Sunday, January 11, 2009

Dear Preachers

This tired old man has moved from Beersheba to Renaissance Hotel in Jerusalem. Tsafrir Ronen, my Zionist friend "par-excellante" died a few days ago and I had promised his widow that I would come and visit her and her daughters the next time I came to Israel. They live up north, so I needed to move north.

In addition, I need to visit an IDF unit up that way, so, there were two reasons for the move. I will say that those IDF boys down in Gaza told me they really were appreciative of my coming, and wanted me to stay, but I wanted to keep my promise to Mrs. Judy Ronen, and her three daughters.

Having left "Rocket Reality," the Western Negev _ the place where rockets and missiles are fired at Jewish citizens on almost a daily basis by _so-called_ Palestinians naming themselves Hamas _ I will have to tell myself "not to pay any attention to the sirens here in Jerusalem" as I had to do in Beersheba. The "cottonpickers" went off twice there this morning. I heard the second one, but missed the first one.

Of those attacks, prior to this "little fracas" going on down there now, 97 percent of the attacks were launched by _so-called_ Palestinian militias from the convenient cover of civilian homes, schools, hospitals, etc., all in Gazastan.

The "so-called" Palestinian weapons were smuggled directly from Iran through Syria and Egypt to Gaza, and so the Hebrew IDF Officers, at least some of them, refer to Hamas as "Teheran_s third arm," after HizbAllah in Lebanon.

When discussing this issue with folks on the airplane coming over, some liberal Jews held a position, that commonly held illusion, that, "if the Palestinians would be able to have their own independent state _ which was taken from them in the Six-day War _then, all of a sudden they would become law abiding citizens which everyone worldwide could be proud of.
I get sick and tired of talking with Hebrews who don_t have a clue say that _firing missiles at Israel is justified, because the West Bank is still occupied territory._

They look at me like a calf looking at a new gate when I tell them, "You don_t know your Bible. In Moses and Joshua_s day, this was liberated territory. IN 1967, again, the West Bank and Gaza became liberated territory. And, if your position was valid, then the _so-called_ Palestinians would have stopped shooting missiles when Israel pulled out of the Gush Katif in August 2005."

I call that position "idiocy politics," which justifies the International News Media types to continue to make _lame-duck_ excuses for the _so-called_ Palestinians.

This morning, just as I was leaving the Hotel, when checking out, a Reporter was checking out right after me. I sucker punched him. I asked, "How has it been going for you reporters?" He complained that they kept all the press in a certain area and wouldn_t let them go close to, or in to Gaza.

I said, "I know that, but let me show you something." I fished out my little video camera, turned it on, and showed "the News line-up that he was talking about" as I drove by filming it. Then, I showed him the 155's firing, and me taking the video right beside of them. He asked, "How were you able to do that?" I answered [my wife would say, _smugly and showing of_] "I_m a Christian. I know the LORD GOD OF THE HEBREWS." He wasn_t amused.

When the KGB created "the Palestinian people" they manifested the News Media to be able to use the "so-called Palestinians" against the west in the Cold War. Presently, those "so-called Palestinians" receive the largest proportionate aid of any folks in the world.

But, as Arafat taught, he, and now Abbas and company, and whomever is the strongest thug in Gaza, bleeds off most of that aid, using the money to spawn Islamofascist terrorism.

On the plane, I told those 2 "idiot Jews," "You are simply ignoring the fact that over 7,000 missiles have been fired at Israel from your de facto Palestinian state birthed in Gaza three years ago. Having a "state within a state" gives your country_s enemies an access to be able to do, what they_ve done in missile shooting, giving we "Christian Zionist" the capability of calling the Western Negev "Rocket Reality."

In the words of the press statement that Hamas issued on November 26, 2006, the day before the last cease-fire commenced (a six-month cease-fire in which more than 300 missiles were fired at Israel): "We will not stop firing on the Zionist settlement Sderot until the last citizen of Sderot leaves." Meanwhile, the Palestinian Authority's "Palestine Map," which can be purchased in any PA office, replaces Sderot with pre-1948 Najd; Ashkelon is replaced by al-Maj dal and Ashdod by Isdod.

