Sunday, February 9, 2020

The Trump Plan: The Good, the Bad, the Unknown and the Untenable By Dr. Martin Sherman AND my article on the Jewish Calendar and picture of Jerusalem's new tropical paradise

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Yehuda Lave, Spiritual Advisor and Counselor

Yehuda Lave is an author, journalist, psychologist, rabbi, spiritual teacher and coach, with degrees in business, psychology and Jewish Law. He works  with people from all walks of life and helps them in their search for greater happiness, meaning, business advice on saving money,  and spiritual engagement

Love Yehuda Lave

From the time babies are born, girls tend to react differently to fear than boys. When female infants are startled by a loud noise, they seek eye contact with others. Looking into the eyes of a loving person lowers their cortisol levels, a stress hormone which spikes automatically whenever we experience anxiety.

In contrast, when male infants are startled, their eyes tend to dart around and they withdraw into themselves! Avoiding connection when scared calms them down. So what makes girls feel better actually makes boys feel worse. Numerous studies have shown that when women talk about their problems and fears, their cortisol level drops. When men talk about their insecurities, their cortisol rises!

Love Yehuda Lave

The Trump Plan: The Good, the Bad, the Unknown and the Untenable By Dr. Martin Sherman

There was a wedding today. The groom showed up. The bride stayed home and wished the groom dead. And everyone clapped." — A caustic assessment of the "deal of the century," attributed to Meir Jolovitz, Middle East Radio, Phoenix, Ariz. (Courtesy of my Facebook friend Jan Sniderman)
Over the years, I have expressed what are generally considered distinctly hardline, hawkish views on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. 

