gathering of Israeli guests at the home of US Ambassador to Israel Richard Jones on September 10, the Jewish Week reported on its Web site Thursday.

The paper said that Landau, who was seated next to Rice, reportedly referred to Israel as a "failed state" politically that needed a US-imposed settlement. It added that Landau reportedly "implored Rice to intervene, asserting that the Israeli government wanted 'to be raped' and that it would be like a 'wet dream' for him to see this happen."

In response, Landau told the New York weekly that this description was "inaccurate" and "a perversion of what I said," and that he had expressed his views with "much more sophistication."

But, he went on, "I did say that in general, Israel wants to be raped - I did use that word - by the US, and I myself have long felt Israel needed more vigorous US intervention in the affairs of the Middle East."

He explained to the paper that each of the participants at the dinner spoke of Israel's challenges, and he chose to point out that since 1967, Israel had failed to resolve its territorial conflicts with the Palestinians. "I told [Rice] that it had always been my wet dream to address the secretary of state" on this critical issue, Landau told the Jewish Week.

Rice was "fantastic" and "completely unfazed" by his comments, he said, and remained "urbane and diplomatic."

Landau said he had no regrets about what he had said, and that he was later congratulated by several professors in the room who felt "I articulated what many Israelis feel."

Other participants said Rice told the guests that the US had no intention of imposing a settlement on the Israelis and Palestinians.

Channel 2's Arab affairs expert Ehud Ya'ari briefly reported the incident some weeks ago, but did not name Landau. Ya'ari called the incident "embarrassing."

Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael

Adding Insult to Injury

Last week I wrote about the rising costs of living in Israel, how difficult it is for certain (including working) sectors to make ends meet, with the government removing all the subsidies it can, and with all the prices on our monopolistic services rising. But most importantly I wrote how you can help.

It turns out that besides the rising cost of electricity, gas, and bread, the price on yet another basic commodity will be going up.


That's right. The price for water, the most basic of necessities will be raised by 10%.

Now, I know I usually say the government is heartless and cruel.

They don’t care about how these rising costs of living affect those living on fixed incomes.

But that’s not true.

In response, the government decided this week to raise the salaries of various sectors to account for the increase in their cost of living due to the removal of bread subsidies, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and water.

The following is a partial list of salary hikes go into effect this week:

So, who says the Israeli government doesn’t take care of its own?

I am truly at a loss for words.

Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael

Friday, December 28, 2007

Happy Birthday Muqata Man

Attention everybody. Though he may not have any superpowers, I am nonetheless required to announce that Jameel will be turning 40 this saturday. That is all


Oh NO!
Save me Puppy Goo Goo, Save me.

Bwwahahahahahhaha. Little does he know that soon I will have his soul. Bwwahahahahha

Oh shut your traps you melon heads. There's nothing wrong with being fortyyyyyyyyyy. I was once fortyyyyyyyyyyyyy. Don't listen to these communists Jameel. You're still young. Youuuuuuunngggg. Why at my age, I can still stay up till 7 watching Matlock. Maaaaaaatloooock.


Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Smack Olmert with a Hammer, win a prize.

Had an advertisement come out before the Annapolis Peace Conference that stated "Whack Ehud Olmert, Ehud Barak and Tzippi Livni to wake them up...not to split Jerusalem" the reaction would have been quick and unanimous.

The ad would probably be run for a few minutes to get the attention of the police, so they could file charges against the advertiser, the ad would be removed quickly, the right wing would be lambasted with claims of incitement to violence and murder, Yitzchak Rabin's name would be invoked, and experts would bemoan the depths of education in the country.

And yet, in today's YNET on-line Hebrew edition, the following flash animation appears, with Ehud Olmert, Education Minister Yuli Tamir and Finance Minister Roni Bar-On sleeping in bed together -- and a hammer is available for you to whack them on their heads (complete with causing cartoon stylized black eyes) to "wake them up"...

The ad is part of the campaign to end the Staff strike at Israeli Universities with a warning, "the semester is in danger" (of not happening, because of the strike).

I see nothing wrong with the ad and I find it funny.

Unfortunately, if you modify it just a tiny bit to suit an alternative (right wing) cause, it's automatically a criminal offense with dire repercussions.

So, if you find the ad on YNET -- enjoy it. At least we can whack Olmert legally under the guise of "Education."

(Thanks to JoeSettler for the assist).

Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael

Zeh Katan...Godol Yihiyeh.

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli scientists have inscribed the entire Hebrew text of the Jewish Bible onto a space less than half the size of a grain of sugar.

The nanotechnology experts at the Technion institute in Haifa say the book was etched on a surface that measures less than 0.01 square inch. They chose the Jewish Bible to highlight how vast quantities of information can be stored on minimum amounts of space.

"It took us about an hour to etch the 300,000 words of the Bible onto a tiny silicon surface," Ohad Zohar, the university's scientific adviser for educational programs, told the Associated Press.

The Technion's microscopic bible was created by blasting tiny particles called gallium ions at an object that then rebounded, causing an etching affect.

"When a particle beam is directed toward a point on the surface, the gold atoms bounce off and expose the silicon layer underneath just like a hammer and chisel," Zohar said.

He said the technology will in the future be used as a way to store vast amounts of data on bio-molecules and DNA.

The tiny Bible appears to be the world's smallest.

Lots to blog...not much time though.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Birth in Jerusalem's Old City

I've been doing many refresher seminars lately as a Magen David Adom EMT. At one course a few weeks ago, someone came up to me and said, "you must be Jameel, right?" (using the name Jameel, and not my real name.) We had spoken before many times, but never met in person...

At that MDA seminar, one of the topics we concentrated on was birth.

