Sunday, April 05, 2009

"Strength Required"

Arlene Kushner

Pesach comes close, and with it a slow-down in my writing. I ask you please, friends, to limit your communication to me to issues that are significant, and to understand that responses may be slow. If I could figure out how to put more hours in the day, it would be great. I have no word on the capture of the terrorist who axed the head of two boys last week. The horror of that attack has lingered. The murdered boy had not wandered into dangerous territory. This was not a drive-by shooting. This was a case of the terrorist coming right into the town and going at young people.

Here I wanted to do just a bit of sharing. I was not well acquainted with Bat Ayin myself, but decided to do some checking in order to present a picture of this Gush Etzion town of 1000 that is being represented as "extreme" in certain quarters. This community, which is Orthodox -- Religious Zionist in the main, with Breslov and Chabad and Carlebach influences -- is devoted to organic farming and holistic medicine. A friend of mine who spent time there tells me the people are very gentle and that the atmosphere feels idyllic. The community boasts two institutions of Jewish learning -- a Yeshiva for men and a Midreshet for women.


It's not going to stop: Today two terrorists were caught trying to plant bombs along the Gaza border fence and killed by the IDF.

Just hours later, a 16 year old Bedouin girl -- an Israeli citizen, who had obviously been recruited and trained -- attempted a shooting attack at a base in the Negev. Basma Awad al-Nabari of the village of Houra, arrived at a Border Police base between Arad and Beersheva armed with a gun, which it was obvious she was able to handle well, and began shooting at the soldiers. She was killed by an officer on the scene.

Investigation is now being done to determine who drove her to the base and who trained her.


Prime Minister Netanyahu has vowed to fight terror with full force and militarily, as necessary. Let us pray so.


It occurs to me that while we are quick to register distress with our officials when we are discontented, so should we register satisfaction. Especially is this the case with our new government, which is going to be pressured on all sides, and with our new foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, who spoke so forthrightly this past week. He needs to know we're pleased.

I suggest that Israel citizens take the time to send a word of congratulations and support.

For Prime Minister Netanyahu:

Telephone: 02-640-8456 Fax: 02-649-6659 E-mail:

For Foreign Minister Lieberman:

Telephone: 02-640-8388 Fax: 02-640-8921 E-mail:


It's generated a minor furor: the fact that US President Obama bowed from the waist to Saudi King Abdullah at the G20 meeting in London. This is obsequious and not in line with protocol. (He didn't bow to the Queen.)

It's not surprising -- just one more reflection of the direction in which Barack Obama has chosen to orient himself.

Obama is on record as supporting the Saudi "peace plan," which is essentially a plan to weaken Israel into non-existence. It calls for pre-67 lines as borders and "return" of refugees.

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