The Palestinian "right of return" refers to the return of Palestinian refugees to all of Israel. Meanwhile, the PA schools books show no rights for Jews living in theland of Israel, no mention of the history of the Jews in the land of Israel.

By what right was the State of Israel established? What were the historical and legal rights of the Jewish people to the land of Israel? And why has the Palestinian refugee problem persisted, like no other in the world?

It is the responsibility of anyone who speaks for Israel to emphasize that during the late 1940s, more than 40 million refuges around the world were resettled, except for one people.

They remain defined as refugees, wallowing 60 years later in 59 UNRWA refugee camps, financed by $400 million contributed annually by nations of the world to nurture the promise of the "right of return" to Arab neighborhoods and Arab villages from 1948 that no longer exist.

No nation would tolerate even one rocket being launched toward its territory; but that is what Israel is asked to accept as an integral part of its existence, since the supposed root of the problem is that the Palestinian Arab people do not have a state of their own.

Yet the regime in Gaza let the cease fire lapse and resumed its rocket attacks - provoking the current Israeli military operation - not to facilitate a two-state solution, but to "liberate" the rest of Palestine.

From the Jerusalem Post I read today, "Israel has yet to exhaust all of its military options in the Gaza Strip and could step up its actions against Hamas if the government decides to press forward Operation Cast Lead, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Thursday during a tour of the South."

Now, I want to be very careful in what I_m about to write, for I know there are good many IDF officers who read what I write, but having been here during the 2006 War, and having read what was written about the Politicians keeping the IDF "under supplied _ weapons, ammunition, body armor, etc., and undertrained," it appears to me that their "Military-Demonstration-for-Hamas_-sake" is a tremendous enhanced achievement over their 2006 showing.

Olmert visited IDF Gaza Division headquarters and was accompanied by Defense Minister Ehud Barak, IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi and OC Southern Command Maj.-Gen. Yoav Galant.

They were briefed by OC Gaza Division Brig.-Gen. Eyal Eisenberg and other senior officers on the progress of the Gaza operation.

Night before last I spoke with a Paratrooper Officer. Off the record he told me what I_m reading today in the Jerusalem Post.

"Paratroopers in northern Gaza have uncovered a map prepared by Hamas that sh ows how the terror group prepared for the IDF's incursion by deploying different types of bombs as well as snipers throughout the town of Atatra.

"The handwritten map is based on a bird's-eye view of the town, likely taken from Google Maps.

"On the map, Hamas split the town into three sectors - red, blue and green - and highlighted important sites such as mosques, a gas station and a fuel depot.

"On the map, the terrorists also marked sniper positions, as well as the location of roadside bombs, antitank bombs and land mines," Chief Intelligence Officer Brig.-Gen. Yuval Halamish said on Thursday.

"The map was discovered by soldiers from the Paratroop Brigade during operations in Atatra and was translated in the field and used to minimize casualties.

"Halamish said the map showed how Hamas does not hesitate to use civilian infrastructure for its terrorist activity. A brown dot marked next to a mosque represents a sniper position.

"This is a civilian area, and you can see on the map how Hamas booby-trapped the entrance to homes to hit the IDF," Halamish said.

"In another case, a large bomb was marked next to a gas station. Had it been detonated it would have likely destroyed the gas station, killing and wounding civilians who live in the area.

"In another case, soldiers discovered a mannequin dressed like a soldier at the entran ce to a home, Halamish said.

"Had soldiers entered the home, the mannequin would have exploded, collapsing the floor and causing the troops to fall into a tunnel, where Hamas men would have tried to abduct them."

When I was a boy growing up, with a house full of big brothers, I enjoyed "popping people in the chops." I had to stop that when I became a Christian. But, with "idiot Jews" who call ignorantly for the "State within a State," I confess, to all you Jews, I just want to smack them in the chops.

