Thursday, December 13, 2018

Americans Benefit From Israel's Expertise in Keeping People Safe

Many Americans are safer because their police departments have benefitted from training in Israel. Unfortunately, BDSers (shorthand for anti-Israel fanatics who are more interested in defaming and delegitimizing Israel than in the welfare of the Palestinian Arabs and even the safety of the American people) have managed to convince some police departments to back away from gaining valuable, life-saving knowledge.

Recently, the police chief of Wayland, a town adjacent to the one in which I live when I'm in the United States, resisted pressure from these haters and was publicly criticized for it in a letter published in the MetroWest Daily News. The following letter was sent in response, with the suggested title "Wayland residents will benefit from Israel's expertise."

To the editor:

A few days ago, Israel destroyed a tunnel Hezbollah had dug into Israel from Lebanon, a tunnel intended to be used to send hoards of well-armed Hezbollah fighters into Israel to terrorize the people living in the Galilee. The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) has more than 10,000 military personnel in southern Lebanon, with the mandate to make sure the area is free of other non-government forces, but they were unable to discover that tunnel, or the others Hezbollah has built. Yet Israel, without even having the on-site presence, was able to use its expertise and ingenuity to discover that tunnel and destroy it. Nor has UNIFIL been able to prevent Hezbollah, with generous financial assistance from Iran, much of it thanks to the nuclear deal (JCPOA), from installing an estimated 150,000 rockets and missiles in southern Lebanon. Yet Israel not only knows those missiles are there, but also knows where most of them are sited.

A few weeks ago, Hamas and other terror groups based in Gaza fired 460 rockets and missiles into Israel in the course of a single day. Thanks to the advanced defensive measures Israel has created, such as bomb shelters in every home and the innovative Iron Dome missile defense system, whose development and deployment has been helped by generous American financial assistance, only one person - ironically, a Palestinian Arab who lives in Hebron but defied BDS to obtain gainful employment in Israel - was killed.

The terror doesn't just come from Gaza and Lebanon; it also comes from the Palestinian Authority-controlled Areas A and B of the territory Jordan renamed the "West Bank" after capturing it militarily in 1948. More than 500 terror attacks have been thwarted in the past year.

Israel's expertise in defending against terror attacks is unequaled. This expertise comes out of necessity. Not only has Israel had to constantly defend against terror attacks since its reestablishment seven decades ago, but the Jews in what was then called Palestine were subject to incessant terror attacks for decades before that. Virtually ever new terror tactic is first used against Israeli Jews.

On December 3, the MetroWest Daily News reported that the Wayland police chief, Patrick Swanick, was traveling to Israel to take advantage of the hard-earned expertise of Israelis. I'm proud that my Israeli brethren are willing to share their lifesaving knowledge. I'm grateful that my American compatriots will also be able to benefit from that knowledge.

I thus strongly disagree with the opinions Mark Golden expressed in his December 6 letter, parroting the lies and distortions of those dedicated to the destruction of the world's only Jewish state, preferring to risk the safety of the people of Wayland rather than taking advantage of the knowledge gained by the only democracy in the Middle East.


Alan Stein
Netanya, Israel and Natick, Massachusetts

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Yale Zussman's Suggested Readings

Hi Folks,
Here is my latest collection of suggested readings.  You will note that the mood darkens as we move into the late fall.  The tea leaves point toward even worse to come with the arrival of winter.

Palestinians' Latest "Apartheid Fatwa"
by Bassam Tawil
July 17, 2018

Jerusalem Mufti bans sale of land to Jews because of waqfrequirements.
Israeli Officials Let Down Guard On Trump, Kotel

by Gary Rosenblatt
New York Jewish Week
Nov 7, 2018

Worth reading.

It's time to acknowledge that anti-Zionism is antisemitism, and that the antisemitism of the Left and of the Muslim World is a clearer danger to more Jews than the antisemitism of the American Right.

Case in point from London:
The Depths to Which the Oslo Process Has Driven Israel

Ephraim Karsh
Nov 20, 2018

Consequences of "Peace processing" for Israeli political parties and elections.
Jews Feel Safer in Europe's Conservative East Than Its Liberal West -- A pervasive false impression.

Based on survey data from interviews with Jewish leaders in various European countries.
For a State, Palestinians Would Cede "Right of Return" -- and More

David Pollock is the Bernstein Fellow at The Washington Institute
Fikra Forum
December 3, 2018

Read carefully. The data presented don't actually support the title. What Pollock reports is that there are somePalestinians ready to make these concessions, but nowhere near enough to make a solution workable.
Is Israel weighing strike options in Lebanon?

Another take on Israel vs. Hezbollah/Iran.
The mole inside the Hezbollah tunnel

Reviews the consequences of Israel's discovery and destruction of a Hezbollah tunnel into Israel. This incident likely foretells a very violent confrontation with Hezbollah, and possibly also with Iran.
Let me take this opportunity to wish Jewish readers a Happy Hanukkah, and if I don't send another package by then, a Merry Christmas to my Christian readers.  I'll risk waiting for the "Happy New Year" to follow.

-- Yale Zussman

The Miracle and the Light

This op-ed was published in the Danbury News-Times on December 2, 2018

The miracle and the light

By Cantor Deborah Katchko-Gray 

Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights, celebrates the bravery of the Maccabees and the miracle of light. Overcoming the powerful Greek army and rejecting the Hellenistic life, a small band of Jews fought to keep our traditions and culture alive; and yes, we are still here! After three years, the Maccabean fighters were able to rededicate the Second Temple in Jerusalem and light one day's worth of oil, which then lasted for eight days, a miracle we remember and observe with the lighting of our menorah during the holiday.

The symbolism of light is a powerful metaphor. It represents freedom, hope and spirit. The battle against the powerful to retain our religious freedom has been a recurring historical theme, but one with a positive ending each time. Israel continues to overcome the hatred surrounding her.

After Pittsburgh, we know that hate speech can lead to murder. Those who hide behind anti-Zionism reveal themselves as anti-Semitic. We know that love and light are stronger than hate. As we go forward, let us dedicate ourselves to bringing more light into our world - lighting our menorahs and remembering the bravery of the Maccabees, the Jewish Legion and the State of Israel. May the light banish the darkness of the anti-Semites and extremists on the left and the right.

Miracles and light, faith, joy and freedom - may these ideals move us forward into greater light and a more compassionate world.

Cantor Deborah Katchko-Gray is a resident of Ridgefield.