My new/old friend sent me this incredible video clip about a Magen David Adom assisted birth in the old city of Jerusalem (nothing graphic). The video's in Hebrew, but is easy to follow...

Nothing beats an MDA EMT announcing "Mazal Tov" to the MDA dispatcher by radio...after a successful birth.

Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael

Monday, December 17, 2007

Haveil Havalim #145

Haveil Havalim #145 is hosted over at SoccerDad
Lots of good reads...go check it out.
(Even though he did leave out last week's "Return to Kever Yosef",
which IMHO has an amazing video.  In fact...Im probably going to do alot
more videos now as a result...) 
Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael

Shlomo The Reindeer

Do you have a better caption for this picture?

Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael

Sunday, December 16, 2007

All it takes is a 100 Shekels and a Dream


After years of not being able to play the "lotto" because the drawing was on shabbat, the entry form was based on games played on shabbat, or simply because it didn't have the right backing, the new "Goralot" chareidi lottery is taking off here in Israel.

Complete with the rabbinical backing of Rabbi Rafael Wint and Rabbi Yaakov Zonenfeld, the proceeds from this lottery go to "Tiferet Rechesim" fund, which provides aid for families in need and young charedi dropouts.

The grand prize winner will only receive 100 thousand shekels ($25,500); 10 runners-up will win 4,000 shekels ($1,020), 20 will win 200 shekels ($50), and 769 people will win back the price of the ticket, 100 shekels...meaning (according to Goralot) that 1 in every 10 tickets is a winner.

It's a far cry from a dollar to enter...its a 100 NIS investment per ticket (about 26 dollars)...though since some of the money goes to tzedaka, it justifies the high price.
The first lottery drawing is planned for Rosh Chodesh Adar (February 5th), and more drawings will take place each month with tickets costing 100 shekels (about $26). The staff of Goralot suggests that participants can buy tickets with their money set aside for charity (ma'aser). "This way, they can donate to charity as well as personally gain and keep donating from the same money they earn," explained Elisha Cohen, one of the project founders.

The haredi initiators of the project tell Ynet that the growing need for charity funds caused them to ponder how to support the public and funnel money into this organization, when there are so many others out there.

The project's founders are calling Goralot "the next big thing in the haredi community." To sell cards, ticket agents will operate in haredi population centers and, according to reports, have already sold more than 3,500 tickets. Next week, Goralot will begin advertising in haredi media and street billboards. YNET
Now...some people will have no answer whatsoever to the following old story...

It was flooding in Bnei Brak. As the flood waters were rising, a man was on the stoop of his house and another man in a row boat came by. The man in the row boat told the man on the stoop to get in and he'd save him. The man on the stoop said, no, he had faith in G-d and would wait for G-d to save him. The flood waters kept rising and the man had to go to the second floor of his house. A man in a motor boat came by and told the man in the house to get in because he had come to rescue him. The man in the house said no thank you. He had perfect faith in G-d and would wait for G-d to save him. The flood waters kept rising. Pretty soon they were up to the man's roof and he got out on the roof. A helicopter then came by, lowered a rope and the pilot shouted down in the man in the house to climb up the rope because the helicopter had come to rescue him. The man in the house wouldn't get in. He told the pilot that he had faith in G-d and would wait for G-d to rescue him. The flood waters kept rising and the man in the house drowned. When he got to heaven, he asked G-d where he went wrong. He told G-d that he had perfect faith in G-d, but G-d had let him drown.

"What more do you want from me?" asked G-d. "I sent you two boats and a helicopter."

You want extra money, you have to buy a ticket....(but that means only ONE ticket. It would be a shame for people to get addicted to this)

Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Muslim Subway Rider Aids Attacked Jews

This is certainly a heartwarming story. How interesting; Christians attack Jews, and the one person who comes to their rescue is a Muslim. And as I tell my kids, not everyone named "Jameel" is a terrorist :)
A suspected bias attack on four Jewish subway riders has resulted in a friendship between the Jewish victims and the Muslim college student who came to their aid.

Walter Adler is calling Hassan Askari a hero for intervening when Adler and three friends were assaulted on a subway train in lower Manhattan on Friday night.

The altercation erupted when Adler and his friends said "Happy Hanukkah" to a group yelling "Merry Christmas" on the Brooklyn-bound train.

The 20-year-old Askari said he tried to fight off the 10 attackers, giving Adler a chance to summon police by pulling an emergency brake.

"I did what I thought was right," said Askari, a student at Berkeley College in Manhattan, who was allegedly punched and beaten. "I did the best that I could to help."

Eight men and two women have pleaded not guilty to assault, menacing and other charges in the case. Prosecutors have said the charges could be upgraded to hate crimes.

"That a random Muslim kid helped some Jewish kids, that's what's positive about New York," said Adler, 23, who suffered a broken nose and a lip wound.

The Anti Defamation League applauded the New York City Police Wednesday for the arrests of 10 individuals suspected in the "vicious, unprovoked, and prolonged" anti-Semitic attack on the students.

'We were shocked and saddened to hear of the vicious, unprovoked and prolonged anti-Semitic attack perpetrated against four Jewish students celebrating Hanukkah.

"We applaud the speed and efficiency of the NYPD and its Hate Crimes Task Force in treating this bias incident seriously, and look forward to seeing the perpetrators prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law," the grouo said in a statement.

"We recognize the courage of the fellow subway rider who attempted to defend the victims from their attackers. It is heartening that there are good people who are willing to stand up when they witness racism, prejudice or bigotry," ADL concluded.

Maybe I should bring this guy as backup next time I go to Kever Yosef.

Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael

No one in Israel needs an appendix

I don’t know if you’re all up on the latest research, but it turns out that there is a purpose for the appendix.

According to research, the appendix stores up important, healthy gut bacteria.