I categorically opposed any notion entailing the establishment of a Palestinian state and any withdrawal from territory currently under Israel's administration, west of the Jordan.
Given my past positions, I should, of course, vigorously reject the "deal of the century" as proposed last week by the Trump administration, which does involve both these elements.
Indeed, the proposal offers Israel huge benefits that would have been unthinkable barely three years ago, but it also includes grave detriments that seriously undermine both its desirability from a partisan Israeli point of view and its practicality from a more objective point of view.
So the crucial consideration must be whether in the long run, the overall beneficial impact of accumulated positive components outweighs (or is outweighed by) the overall detrimental impact of the accumulated negative components.
Making such an appraisal is, of course, not an easy task—and is getting more complex as time progresses. For what it was initially understood to entail has become shrouded in subsequent "clarifications," which did little to clarify anything.
Indeed, making a measured assessment of the overall merits (or lack thereof) is a little like trying to hit a rapidly moving target; just when you think you have it in your sights, it turns out that you don't.
Thus, what originally appeared to be a U.S. endorsement of the immediate extension of Israeli sovereignty over the Jordan Valley and the large settlement blocks turned out to be a deferred endorsement, contingent on the formation of a committee—and its subsequent deliberations—with eventual sovereignty being delayed until after the March 2020 elections.
This, regrettably, raises several perturbing question marks regarding the practical value of the "deal" for Israel.
The basic elements
Putting aside for the moment the admittedly weighty issue of the timing of the application of Israeli sovereignty, in the broadest of brush strokes, the basic elements of the "deal" as presented at the White House were as follows:
Israeli Sovereignty: The United States will recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Jordan Valley, the major Jewish settlement blocs and an undivided Jerusalem, within the present contours of the security barrier, as the undivided capital of Israel. Sovereignty will also be applied to Jewish communities beyond the major blocs, which although accessible by road would be in the unenviable position of being isolated enclaves surrounded by Palestinian-Arab territory.
Security: Security in the entire area—from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River—will fall under control of the Israel Defense Forces for an indeterminant period of time.
Borders and Airspace: The external borders, airspace and electromagnetic spectrum are to remain under Israeli control.
Refugees: There will be no "Right of Return." Palestinian-Arab refugees will not be resettled in Israel.
These are all clearly significant and tangible benefits for Israel. Their net value, however, must be weighed against the countervailing returns envisaged for the Palestinian-Arab side.
In this regard, the "deal" envisions any benefits to the Palestinian side as being both deferred and contingent on the fulfillment of a number of onerous conditions.
This, unsurprisingly, has elicited harsh responses from pro-Palestinian sources. According to Tareq Baconi of the International Crisis Group, cited in a recent NPR article: " … it [the plan] places Palestinians on probation while they prove their worthiness of statehood, using conditions that are malleable and ill-defined; it seeks to induce Palestinian capitulation through economic largesse; and it removes the onus on Israel to make any concessions until Palestinians declare their full surrender."
It's not difficult grasp why the Palestinian Arabs take such a dim view of the proposal, which an infuriated Mahmoud Abbas rejected with "a 1000 'no's."
For although the "deal" does trace a path to eventual Palestinian statehood on about 70 percent of Judea and Samaria, including significant portions of Area C, currently under sole Israeli control, this depends on the Palestinian-Arab side complying with several significant provisos over a period of four years.
Among others, these include:
• Recognizing Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people
• Ceasing the funding of terrorists and their families
• Ending Judeophobic incitement
• Disarming Hamas and Islamic Jihad
• Establishing an orderly civil society by eradicating corruption, respecting human rights and permitting a free press.
Only after these conditions are met will America recognize a Palestinian state and implement a massive economic plan—reportedly $50 billion—to assist it. Moreover, some sort of "safe passage," such as a tunnel, between Gaza and the Palestinian areas in Judea and Samaria is planned.
Is it a good deal?
So, on the surface, the "deal" appears a highly advantageous one for Israel.
It entails immediate or soon to be realized enhancement of the standing of Jewish communities, entrenches Israel's hold over the strategically vital Jordan Valley, ensures the status of Jerusalem as the country's undivided capital, and maintains Israel's indefinite control over the borders and airspace.
Thus, the former head of Israel's Internal Security (Shin Bet), Yoram Cohen, summed it up as follows: "From Israel's point of view, this is a great achievement. … We have received almost all of our security requirements we've sought for years. Continued counterterrorism in the West Bank, security in the Jordan Valley as well, the request for Gaza disarmament and responsibility for counterterrorism after giving them a state or autonomy. We've got everything we want except the safe passage issue, but I'm not sure we'll really get to it."
According to Cohen: "The most dramatic things are Jerusalem and the Old City that will remain under Israeli sovereignty, the legitimization of all settlements [by] the U.S., the abolishment of the right of return and transfer 30 percent of Judea and Samaria to Israeli sovereignty. In this area I think Israel has great achievements."
Moreover, some astute analysts have very cogently pointed out that perhaps the greatest merit of the "deal" is that it has upended the mendacious Palestinian narrative, which hitherto has largely defined international attitudes to the conflict (see here, here and here).
There are, however, other considerations that could countermand the accumulated advantages that the proposal heralds for Israel—or, at least, severely erode their value.
Does the 'deal' address Israel's twin imperatives?
In this regard, I have been at pains to underscore that for Israel to endure, in the long run, as the nation-state of the Jewish people, it must adequately address both its Geographic Imperative and its Demographic Imperative—see for example here (2012), here (2015), here (2017), here (2019) and here (2019).