On another side of the coin, The United Nations Security Council met overnight Thursday on a resolution designed to bring a speedy halt to Israel's 13-day-old offensive against Hamas in Gaza. The vote over a resolution was apparently postponed due to Israeli pressure.

Key Arab nations and Western powers reached agreement on the main elements of a resolution, the head of the Arab League said.

The resolution was supported by the United States and Arab nations that have close ties to Hamas. But it will be up to Israel and Hamas to decide to stop their military activities.

"Peace will be made in the region, not in New York, but actions in New York can support the search for peace in the region," a senior British official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the ta lks.

The UN Security Council delayed consultations until 6 p.m. EST (2300 GMT), when the text is expected to be presented to the full 15-member council.

But France, which holds the Security Council presidency this month, might want to delay a vote until Friday, diplomats said.

The reported agreement came on the 13th day of an Israeli air and ground offensive against Hamas militants who rule Gaza and the third day of a high-level emergency meeting of the Security Council called by the Arabs to try to end the conflict.

It was based on a text drafted by Britain and backed by the US and France - all veto-wielding members of the Security Council - and amendments by key Arab negotiators including the foreign ministers of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Morocco and Qatar.

The latest draft "stresses
The Jewish community in Caracas is "tense" and "preoccupied" in the wake of President Hugo Chavez's decision to expel the Israel ambassador, Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi of Venezuela Pynchas Brener said on Thursday.

"This government has been very friendly with Iran," Brener said. "And many Venezuelans make no distinction between Jews and Israelis - maybe they are right."

Brener, 77, who spoke with The Jerusalem Post by telephone from New York, said that Jewish schools in Caracas close d for few days out of concern that they would attract anti-Israel demonstrations.

Chavez's decision to expel Ambassador Shlomo Cohen came in protest against what he called Israel's "barbaric" military operation in Gaza.

In 2002, Brener, a graduate of Yeshiva University who has been a rabbi in Venezuela for 41 years, supported a coup against Chavez that succeeded in deposing him for less than a week in April 2002.

Since then, Brener has been on bad terms with the government.

The rabbi said the latest incident affecting the Jewish community was the decision by the government to expropriate ownership of a large mall that was built by a Jewish businessman outside the San Bernadino district in Caracas.

In addition, twice in recent years Venezuelan military forces have raided the 1,400-pupil Jewish school in the Los Chorros neighborhood, ostensibly looking for arms.

But the most important development, which could have a major impact on the future of the country, is a referendum slated for next month.

Venezuelans will be asked to approve a measure that would allow Chavez and other politicians to be reelected indefinitely.

Chavez has been president since 1998.

"If that referendum passes I expect a lot of Jews will leave Venezuela, because it would mean Chavez is here to stay," the rabbi said.

Shmuel Ko rnblit, Bnei Akiva's Buenos Aires-based regional director for Latin America, said that in addition to the diplomatic staff, Bnei Akiva's emissary toVenezuela, Yoav Weiner, and his wife, Maya, a Jewish Agency emissary were forced to leave.

"This move does not bode well for Jewish education in Venezuela," Kornblit said by by telephone from Argentina.
"Jewish education in South America depends on outside educators. Now with the diplomatic mission forced to leave it will be very difficult to convince educators to come to Venezuela," he said.

Kornblit explained that for security reasons the Weiners could not remain in Caracas. He added that Israelis who lacked non-Israeli passports had a difficult time obtaining visas to visit Venezuela.

"There is a strong anti-Israel sentiment in Venezuela, not so much anti-Semitism more anti-Zionism. That's why Haredim have fewer problems there."

Over the past decade thousands of Jews left Venezuela for Miami, Madrid and other cities, he said.

The Jewish community, like other affluent Venezuelan communities, was deeply concerned about Chavez's Marxist economic policies, he said.