In case of serious diseases like cholera or dysentery, where the intestines lose all its bacteria, the appendix serves as a system backup to reinstall the good bacteria.

This was especially important for when people lived remotely from one another and the opportunity to replenish gut bacteria from human interaction and contact was very limited.

Yesterday I bought a shawarma.

As I watched the storekeeper stick his ungloved hand into the pita to spread it open, and the various shoppers freely pick and dip from the free salads and sauces on display, I realized that, in Israel at least, the appendix might really be a vestigial organ.

(But I’d still like to keep mine anyway).

Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael

Life in and contrast

Rafi G. from Life in Israel has an excellent post up, a translation of a YNET article which satrically contrasts the difference between different Jewish groups in Israel.

Following is a snippit. See the rest on his blog here.

Secular Israeli child speaking with his father...

Dad, in the encyclopedia it says it was because the Maccabees did not want to eat pork.
Could be.

And for that there was such a war?
See, pork has a ton of cholesterol. Maybe the Maccabees were into a health thing.

and for that there was a war?
These Maccabees could be very extremist.

Why did the Greeks make them eat pork?
Because the religious make a big deal out of everything.

The Maccabees were religious?
No way. The religious people do not go to the army.

So how did they defeat the Greeks?
God helped them

But you told me there is no God?
There isn't?

I do not understand - there is or is not?
There is not but they thought there is.

I do not understand.

Is there a God?
Ask your mother.

Every time you do not know something you send me to mother!
I know important things. If there is a God is not important.

It says Judah Maccabee defeated the Greeks at Bet Horon.
If that is what it says, that is what it says.

Where is Bet Choron?
Far away. Not in Israel. In America.

Dad, Columbus discovered America only in 1492!
You are a nudnik. It is in the Occupied Territories.

The Maccabees were Settlers?
I know that. Maybe go play with Sean?

Religious child speaking to his father...

So Judah Maccabee was secular or a non-Jew?
God forbid. Why would he be a secular or non-Jew?

only seculars and non-Jews go to the army!
there was a time when even the religious went to the army.

Why did the Maccabees go to the army and we do not?
Today the Torah protects us.

Then the Torah did not protect them?
Maybe go with Moishi and learn some Mishnayos!

Did the Maccabees learn Mishnayos?
They learned Torah. A lot of Torah.

They did not work?
God Forbid!

Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Chanuka Legend Deconstructed

Bronze Statue of Matityahu
entitled "מי לה' אלי" by Boris Shatz

Try this at home. (I always wanted to say that)

Ask any kid in your vicinity, "who said ?מי לה' אלי" and I bet that they will answer 99% of the time, "Matityahu" or "Yehuda HaMaccabi". If your kids have a better than average education they may also answer, "Moshe Rabbeinu."

Today being the last day of Chanuka, I wanted to share an article my father-in-law showed me this past Shabbat from the Makor Rishon newspaper. Unfortunately, this article isn't available on-line, so I scanned it in.

Aryeh Olman presents a fascinating research article on the origin of the Chanuka related phrase "מי לה' אלי" and deduces that the famous phrase said by Moshe Rabbeinu after Chait HaEgel was not said by Matityahu...or even Yehuda HaMaccabi (unless of course, they leined parshat Ki-Tisa at some point).

Olman reviews Modern Jewish and Israeli history books and all include Matityahu saying, "מי לה' אלי" after killing a Hellenistic Jew and a Greek officer.

All the authors of the modern history books are respectable historians, so where did this "mistake" originate?

Olman then scours the all the apocrypha relating to Chanuka:

Sefer Chashmonaim I (also known as Sefer HaMakabim); Chapter 2...

When he had finished speaking these words, a Jew came forward in the sight of all to offer sacrifice upon the altar in Mode'in, according to the king's command. When Mattathias saw it, be burned with zeal and his heart was stirred. He gave vent to righteous anger; he ran and killed him upon the altar. At the same time he killed the king's officer who was forcing them to sacrifice, and he tore down the altar. Thus he burned with zeal for the law, as Phinehas did against Zimri the son of Salu.[1]

Then Mattathias cried out in the city with a loud voice, saying: "Let every one who is zealous for the law and supports the covenant come out with me!" And he and his sons fled to the hills and left all that they had in the city.

In Josephus Flavius, "History of the Jewish War", he describes the bravery of Matityahu, but no quote.

Megillat Antiochus brings a different story altogether, but no mention of a quote from Matityahu.

Midrash Chanuka versions 1 and 2...nothing. Olman notes that in Chashmonaim 1, Matityahu imitates Pinchas, and not Moshe.

In the 19th century, Chanuka became a new Zionist holiday...and curiously, the Hellenstic "arts" in the form of Boris Shatz's sculpture, plays and books adopted the legend of Matityahu saying "מי לה' אלי."

The source seems to be based on Zeev Yaavetz's book "Toldot Yisrael" who uses that phrase explicitly. Olman checked Sefer HaDorot, Dor Dor Dorshov, Tzemach David, Sefer Yuchsin, The Meiri, Pachad Yitzchak Sdei Chemed, and other classical Jewish history books, but none attribute this quote to Matityahu (or mention it at all).

It appears that Zeev Yaaevtz based his source on "Sefer Yosifun (Josippon)" -- a historical source of questionable authenticity which first appeared in the 10th century in Italy. Sefer Yosifun has many different versions, each with a different type of quote attributed to Matityahu, but with nothing to do with killing a Hellenistic Jew or Greek officer. Rather, Matityahu sent his son Yehuda HaMaccabi throughout the cities of Judea with the message...