Addressing the former precludes undertaking perilous territorial concessions that would make Israel untenable geographically. Addressing the later precludes the presence of a large-scale, recalcitrant non-Jewish population within the contours of the sovereign Jewish nation-state that would make Israel untenable demographically.
Given the fact that the "deal" stipulates that the IDF will remain deployed throughout the territory, and that Israel will control both the airspace and electromagnetic spectrum above it, it would appear that the Geographic Imperative is largely addressed.
With the Demographic Imperative, the situation is distinctly different. After all, according to the plan's parameters, the entire Arab population will remain in place west of Jordan.
True, they will not have political rights within Israel, but as I have pointed out repeatedly, the demographic danger to the status of Israel is not solely or even chiefly dependent on whether or not the inherently hostile Palestinian-Arab population is enfranchised or not. For their impact at the ballot box would hardly be less than their impact on the sociocultural fabric of the country—see for example here (2019), here (2017), here (2015), here (2014) and here (2013)—inevitably imperiling the ability of Israel to sustain its dominantly Jewish character.
Perpetuate the situation, rather than resolve it?
Whether or not the "deal" is implemented, the reality will be that Israel will be left with a significant, inimical non-Jewish population within the territory, which it is obliged to control at least militarily for its vital security needs.
After all, if the "deal" is eventually implemented, the Arab population in Judea and Samaria (and Gaza Strip) will be left with limited, sub-sovereign rights—making the accusations of discrimination on the basis of ethnic origins not only inevitable, but difficult to refute. If, on the other hand, the "deal" is not implemented after the pledged extension of Israeli sovereignty, the Arabs of Judea and Samaria (and Gaza) will remain in their current situation under the dysfunctional rule of a corrupt kleptocracy in the former and the tyrannical theocracy in the latter.
Of course, if the "deal" is implemented, one of the major considerations will be the degree of freedom of movement into Israel afforded the Arab residents of "Palestine." If they have relatively unfettered access to Israeli beaches, shopping malls, entertainment centers and so on, the impact on the sociocultural fabric will be greatly enhanced; if not, "Palestine "will become a ghetto-like enclave and a lighting rod for anti-Israeli censure and possible sanctions.
So whether or not it is actually implemented, the new Mideast peace plan cannot effectively address Israel's demographic menace, but only perpetuate it.
The question of Gaza and succession
The "deal" also calls for the disarming of the terror groups in Gaza—chiefly, Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
Leaving aside the feasibility of such a worthy objective, let us suppose for a moment that it could be achieved. Then how would a demilitarized Gaza, which abuts the Sinai, withstand any onslaughts for the jihadi elements that abound in the peninsula, frustrating Egyptian efforts to subdue them?
Would the IDF be redeployed in Gaza? If not, who would be responsible for the external security of the coastal enclave? Would the Palestinian Authority be armed sufficiently to meet impending threats from Sinai, especially if Egyptians find the burden of contending the jihadi insurgents too onerous, and withdraw from the peninsula to deal with the mounting challenges elsewhere (see for example here and here)?
No less grave is the question of the durability of the conditions prescribed by the plan.
After all, even if, against all odds, the current Palestinian-Arab leadership agrees to accept the conditions prescribed for statehood, who can guarantee that it will not be replaced—by bullet or ballot—with far less amenable successors, who repudiate these conditions and revert to a resumption of hostilities against the Jewish state? And if such a scenario came about, could Israel retract its recognition of Palestinian "statehood" and reinstate the status quo ante?
The cost and the humanitarian alternative
Apart from the $50 billion aid package from the United States intended to boost the Palestinian economy, the "deal" envisages a dizzying array of overpasses and underpasses, bridges and tunnels connecting the various Palestinian-allotted territories in Judea and Samaria, as well as an approximately 30 mile long tunnel, linking Gaza with the "West Bank" (Judea and Samaria), which alone is estimated as costing up to $15 billion.
Indeed, although the true cost of the plan is not only unknown, but almost impossible to assess with any accuracy, one thing is beyond doubt: It will certainly carry a price tag that reaches into the tens of billions to produce results that at best will be tenuous.
The underlying flaws are inherent in its very essence. Although it is certainly a huge improvement on previous attempts to resolve the conflict between Jews and Arabs over control of the Holy Land, it is still afflicted by the same defects that afflicted its predecessors. It fails to come to terms with the stark reality that there is no way to devise a scheme that can resolve this conflict by a division (however ingenious) of the land from "the River to the Sea" between two inimical collectives with irreconcilable founding narratives.
Thus, there is no way to convert an intrinsically "zero sum" game into a "win-win" solution. Any attempt to do so is doomed to inevitable failure.
It is for this reason that for the last decade-and-a-half, I have urged Israel to launch a large-scale initiative for the incentivized emigration of the Arab population of Judea and Samaria, in addition to Gaza, as the only strategic measure that can adequately address both Israel's Geographic and Demographic Imperatives. It is towards this end that the billions planned to be invested in the "deal" should be channeled.
Epilogue: What to do?
In the final analysis, what should Israel do?
My sense is that Israel should accept the plan secure in the knowledge it will be rejected by the Palestinians, who will not—indeed, cannot—comply with the conditions required of them. Thus, the Israelis will reap tangible benefits with the negligible risk of future Palestinian compliance.
It should, however, do so before the upcoming March elections: For who knows whether a future coalition headed by Benny Gantz's Blue and White would or could support such far-reaching unilateral moves by Israel?
After all, there is no better time to strike than when the iron is hot!