"People are afraid he is going to nationalize the economy and take possession of privately owned factories and businesses. I think that concerns them more than anti-Semitic-related violence," Kornblit said.

What this ole warrior preacher says is, "Venezuelan Jews today. Jews somewhere else tomorrow."

In Melanie Phillips_book, Londonstan, I read that: "Pro-Israel rallies will take place on Sunday in London's Trafalgar Square and in central Manchester Albert Square, after rival demonstrations sparked conflict outside the Israeli Embassy this week.
"Around 300 police were deployed at the embassy in London on Wednesday night to keep apart pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian demonstrators after the Jewish community staged a rally of support for Israel.

"Over 600 people attended the pro-Israel rally waving Israeli flags and banners calling for "peace for the people of Israel and Gaza" and an end to "Hamas terror."

"With only 30 minutes between the two demonstrations there was a heavy police presence. The two groups were separated by three police vans, barriers and a line of officers.

"However, rival protesters came face-to-face when anti-Israel protesters remained after their demonstration to await the pro-Israel one.

"The demonstrators hurled abuse at one another as police tried to keep them apart.

"Nine people were arrested, all anti-Israel protesters, for public order offences after around 30 of them, many with
keffiyehs covering their faces, refused police orders to disperse and staged a sit-down protest.

[Condi and President George W._s peaceful Islamists will be doing the same thing in America _ forcing their Islamist ideology upon us, and hurling insults at Born Again Christians.]

"They tried to force their way through to the pro-Israel rally and began throwing objects before police moved in to make the arrests.

"Moti Freelander, organizer of the pro-Israel rally, told The Jerusalem Post he arranged it after seeing the anti-Israel protests at the embassy.

"I was disappointed with the lack of support for Israel in the media and their focus on the anti-Israel protests outside the embassy. With the help of my brothers and friends we managed to get nearly 1,000 people to support Israel, and the police and CST [Community Security Trust] did a fantastic job in protecting us," he said.

"The community, together with Christian friends and friends from overseas, came together to express a positive desire for peace for the people of Palestine andIsrael. It was an inspiring display and contrasted starkly with the angry and intolerant demonstration of the Hamas supporters several yards away," said Jon Benjamin, chief executive of the Board of Deputies of British Jews.

"Meanwhile, the Jewish community launched an SMS service on Thursday that will allow people to donate money to hospitals both in Israel and in Gaza.

"Over the coming weeks people in Britain will be able to text the word " LIFE" to 81400 to support the hospitals where victims on both sides of the current fighting are being treated. At the pro-Israel rallies on Sunday, participants will be asked to make their donation simultaneously in a mass texting.

"The cost of the text is _1.50, and the proceeds will be divided equally between organizations caring for civilian victims in Israel and in the Gaza Strip.

"Needless to say, aid organizations do essential work, and this contribution will make a real difference to the lives of those that been affected by the crisis," Benjamin said. "After the vitriol and threats against British Jews that has characterized the response to the conflict, we are pleased that this initiative will actually have a positive impact in the region."

"US Jewish were also coordinating a national solidarity day for Israel Thursday, with rallies, prayer services, vigils and other shows of support in the face of pro-Palestinian demonstrations.

"Philadelphia, Boston, New Orleans, Chicago and a host of other cities, many of them with smaller Jewish communities, planned events.

"Wednesday also saw pro-Israel displays around the US, and other activities are slated throughout the weekend, with New York City set to host a large rally across from the Israeli consulate on Sunday.

"In Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, Jewish communities and pro-Israel groups are planning rallies to support Israel's right to defend itself against Hamas terrorism. In Germany, demonstrations will take place on Friday and Sunday in Munich, Frankfurt, Mannheim and Berlin.

"In Mannheim, Nickolas L_bel, the head of the Young Union, part of the Christian Democratic Union, the party of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, plans a rally under the slogan "Pro-Israel - Stop Hamas" on Friday.