"מי בכם עמי ומי לה' אלי"
"מי בכם מי ומי לה' אלי"
"מי בכם ירא ה' ומי לה' אלי"

So...Yaavetz combined the 2 images together; of Moshe rallying the Levi'im to kill the Jews who worshipped the Golden Calf, and that of Matityahu killing the Hellenized Jew.

And while it's taught to every Jewish child today...its origin is factually incorrect.

The rallying call of מי לה' אלי has galvanized itself into the ethos of religious Zionism, and there are worse things in life that a bit of artistic license.

Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael

My Return to Kever Yosef.

The last time I visited Kever Yosef (Joseph's tomb) in Shechem was right before the start of the current Intifada. Security was tight, Palestinian policemen snarled at us, but there was a constant Jewish presence there studying at the yeshiva adjacent to Kever Yosef. 3 days later it was all destroyed.

For years I have been trying to return, but it never worked out. I drove twice to Itamar, only to be told that due to security threats, the planned incursion was cancelled.

No formal method ever works to get to Kever Yosef; it's a combination of proteciza, luck, being at the right place at the right time, and siyata dishmaya (help from heaven).

But it never worked out. I drove at midnight once to the Tapuach junction, only to face a mass of Bresolver Chassidim pushing and shoving to get on the only bus. Rather than push and shove, I went home.

But Monday night, things worked out differently.

Not willing to push through the throng of chassidim, my group of friends arranged via a friend some "special" treatment. Parking at Tapuach junction, a high ranking IDF officer ran over to us and gave a hug. He invited me and 3 others to join him in HIS car, and he personally drove us through all he IDF checkpoints. North from Tapuach...going on road 60 through Chawara...up till the Har Bracha intersection.

He stopped his car, and we got out -- only to be introduced to an ever higher ranking officer. He smiled and introduced himself as the commander of the roadblock, and asked us our names. He repeated over and over again how lucky we were to be going to Kever Yosef, and how wonderful it is for the Jewish people to have representatives going to pray there.

Soldier after soldier smiled at us, shook our hands, and asked us to pray on their behalf as well.

After a few minutes, a packed bus showed up and was stopped at the roadblock. Our smiling commander told the bus driver he had 4 additional guest passengers, and we managed to get on the bus...

5 minutes later, we were stopped at a checkpoint going into Shechem, where we waited for our military escort. Trust me, going into Shechem makes my trip to Hevron last summer with Treppenwitz and Psychotoddler look like a stroll in the park. Forget Beirut...Shechem is a whole different universe.

IDF APCs, armored Hummers, Jeeps, military ambulances, and even tanks were part of the security detail for our entrance to Kever Yosef.

Snaking through the deserted 1:30 AM streets of Shechem, my heart was racing with excitement at the thought of finally returning to Kever Yosef.

We arrived, and were quickly ordered into the remains of the compound. Soldiers were everywhere, aiming their rifles up high, ready to shoot at any danger.

To get the jist of the experience, I put together the following video clip.


The video can also be seen on youtube here:

Chanuka Sameach!


PS: Later today I'll explain about my previous question, of מי לה' אלי...

Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Chanuka Question: Who said מי לה' אלי?

If you know the correct answer, please leave it in the comments.
PS: still working on my awesome post :)
Wherever I go, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael

Monday, December 10, 2007

Haveil Havalim #144- Too Many Latkes Edition

It is chock full of all sorts of good stuff, including clues about the opening of Jameel's next Waffle House. Click here.

Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael

Saturday, December 08, 2007

The Secret is Out

I've decided to preempt Jameel's amazing post for this week.

Jack hinted at the secret when he asked what is Jameel really doing during "Miluim", but it's time the truth gets revealed.

For the past year Jack and Jameel have been secretly opening up Waffle Bars throughout Jerusalem.

Here's their latest one - on Derech Beit Lechem.

Now you know.

Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael

Friday, December 07, 2007

Facing up at the sky

Second day of milluim. Unlike Jack's posting of what I probably do in the IDF, my milluim doesn't waste time.

We were simulating combat with tactical paintball rifles, and we rotated being unit commander.

I was told to advance and find the terrorist.

Slowly moving forward, I heard the noise to the left. Turning around, the person watching my back...wasn't.


Soldier down.

Shot by a paintball, the rules state that I had to stay out till the next round (about 10 minutes)...and I had to lie on the ground.

With my paintball face mask still on, I heard my own heavy breathing as I looked up the slightly fogged sky through my mask.
Yellow paintball streaks continued to whoosh through the air over me, and they loudly banged into the metals walls around me. Yells and confusion as soldiers looked for paintball terrorists.
The sky was peaceful, the tall trees offering solace as I lay on the cold, wet ground, wondering if this was what the end is like.
Subconsciously, "life flashing through my head" -- flashed through my head.
The night before I had to run to my older kids' school with no time to change out of uniform, for a parent-teacher-student get-together, and as I was leaving and walking away from the school, I heard one the remnants of a conversation as a student excitedly told his father about a cool rifle that a soldier was carrying (me). The father told his son, "there's no way you're going to be a combat reason for you to be a frier...the government just released 450 Palestinian terrorists today...why bother being a combat solider...don't be a frier...don't die for nothing..."
Do soldiers really end up lying on their backs, looking up at the sky, wondering if it's worth it?
The yells of "Sof Targil, Sof Targil" (end of the exercise) brought me out of my daydream, and the terrorist who shot me extended his hand to help me up.
He said the other guy should have watched my back...but he took advantage of it to nail me.