My take on the plan

We have the second Moshiach opportunity (like after the 1967 war) to live in the Land that G-d promised us with "The Deal of the Century"

I wasn't in Israel in 1967 to see the miracles that G-d gave us.

Unfortunately, we were not ready for the miracles and we gave the temple mount to the Jordanians and we did not build the temple.

Not enough Jews came home, we were guilty about our victory and we went from the underdogs to the abusers of the supposed Palestinians.
We are accused by the world of abusing the Palestinians and becoming the "New Nazis" and not giving them their own state like we have.

I grew up with Golda Meir teaching me that if the Arabs would lay down their guns, we would have peace, if we lay down our guns we would be dead!
Now thanks to the brilliance of Bibi, Ambassador Friedman and President Trump, there has been a new shifting of the game blame.
People were afraid that the "Deal of the Century" would force Israel to give away too much. We were waiting for the other shoe to drop. Well the shoe has dropped, and we haven't given away anything.
We can now take the high ground. The supposed Palestinian People can have a state if they lay down their arms. Of course this can never happen. They are too stuck in their own ways (Like Pharaoh and the Jews in Egypt) to give up wanting to kill us for their own future.

Overnight there is no green line. We are not opposing anyone. Give up your arms and recognize us and you will have your state.
So my right wing friends, don't worry. It will not happen, and therefore we will keep the status quo, but we will have sovereignty in our country, and of course the Arabs won't agree, because all they want is to murder us.

So don't be stupid my right wing friends. This is the deal of the Moshiach, we have made it. Bibi and Trump are not the Moshiach, but they have given us the ability to take the high road and let the BDS go whistle Dixie.

We are not abusing anyone, we have the ability to live in our own land.
Please my friends don't let the fact that everything is not perfect in the deal stop you from coming aboard.
Bibi fought for eight years against Obama from dismantling our precious and hard won state.
We owe him a debt of Gratitude that we made it to our opportunity that we have now.
Stand behind him in Gratitude. Vote for him so we can get this deal done. I was fooled into voting in the last election for parties that talk and can do nothing, but warn of a Palestinian state. I am fully aware of the danger. But this deal shows the Palestinians for the terrorists they are and now we are on the high moral ground.

I love it, help me get aboard this wagon which will take us to Moshiach.

Love Yehuda Lave

The Jewish calendar is how all Jewish holidays are based. This is a blog I did for the Times of Israel, for whom now I am a blogger