"L_bel told the Post he initiated the rally in response to a pro-Palestinian protest in Mannheim and views the IDF's Gaza operation as a "pure self-defense measure" conducted in response to the terrorist aggression of Hamas.

"Leo Sucharewicz, the founder of the non-profit "I like Israel," is co-organizing the Munich rally. Speaking from the Bavarian city, he told the Post that supporters of Israel would show their solidarity with the IDF operation and highlight that Hamas is "nothing but a terror organization supported by Iran."

Iran's top leader has banned hard-line Iranian volunteers from leaving the country to carry out suicide bombings against Israel.

Iran's state television on Thursday quoted Ayatollah Ali Khamenei as saying that Iran can't allow volunteers to cross its border and take military action againstIsrael. But he said Iran won't spare any=2 0efforts to assist Hamas in other ways.

Hard-line Iranian student groups asked the government to authorize volunteers to go carry out suicide bombings in Israel in response to the IDF assault on the Gaza Strip.

Iran is Hamas's main backer, though the country denies sending weapons to the Islamic terrorist movement.

The volunteers staged a sit-in at Teheran's international Mehrabad airport this week, demanding they be sent to Gaza, the online Rooz agency reported.

Iran's top leader has banned hard-line Iranian volunteers from leaving the country to carry out suicide bombings against Israel.

Iran's state television on Thursday quoted Ayatollah Ali Khamenei as saying that Iran can't allow volunteers to cross its border and take military action againstIsrael. But he said Iran won't spare any efforts to assist Hamas in other ways.

Hard-line Iranian student groups asked the government to authorize volunteers to go carry out suicide bombings in Israel in response to the IDF assault on the Gaza Strip.

Iran is Hamas's main backer, though the country denies sending weapons to the Islamic terrorist movement.

I just wonder if the IDF did what I told a General I would do. In the West Bank, previous to now, if "Abu" or "Mohammed" perpetrated a terror attack,Israel would tear his house down.

I told a one star General, "I would get the word to Iran: Let your terrorist come here, and when they terrorize our people, one ICBM with a large explosive in the cone will hit "Abu or Mohammed_s" town immediately. Tit for Tat kept the USSR away from our throats all during the Cold War.

Another story in the Jerusalem Post about Iran:

The boys wear yarmulkes, the girls hijabs. Chaperoned by their Muslim teacher, they hold signs with the word for "peace" in Hebrew, English and Farsi.

They are Jewish schoolchildren in Teheran - at an anti-Israel demonstration.

In times like these, our thoughts go to the predicament of Iran's 25,000 Jews.

Just 52 years after Theodor Herzl published The Jewish State, transforming the Jews' age-old longing for Zion into modern political Zionism, the State of Israelwas born.

But our visionary founder got two things wrong: He assumed that with the creation of a Jewish homeland, the Diaspora would disappear, and so would the anti-Semitism endemic to it.

Surprisingly, the non-disappearance of the galut has turned out - from a Zionist perspective - to be a blessing of sorts.

Israel and the Diaspora sustain each other religiously, culturally and politically. For affiliated Jews, some level of attachme nt to Israel has become the sine qua non of an authentic Jewish life. Jewish civilization continues to thrive outside Israel, though demographic and other challenges are seldom far from the surface.

This synergy, however, is not without its downside. As the IDF fights on the Gaza battlefield and campaigners wage an uphill battle to make Israel's case in the media, we Israelis are mindful that events here are having a deleterious security impact on the Diaspora.

We worry, for instance, about the 15,000 Jews of Venezuela, being browbeaten by Hugo Chavez.

But life is uncomfortable not just for Jews in hostile countries: Jews have also been targeted in the UK, Belgium, France and Sweden. Anti-Jewish louts marched brazenly through London's Golders Green. A synagogue in Brussels was hit by fire-bombers. A Jewish girl was beaten in Paris. A Helsingborg shul was nearly set ablaze.

A VOCAL minority of Jews has joined the anti-Zionist chorus. Our tradition teaches that such defectors have been part of the scene ever since the Israelites came out of Egypt.