Brushing the dirt off my uniform, I took a picture of the spot I was killed, and where I spent 10 minutes looking up at the sky.
But our trainers had more in store for us.
We did about 10 more simulations, and the last one was the most difficult.
Little did I know, but the explicit mission of 1 of the 2 terrorists was to "kill Jameel...don't worry about anyone else...just kill Jameel"
(Our IDF trainers really like me).
I won't go into details of the simulation, but the terrorist didn't succeed.
Chanuka Sameach.
Oh, and wish me luck; I may have an unbelievable post coming up next week, which will surpass almost every posting ever seen on this blog.
Shabbat Shalom,

Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Ezzie's List of Great Cleveland Sports Heroes

Ok Ezzie,

I did you the favor and compiled the list for you. It took hours and hours to do so. Give me some time and I'll list the Superbowl, World Series and NBA championships below.

So, what do you think. Pretty comprehensive.

Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Warm the Needy

--Special Advertisement –-

As Jameel will tell you, in Israel, Milluim in the winter is cold, Milluim in the winter is wet, but most of all, it’s cold outside.

If you’re lucky enough to be on a base in a group tent, your tent might have a kerosene heater. But, if you’re out in the field, its winter jackets, long johns, and two pairs of socks every night.

But imagine for a second this isn’t milluim. It’s Israel, it’s your home, it’s winter and it’s cold inside your house.

Thousands of Israeli families can’t afford to heat their homes in the winter. Many of them can’t afford heaters and radiators. Those that do, can’t afford to pay the electric bill that goes along with it.

In 2005, 7,200 families had their electricity cut off in the winter when they couldn’t pay the electric bill.

So instead, they sleep at night in their jackets and winter clothing.

A few years ago (in 2003), a young American Chassid (Hershel Puretz) living in Jerusalem saw a few families in this bad situation and decided to do something about it.

At first it started quite simply, he got heaters for those needy families.

He helped a few families that first year.

But then it grew larger, so he found donors and an electrical appliance store happy to help subsidize part of the cost of the heaters. Those that needed a heater could buy with pride a subsidized heater to warm their home.

Then he saw that this problem was bigger than he imagined.

He formed “”, and started helping even more poor families.

Suddenly he came across a new problem. The electric bills for running the heaters in the winter were far beyond the means of many of these families to pay.

So, he worked out a deal with the Israeli Electric Company (IEC) where he directly subsidizes the bills for these poor families. The IEC now directs cases to when the IEC thinks they need external help.

What started off as a few families, grew to over 1000 families in 2006 receiving heaters! And nearly 1500 families having their electric bill directly subsidized!

In fact, with the help of donors, has subsidized electric bills for some 2000 families to a tune of $100,000!

This organization is staffed completely by volunteers and 100% of the money goes to helping the families. It is registered 501(c)(3) in the United States. expects to help 2000 families this winter, but they need your help to keep these families warm.

Please visit their site, learn more about what they are doing, and how you can help.

And please help. It’s going to be a very cold winter this year.

Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael

Monday, December 03, 2007

What Does Jameel Do During Miluim

Howdy folks. It is time to open a new thread discussing what Jameel really does during miluim. Pick one of the following:

A) Searches high and low for new locations for Jameel's Waffle House.
B) Spends hours researching the long history of cleveland sports heroes. (Oops, that is about a five minute exercise. Sorry Ezzie.)
C) Plays three rounds of golf with Joe Settler.
D) Works as a game warden at Hamat Gader.

The floor is open.

Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael

Breaking News: IDF captures terrorists from last week's attack.

Two weeks ago, I blogged about a local terror attack just before the Annapolis "peace" fest. I wrote that the terror squad which claimed responsibility for the murder was a Fatah cell (Condi and Olmert's friends). Tonight, the IDF announced that they have captured all 3 terrorists.

Surprise, surprise.
Not only are all 3 terrorists from the Palestinian Authority's Fatah "wing" -- but all they're all official Palestinian Authority "police officers." The same sort of vermin that Olmert gave weapons and bullets to as a "good-will gesture."

The IDF arrested members of a cell responsible for the murder of Ido Zoldan two weeks ago close to the northern West Bank settlement of Kedumim, it was cleared for publication on Sunday.

According to army officials, the arrested men are Palestinian policemen from the nearby village of Qadum. YNET

When we say that Olmert and Condi have the blood of Jews on their hands, we aren't exaggerating.

They are guilty as sin.

Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Off to Milluim...

But will probably be blogging in the evenings. (Don't's only till Tuesday evening...and I'll probably blog tomorrow night anyway.)

Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael

Are those phylacteries, or are you just happy to see me?

Please note, picture has nothing to do with the posting.

YNET reports...

A Jewish passenger on a Chicago train was arrested after fellow passengers accused him of being a suicide bomber.

The incident took place on a train that left Chicago early in the morning – when Jewish men are obligated to put on tefillin (phylacteries). The passenger began strapping the head-tefillin to his forehead and passengers unfamiliar with the custom rushed to the conductor and told him there was a man on board who was fastening a box to his head with wires dangling from it."

The conductor approached the passenger but the latter refused to answer him as he was in the middle of the prayer, heightening the conductor's suspicions.

Meanwhile, the passengers grew even more frantic when they noticed that the passenger sitting next to the Jewish man had a Middle-Eastern appearance and wore a turban.

"That was too much," said the Bob Byrd, NICTD chief of security.

The passengers panicked and the engine driver stopped the train. Police officers rushed into the train with a bomb-sniffing dog.

Police investigators soon realized their mistake and apologized to the passenger.

"This incident has given us all an opportunity to learn about other religions and their customs," said the chief of security.

Isn't that special?

Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael

This Ain't Your Bubby's Burka

The Beit Shemesh Burka: Extreme Tznius (modesty). [Please note, this is NOT a parody. This is a real posting, summarized and partly translated from the Haaretz newspaper]

Kabul arrives in Beit Shemesh Bet -- and manages to even surpass the Beit Shemesh Bet "Tznius Patrol."