The High Holidays, Sukkot, Chanukah, Purim, Passover and Shavuot are always celebrated on their specific dates on the Jewish calendar. (For example, Rosh Hashanah is always celebrated on 1–2 Tishrei, and Passover always begins on 15 Nisan.)
Other notable occasions that follow the Jewish calendar are birthdays, yahrzeits, bar mitzvahs and bat mitzvahs.
The Jewish Calendar and how it works was Given to Moses at the Exodus
Exactly two weeks before the Exodus from Egypt, G‑d told Moses and Aaron: "This month [Nisan] shall be for you the head of the months, setting into motion the Jewish calendar and its unique format. In fact, this was the very first commandment G‑d gave to Moses.
It Follows the Lunar Cycle, But Is Still Aligned with the Seasons
Unlike the Gregorian calendar, which follows the solar cycle (of about 365.25 days), the Jewish calendar follows the lunar cycle, which means that the year is comprised of 12 lunar months (of approximately 29.5 days each).
Nevertheless, the Jewish calendar is not solely lunar. Due to the 11-day discrepancy between the solar year (365 days) and the lunar year (29.5 × 12 = 354), lunar calendar dates are not tied to the seasons. If a certain day occurs this year in the spring, in a few years it will regress to the winter, and so on.
On the Jewish calendar, referred to as a lunisolar calendar, the dates are aligned with the seasons. For example, Passover must be celebrated in the spring. In order to prevent a regression, every two or three years a thirteenth month is added (more on that below).
Here is a list of the Jewish months and their important dates:
Jewish Month Approximate Secular Date This Month's Special Dates
Nisan March–April Passover
Iyar April–May Lag B'Omer
Sivan May–June Shavuot
Tammuz June–July
Menachem Av (also known as Av) July–August Tisha B'Av
Elul August–September
Tishrei September–October The High Holidays (Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur), Sukkot, Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah
Marcheshvan (also known as Cheshvan) October–November
Kislev November–December Chanukah
Tevet December–January Conclusion of Chanukah
Shevat January–February Tu B'Shevat
Adar February–March Purim
Months Are Either 29 or 30 Days
In the Gregorian calendar, most months are either 30 or 31 days (because 365 ÷ 12 = 30.4). In the Jewish calendar, since the lunar cycle is about 29.5 days, all months are either 29 days (known as "missing" months) or 30 days (known as "complete" months).
Most months have a set number of days (Nisan—30, Iyar—29, Sivan—30, Tammuz—29, and so on). There are two exceptions: Marcheshvan and Kislev can be either 29 or 30 days (see below).
Leap Years Have Thirteen Months
In the Gregorian calendar, every four years an extra day is added, creating a leap year—a year with 366 days instead of 365 Like this year 2020. In the Jewish calendar, however, leap years have an additional month.
The Torah specifies that Passover must be celebrated in the spring , and Sukkot during autumn. This poses a problem, as the lunar year is eleven days short of the solar year, and any given date will potentially regress from one season to the next.
In order for the festivals to retain their positions relative to the seasons, an adjustment must be made to enable the lunar calendar to maintain harmony with the solar cycle. To do so, years are grouped into 19-year cycles. In the 3rd, 6th, 8th, 11th, 14th, 17th and 19th year of every 19-year cycle, another month (Adar) is added. Such a year is called "shanah m'uberet," literally "a pregnant year."
Therefore a Year Can Be Between 353 and 385 Days Long
The months of Marcheshvan and Kislev are variable. On any given year they can both be 29 days; they can both be 30 days; or Marcheshvan can be 29 days while Kislev is 30.
Based on this, any given year can contain either 353, 354, or 355 days (or in a leap year: 383, 384, or 385 days). When both months are 29 days, the year is known as chaseirah (missing); when both are 30, the year is shleimah (complete); and when Marcheshvan is 29 days and Kislev is 30, the year is k'sidrah (regular, meaning these two months follow the alternating pattern of the rest of the months).
The First Month Is Halfway Through the Year
Nisan is the first month on the Jewish calendar. Before the Jews left Egypt, on the first day of the month of Nisan, G‑d told Moses and Aaron: "This month shall be for you the head of the months." Thus the peculiarity of the Jewish calendar: The year begins on Rosh Hashanah, the first day of the month of Tishrei, but Tishrei is not the first month. Rosh Hashanah is actually referred to in the Torah as "the first day of the seventh month.
New Months Were Originally Determined Based on Lunar Sightings
Originally there was no fixed calendar. Each month, the Sanhedrin—the rabbinical supreme court—would determine whether that month would contain 29 or 30 days, depending on when the following month's new moon was first sighted.
On the 30th day of every month, the Sanhedrin began accepting witnesses who claimed they had spotted the new moon the previous evening. If the witnesses would pass the court's rigorous interrogation, the Sanhedrin would "sanctify" the new month, proclaiming that day the first of the month. The previous month was now retroactively determined to have had only 29 days.
If no witnesses came on the thirtieth day, then the next day, the thirty-first day, was automatically declared the first day of the new month, retroactively rendering the previous month a "complete" month of 30 days.
The Calendar We Use Today Was Established in the 4th Century CE
In the 4th century CE the sage Hillel II foresaw the disbandment of the Sanhedrin, and understood that we would no longer be able to follow a Sanhedrin-based calendar. So he and his rabbinical court established the perpetual calendar which we follow today.
When Hillel established the perpetual calendar, he sanctified every new month until Moshiach will come and reestablish the Sanhedrin.
Outside Israel, Holidays Have an Extra Day
Originally, when there was no fixed calendar, there was no way to determine the exact day of a coming festival in advance. This was because every festival falls on a particular day of a month, and the month would begin only when the new moon of that month was sighted.
Once the Sanhedrin had determined that a new moon had been sighted, messengers were dispatched to Babylonia and other far-flung Jewish settlements to relay this information to them. Since news traveled a lot slower in those days, many communities outside of Israel would not know when the new month had begun in time to celebrate the festival on the proper day. To cover both possibilities, they would celebrate every holiday for two days: the day the holiday would be if the previous month had 29 days, and the day it would be if there were 30 days

The First Day of Each Month Is a Minor Holiday
The first day of each month (and sometimes, the last day of the previous month—see below) is known as Rosh Chodesh (lit., "head of the month"). Special prayers are added to the daily services, and we wish each other "chodesh tov," a good month.
Since the 30th day of the month was always potentially Rosh Chodesh (see above), whenever a month has 30 days, the last day is observed as Rosh Chodesh together with the first of the following month.
However, if a month has only 29 days, then the Rosh Chodesh of the following month will be only one day—the first of the month.