For some, tragically, this is their only Jewish connection. To paraphrase the late US Supreme Court justice Potter Stewart in a famous 1964 pornography case: "Self-hatred is hard to define, but we know it when we see it."

Besides the self-haters, there is another small yet well-connected grouping o f British and American Jews that identifies itself as friendly to Israel, but whose endeavors undermine Israel's security. These people make a fetish out of breaking with the community's consensus.

Now they're urging the British and US governments to pressure Israel into accepting an unsatisfactory Gaza cease-fire which would leave the Islamists emboldened.

Most Israelis look past them and draw comfort from the solidarity of the vast majority of affiliated Jews.

We know the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations stands solidly with Israel. Expressions of support come from its constituents - the Union of Reform Judaism, the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism and the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America. We acknowledge with appreciation the support of the Board of Deputies of British Jewry, and of CRIF, the umbrella group of French Jewish organizations. The Australian community, too, is with us.

Pro-Israel demonstrations were held this past week at the gates of our embassy in Washington. A standing-room-only midday crowd packed the Sixth & I synagogue in the US capital. So many people came to a pro-Israel rally outside Israel's UN Consulate in Manhattan that police had to turn some away.

The United Jewish Communities and the Jewish Federations of North America have been steadfast. The Jews of Boston are rallying; the Los Angeles community ha s established an emergency fund for victims of Hamas terror; San Francisco's community has been praying for the peace of Israel.

Up and down America - from Providence to Tucson to Memphis; from Kansas City to Dallas to Chicago - this has been a week of solidarity with Israel.

In Europe, pro-Israel rallies have been held - or are scheduled - in every major city. On Sunday morning, London's Jews will gather in Trafalgar Square on behalf of Israel.

We Israelis don't tell our Diaspora brethren often enough how grateful we are for their support, or how cognizant we are that what we do to defend ourselves sometimes complicates their lives.

So we're telling them now: Toda raba!

This story concerns the Osirak Nuclear Reactor:

Two days after the IAF destroyed Saddam Hussein's Osirak nuclear reactor in 1981, the CIA held a classified briefing for members of Congress. Lawmakers wanted to know about the Arab reaction.

"Booyay," the CIA briefer said.

"Is that an Arabic word?What does it mean?" he was asked. It means publicly they were booing, the CIA official said, but privately they were cheering what came to be known as the great Nuclear Non-Proliferation Act of 1981.

The new Reagan administration was less than=2 0enthusiastic about the Israeli action and sent its UN ambassador to sit down with Saddam Hussein's UN envoy to draft a Security Council resolution condemning Israel. The administration followed up by halting the shipment to Israel of the same kind of aircraft that had just saved the entire Middle East from an Iraqi nuclear threat.

THERE IS a similar "booyay" response today among pro-Western Arab leaders to Israel's attack on Hamas in Gaza.

Moderate, pro-Western Arab leaders are praying five times a day for Israel to deal Hamas a serious setback, if not a fatal blow, because they see it as a proxy of Iran, which they consider the real threat to their regimes. They haven't the courage to say so publicly, but through the fog of denunciations, the message comes through.

The public rhetoric of most Arab states is filled with the usual venom one has come to expect when they speak of Israel, particularly when it has the audacity to strike back at terrorists like the Hamas thugocracy. But behind the angry denunciations, these same Arab leaders - Kings Abdullah of Saudi Arabia and Jordan, President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas - are hoping for Israeli success.

They're not appealing to the prophet out of any love for Zion, and those public denunciations are probably sincere albeit hypocritical, but they know what is at stake. Israel is fighting their war for them, sacrificing its lives and expending its treasure to strike a blow at their common enemy, Iran.

HAMAS IN Gaza, like Hizbullah in Lebanon, is the stalking horse for Iran. Egypt had brokered the truce that Hamas ended last month with rockets, reportedly in the hopes of winning a new deal on more favorable terms. Israel's counter-offer was delivered by its air force, armor and infantry.