A group of Ultra-Orthodox chareidi women in Ramat Beit Shemesh have hyperbolated tznius to the extreme and now wear burkas whenever they go outside their home. Not advocated by any known rabbi, the burka fad is apparently radical chareidi feminist "invention", and many are wary if this custom should be adopted or repudiated. The radical Beit Shemesh tznius patrol is even scratching it's head whether someone managed to out do them, and leave them in the dust with the liberal left.

The husband of one such woman took his wife to Beit Din (religious court) to request from her to remove the burka due to shalom bayit (a peaceful home). The court ordered a religious divorce even though the husband didn't even request one -- because the court found her behaviour to be so bizarre.

The women in Ramat Beit Shemesh receive their instruction from Rabbanit Bruria Keren, who advises about 20 women in the 20s and 30s how to dress, pray and conduct their lives.

The burka dress fashion has spead to Elad, Beitar Elite, Teverya, Tzefat and even the Beit Yisrael neighborhood of Jerusalem.

"I don't want men to look at me. I'm happy being modest. In the past, I felt uncomfortable to walk around [sans-burka], in such a wanton fashion. At first, I just wore a wig. Now, when I see a woman with a wig, I pray to G-d to forgive her for wearing that "thing" on her head. It's difficult. We get humiliated. What haven't they said to me? My neighbors yelled at me, "Leave us alone, you smelly arab." I was pushed. But this is a test from G-d. At the Central Bus Station I undergo security checks and am asked for identification. I don't want men seeing my ID picture, so I just show them my children to prove I'm not an Arab."

--Quote from a Burka and Hijab wearing Jewish woman in her late 20s, who lives in Jerusalem.

The above synopsis is just a small part of an entire article in Haaretz. Unfortunately, it's all in Hebrew, and I don't have time to translate the entire article in English. Suffice it to say, the above is more than enough.
With all the craziness going on here, I assume it's only a matter of time before we see driver's licenses like the one below...

Hot Chanie Hijabs?

**The top picture above was taken in the Bet Yisrael neighborhood of Jerusalem of a Chareidi woman walking around in a Burka. Credit: Alex Libeck, Haaretz.

Hattip: Lurker!

Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael

Thursday, November 29, 2007

A Chareidi Supporter of IDF service

While I might agree with the author of this reply, his view is not accepted by Chareidi MKs, who are insisting that the current law remain in effect which forces one to decide between the mandatory IDF draft or learning in yeshiva -- so that people "stay in yeshiva." Based on feedback from readers, "Nachal chareidi is accepted as a good thing by most mainstream chareidim. But it’s like anything else, it’s good but “not for my son” since it’s an admission of failure in the Torah world, which is true."

Yoseph Goldsmith's article in itself does not warrant any replay, as the "facts" presented there are far from true. Yet, I chose to write and present Ynet's readers with the facts and the Haredi Nahal.

This is not the place to discuss the haredi worldview that requires everyone who's willing and able to dedicate their life to the study of the Torah as a part of the multi-generational Jewish effort to preserve the Torah and the Nation of Israel. The reluctance of many haredim to enlist is therefore a function of their fear that military service will damage their ability to serve the nation the Torah's way.

Nevertheless, those who do not wish or do not want to join this idealistic group, are morally obligated to enlist and fulfill their duty like any other Israeli youngster.

In the past, the conscientious ones who did not study in yeshiva, avoided army service – and justly so. The spiritual risk military service in a secular environment (including the presence of female soldiers and the sub-standard kashrut in the IDF bases) posed was too great.

Yet, after the IDF and a group of rabbis launched the "Netzah Yehuda" Brigade in which the highest religious standards are maintained, every observant man who feels morally obligated to enlist, can do so without the slightest fear of social pressure or temptation. The 2,000 haredi soldiers and their families are living proof.

Goldsmith wrote that he knows many youngsters who lost their spiritual way in the army. I say, these young men lost their way long before they enlisted.

Therefore, any haredi who does not study Torah and does not enlist is guilty of Chillul Hashem (Hebrew: "Desecration of the God's Name").

Rabbi David Fuchs has been following the Haredi Nahal project since its establishment eight years ago.

Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael

The Day After Annapolis

Received the following via Lee Wunsch from the Jewish Federation of Greater Houston

I moved to Israel 23 years ago and within a month of arriving, we had already signed a contract to build our home in Karnei Shomron. We took out a mortgage which we are still paying and committed nearly all our savings to the home. We moved in more than 20 years ago, with three children. Two more were born after we already lived in Samaria. Our children are mostly out of the house now, at least during the week, but they come home for Shabbat, to the home and community that they have always known. On Shabbat, we go to synagogue and visit with friends, catching up with what is happening to everyone in the community.

As I watched Bush, Olmert and Abbas on television I looked to the walls next to our television and saw the bookshelves, where our books are overflowing on the shelves. Years of accumulation. I looked at the pictures on the wall, most of which have been painted by my very talented daughter. Years of activity.

And I looked straight at Bush, Olmert and Abbas and asked them: What is it about my house, my family, my community that is an obstacle to peace? What is it about our lives that prevents the Arabs in the neighboring villages from enjoying peace and security, from living their own lives. If my son gets married and wants to live nearby, should he be asking Abbas and Bush for permission to build a new house?

I have written a great deal about our right to this land, about the history of the conflict, about an alternative way to solve the humanitarian problems of the Palestinian Arabs. Today, I want to write about the people who actually live in this land, the so-called settlers that everyone loves to hate.

We live in Judea and Samaria and we love it here. We have taken rocky, barren land and turned it into a paradise. We have planted trees and gardens, built schools and shops and raised our children to love the land as we do. The world has gathered at Annapolis, in part to solve the Palestinian refugee problem. But, in so doing, they have put forward a plan that will create an enormous Jewish refugee problem.

I am not willing to be a refugee. I tremble at the thought of going through what my friends from Gush Katif went through. I came to Israel to set down roots in my own homeland, roots that cannot be set down by a Jew anywhere else in the world. I set down my roots in Samaria. I built my home on land that did not belong to any Arab, that had not been cultivated by anyone for centuries, on the same spot where Jews lived thousands of years ago. How dare anyone try and take that away from me?

Sondra Oster Baras was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio in an Orthodox Jewish home. She was educated at the Hebrew Academy of Cleveland, a religious all-day school sponsored by the Cleveland Jewish community. Upon graduation from high school, Sondra studied religious studies at the Jerusalem College for Women in Israel. She completed her B.A. in history and English at Barnard College in New York. She obtained her J.D. at Columbia University's School of Law. In 1984, after practicing law in New York for a short time, Sondra moved to Israel. Sondra continued her legal career in Israel, after being accepted to the Israeli bar. Sondra Oster Baras currently resides in Karnei Shomron, together with her husband Edward, a computer programmer, and their five children.

Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

World Jewry: Buzz Off?

When I was younger, it annoyed me to no end that the US Reform movement fanned the flames of the "Who is a Jew" patralineal descent and reform conversion controversy in Israel. Who were these Americans to influence internal Israeli policy? Do they vote, pay taxes, fight in the IDF, learn day and night for the protection of the country, or participate in any manner with Israel's destiny? It was easy for me at the time to dismiss their view; Judaism has always been based on matralineal descent. Breaking that paradigm removes the last common denominator of Jewish unity. Additionally, Reform Judaism in Israel is grown by the Reform movement in the US, not the other way around -- and is still a tiny minority in Israel. Secular Israelis are not Reform, and as many of my secular Israeli friends say, "the shul they don't daven at is a dati, Orthodox one."

Prime Minister Olmert Ehud stated yesterday at Annapolis, that the Israeli government alone is the only party that has the right to determine the fate of Jerusalem -- a direct snub at American Jewish groups who stated that Jerusalem is a "Jewish" issue and not an "Israeli" one.

Should Ehud Olmert alone should not have the right to determine Jerusalem's fate? Olmert takes world Jewry's money, takes their support, asks for their support, begs them to visit, asks them to plant trees...yet he alone is allowed to determine the fate of Jerusalem? Perhaps the time has to come where the State of Israel humbly acknowledges that they alone cannot decide the fate of Jerusalem?

One interesting idea I heard from Moshe Feiglin is that if he were Prime Minister of Israel, we would favor a 2 house parliament, where 1 house would be comprised of the residents of Israel (Jews, Muslims, Christians, all residents of the land), which would deal with internal issue of local importance. The second house would be for Jews only -- to deal with issues of national, Jewish importance. After all, as Israel is a Jewish State and national Jewish homeland, this house of parliament should have representation of World Jewry.

When I looked at this website yesterday (what can you do to help save Jerusalem) that opposed Olmert's policy of splitting Jerusalem at Annapolis, I found the following Jewish groups to be aligned with the website -- for Olmert to snub them means he just wants your money, but doesn't really care about you at all. (The OU should take heed before they honor Olmert again).
Supporting Organizations: Coordinating Council on Jerusalem (CCJ), AISH, American Friends of Likud, Americans for a Safe Israel, Amit, Association for Jewish Outreach Programs, Christians Standing for Israel, Chicago Board of Rabbis, Emunah, Flatbush Va'ad, Heartland Institute, Isralight, Jerusalem Reclamation Project, NCSY, National Council of Young Israel, One Israel Fund, Hineni, Poalei Agudath Israel, Project Genesis, Rabbinic Alliance to Save Jerusalem, Rabbinical Alliance of America, Rabbinical Councinl of America (RCA), Reform Students for Israel, Religious Zionists of American, Russian Jewish Community Foundation, Secular Jews for Israel, Students for Israel, The Jerusalem Connection, Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations (OU), Unity Coalition for Israel, Young Israel Council of Rabbis, Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) (list is not finalized)
Another related topic from yesterday is an "alternative" Jewish Congress that met yesterday.

THE NEW JEWISH CONGRESS, a Preparatory Conference Concerning THE SOVEREIGNTY OF THE JEWISH NATION OVER THE JEWISH STATE IN ERETZ-ISRAEL, is currently (TUESDAY, November 27, 2007, 3:30 PM underway in Ramada-Renaissance Hotel in Jerusalem. The conference will close its doors at 8 PM this evening. The conference evoked considerable interest among Israelis from all walks of life, some of whom found themselves rallying in Jerusalem until late last night against Annapolis and then returning to the city to attend the conference which opened its doors this morning. Jews and Gentiles abroad also expressed interest and support.

Political issues of Jewish sovereignty were discussed by Shlomo Idan, a secular intellectual and Mattot Arim activist residing in Rehovot, an academic town which houses the world-famous Weizmann Institute of Science. Idan discussed the Hebrew concept of "gnevat kolot" (vote stealing) in which a politician elected under a first agenda turns around and operates under a contradictory agenda. Idan noted that this phenomenon when practiced by two reneging rightwing MKs in 1995 had resulted in the Oslo accords passing by a majority of exactly 2. Another example was the forceable deportation from Gush Katif initiated by Premier Ariel Sharon who had been elected on precisely the opposite agenda as evidenced by one of his well known pronouncements promising permanent status to settlements. A third example was the vote of the 300,000-strong Likud membership against the Gush Katif deportation, initiated by Premier Sharon himself but ignored when the result was the opposite of that he anticipated. Finally, Idan focussed on a quote by veteran Israeli MK Micky Eitan in which Eitan asserted that a party platform does not obligate the representatives of that party. Idan warned that a solution, perhaps even legislation, must be found to eradicate this phenomenon which renders the Jewish people powerless to control its own destiny as unscrupulous politicians take the helm again and again.