Egyptian and other moderate Arab leaders blamed Hamas for provoking the response, but being the courageous chaps they aren't, they couched it in bitter denunciations of Israel for having the audacity to defend itself, even if was doing a service for those same Arab autocrats.

Mubarak's "booyay" moment came when he accused Israel of "savage aggression" while noting he had "warned [Hamas] repeatedly that rejecting the truce" would produce these results.

Jordan, which has the most to lose if Hamas succeeds in taking the West Bank as well as Gaza, said if the fighting continues it might "reevaluate" its relations withIsrael.

Saudi Arabia, a principle financial backer of Hamas, put the blame on Hamas when it suggested none of this would have happened had the terror group maintained the cease-fire.

The Saudis and Egyptians blocked Syrian-led calls for an immediate Arab League emergency summit to deal with the crisis; it took five days just to convene a ministerial meeting.

The principle beneficiary of any Israeli success - besides those living in the South - would be Abbas, whose life isn't worth a plugged dinar if he dares go to Gaza. Knowing a major goal of the action is to restore his power in Gaza didn't discourage him from denouncing it as "brutal aggression" and "criminal." From this tendency of Arab leaders to speak out of both sides of their mouths, one might get the impression that they suffer from a collective case of schizophrenia, but it's actually fear mixed with hypocrisy.

NONE OF these dictators is a candidate for the next edition of Profiles in Courage. They are scared of the influence of the militant Islamists and the popularity of the Palestinian cause on the Arab street. Iran and its allies have focused on creating animosity to the entrenched and repressive Sunni regimes which, in the age of satellites and the Internet, can no longer turn public emotions on and off like a water tap.

That's why they are praying so hard for an Israeli victory.

A pro-Hizbullah newspaper said, "Israel would be satisfied with a compromise, but the Arab regimes want to finish Hamas completely." It's probably right. Israeli leaders define victory as a weakened and humbled Hamas that will halt all the attacks, honor a cease-fire and accept international supervision. Hamas, on the other hand, will declare a great victory simply if its leadership is still breathing.

Arab leaders know this is a proxy war with Iran, and Israel is on their side. Some day they may even find the courage to say so publicly.Until then, we'll have to settle for more "booyays."

Someone told the bride of my youth that I was overwhelming you with material while over here in Israel. That may have been our third son, our Pastor.

Both Dr. Israel Hanukoglu and Rabbi Yehuda Bohrer told me this morning to keep the info coming as a "yedid to the Israelis."

Dr. Hanukoglu is a brilliant man. His dear wife Sarah is brilliant also. He told me this morning, "Brother Vineyard, you need more sleep. You must get more sleep." I told him, "Israel, tell me something I don_ know." He told me, "You need more sleep for Jews need you alive til you are 120." He then said, "You are a Genius."

I told myself, "Don_t let that go to your head buddy. You_re just a poor, simple boy, from the Panhandle of Texas who had a Mama with a good mind. A fella who has as much Negev mud on his shoes as you do, cannot be any kind of smart. Take it to your heart. If you let it get in your head, your britches will be too big for you."

Right at this moment, I_m trying to set up a meal with two IDF Cannon Cocker Majors and the Brides of their Youth. One bride is named Daniella. Her husband asked me months ago to pray for her _ she_s a M.D., _ as they had been unable to have a child. She is going to have a baby at the end of this month. The other bride is named Yoel. When her husband, who is good friends with Daniella_s husband, heard the story of Daniella getting pregnant as a result of Christian_s praying for her, he asked, "Will you pray for Yoel?" I had him write his and her names _ Sagi and Yoel _ in my Bible, near Genesis 18:14's question, "Is anything too hard for the Lord?" Yoel is pregnant also. I want my picture taken between those two "to-be" Hebrew Mamas.

Gratefully, humbly, sincerely and expectantly, I remain your dutiful and obedient friend and servant,


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