Aviad Vissoly, Likud activist and attorney hailing from Haifa, spoke about the contentious issue of the eastern border of the Jewish state. Vissoly pointed out that the eastern border of Israel clearly includes the entirety of Judea and Samaria since Israel has applied its sovereignty to this area on at least six separate occasions, namely in its Declaration of Independence (de jure), in the Six Day War (de facto), when Jordan announced its disassociation from Judea and Samaria, in Israel's peace accord with Jordan, brokered by the United States, in which the international border with Israel's eastern neighbor was determined to be the Jordan River, in the Oslo Accords in which the Palestinians agreed to autonomy, as opposed to a state, and that in specific regions termed A and B alone rather than in the entirety of Judea and Samaria, and by virtue of the application of many Israeli laws to Judea and Samaria.

Rabbi Dov Stein, a central rabbinical activist in an attempt, spearheaded by talmudic scholar Rabbi Adin Steinzaltz, to revive the Sanhedrin, described the civil service and warned of the dangers of nepotism in the ranks of the civil servants of the Jewish state. Blatant favoritism toward relatives and friends is not conducive to the Jewish sovereignty that is to be striven for, Stein said.

Dr. Amnon Hever spoke of social justice in the spirit of Israel's prophets, such as Isaiah, Amos and others, and emphasized that this was a prerequisite for rebuilding of the Temple according to various Jewish sources. Hever regretted that Israel's early pioneers, who were committed to social justice, attempted to implement it relying on the principles of communism and socialism as opposed to sterling Jewish principles. Hever suggested that alternative frameworks take upon themselves various social, economic and health functions which Israel's government is failing to provide. Hever's analysis shed new light on the proliferation of just this type of organization in Israel today, effectively replacing the government in many arenas, such as mutual aid philanthropy (thousands of Gamach funds often run by synagogogues or respected individuals, Koach laTet and more), health (Ezer MiZion, Yad Sara, Rabbi Firer's consultation service, Kav laChayim, etc.) emergency care (Hatzala, Zaka), financial consulting (Paamonim), labor relations (Maaglei Zedek), criminal justice (Human Rights in Yesha, Honenu) and more.

Tel-Aviv philosopher Ohad Kamin spoke on the topic of human rights and emphasized that this modern notion is based directly and almost exclusively on classic Jewish values. Kamin said that this should be emphasized, to give the Jewish state a better standing in international politics in which human rights is a very popular and politically inspiring concept at this time, particularly insofar as young voters and activists are concerned. Focusing on this topic would allow Israel to win its existential wars and simultaneously to exercise its traditional role of acting as a "light unto the nations", Kamin said.
It's becoming more and more obvious that Olmert, and even the State of Israel should not be able to unilaterally decide the crucial issues of Israel's existence -- especially when asking for everything from World Jewry.

And regarding Reform Jewry's patralineal descent and conversions...that's going to be a very difficult issue to reconcile.

Ideas welcome :)

Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Israeli Court Limits Blogs Freedom of Speech

Orthomom Redux? While Freedom of Speech is protected by the US Constitution, it's a whole different ballgame in Israel. Disagree with your local municipal council? One blogger did...and found his blogger anonymity disappearing under court order to Google. (Till a few minutes ago, the blog could be found at the address: and was entitled "What's going on in Shaarei Tikva")

From Globes today:

In an unprecedented move, Google Inc. (Nasdaq:GOOG) has agreed to supply the IP address of an Israeli blogger who used "Google Blogger" for a blog in which he slandered Shaarei Tikva council members running for reelection. The election is being held today. So far as is known, this is the first time that Google forewent legal action in such a case.

The slandered Shaarei Tikva council members asked Google for the blogger's name. They reached a settlement with the company on the basis of an Israeli ruling on the subject. The settlement stipulates that 72 hours before a hearing on the case at the Rishon LeZion Magistrates Court, the council members would leave the blogger a message on his blog summoning him to the hearing, or else his IP address would be handed over. The notice would invite the blogger to disclose his identity, participate in the hearing, or oppose the disclosure of his identity by filing a motion as "anonymous".

For more than a year, the anonymous blogger slandered three Shaarei Tikva councilmen: local council chairman Gideon Idan, Shaarei Tikva director general Haim Blumenfeld and council member Avi Yokobovich. The blogger accused the men of criminal acts, such as pretending to be handicapped in order to receive discounts on local property taxes, receiving bribes from a contractor, and having ties to criminal gangs.

The three councilmen filed a NIS 300,000 lawsuit against the blogger, who was named "anonymous" in the statement of claim. They also asked for a court order ordering Google to disclose the blogger's IP address, which would enable the court to contact the blogger's Internet services provider and order it to disclose the blogger's identity.

Google initially said that disclosing the blogger's identity violated rulings on the balance between freedom of expression and a person's right to his reputation.
However, in a pre-ruling, Judge Oren Schwartz said that the blog's content raised suspicions of criminal conduct, and Google took the hint. Judge Schwartz applied the strict position of Tel Aviv District Court Judge Michal Agmon that the details of a surfer may be disclosed only if the slander was tantamount to criminal defamation.

Following Judge Schwartz's ruling, Google and the councilmen reached a settlement in their dispute. Google was represented by Adv. Keren Beer and Adv. Hagit Blaiberg of Goldfarb, Levy, Eran, Meiri & Co. /a> and the councilmen were represented by Adv. Ben Zion Adoram and Tomer Altus of Adoram & Co.

The court's decision (in Hebrew) is here. Sources in Hebrew here, here, and here.

A sad day for Israel's bloggers indeed.

Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael

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