The First Year Was Only Five Days Long
The years of the Jewish calendar are calculated from the creation of the world. Hence, in 2020, it is presently 5780 years since Creation.
However, Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, is celebrated on the day Adam was created, which was really the sixth day of creation. Creation itself began five days earlier, on the 25th day of the month of Elul.
When we give the number of 5780, we actually mean that it is presently 5779 years and five days since Creation, as those initial five days are considered Year 1, and Adam's creation marked the beginning of Year 2.


picture of Jerusalem's new tropical paradise

Here's one more reason to put the delightful Jerusalem Botanical Gardens  on your itinerary: its Tropical Conservatory has reopened after a $2 million facelift that took a year and half to complete.

The transformed Tropical Conservatory boasts approximately 300 kinds of plants in all shapes and colors. Endangered plants, exotic banana trees, coffee plants, orchids and cacti are among them.

This isn't a mere display of potted plants.

The conservatory includes features such as a stream with aquatic plants, and the remains of an ancient columbarium carved into rock, which was discovered at the site during construction.

Dating back to the Second Temple period, these pigeon niches today serve as natural beds for Stapelias, small succulent plants.

The Tropical Conservatory experience begins in a grand foyer situated below a traditional conservatory roof. Then the conservatory is split into two distinct regions: a rainforest and a desert.

Each has rich vegetation adapted to the respective climate. The desert region, for instance, has some of the world's most unique plants and shows how they have adapted to dry conditions.

There's the Trichodesma with teal colored flowers, a Jericho rose that releases seeds only after 10mm or more of rain, and shrubs producing fragrant fruits from which the most iconic perfumes of the world are made.

Guided tours welcome visitors to touch, smell and even taste the plants and their fruits, and to discover ecological and biological processes particular to those regions.

 "The Jerusalem Botanical Gardens continues to innovate in the areas of botany, horticulture, agriculture and community," said Jerusalem Botanical Gardens CEO Tom Amit. "A visitor and conference center will soon open, and a new entrance and greenhouse are planned. I invite the general public to come to Israel's largest botanical gardens and embark on a magical journey through nature."

The 30-acre Jerusalem Botanical Gardens serves as an education, learning and research center.

You can see a diverse collection of more than 6,000 plant species and varieties from around the world. They're grouped geographically in six sections – Southern Africa, Europe, North America, Australia, South-East and Central Asia and the Mediterranean.

The sections simulate the landscapes of these areas and so there is always something blooming.

 The Jerusalem Botanical Gardens is open seven days a week: Monday-Thursday from 10-3:30, including a tour on Mondays and Wednesdays between 2 and 3:30; Friday and Saturday from 11-3, including tours; and Sunday from 10-1. General admission is ₪35.

For more information, call the Jerusalem Botanical Gardens at 02-679-4012 or click here.

Full Story (ISRAEL21c)

On Losing 250,000 Israeli Arabs By Shalom Pollack -

One of the less stand-out items of President Trump's peace deal is a proposal to place large clusters of Israeli-Arabs under Palestinian rule.
Under this proposal, Israel would lose about a quarter of a million Arab citizens. If I may be perfectly blunt and politically incorrect: That would be wonderful – for a whole lot of reasons.



Since Israel's founding as a Jewish and democratic state, Israel and its Arab citizens have been dancing at a masquerade ball. These Arabs are ostensibly part of Israel, but they also belong to the genocide-minded enemies who tried to wipe us out before and during the 1948 War of Independence. Their brethren fled Israel when the Arab armies invaded so that these armies could "slaughter the Jews" without them getting in the way. They were promised the homes of the massacred Jews when they returned.
That was the plan. But it didn't work out. Thankfully, the bulk of the Arab population in 1948 Israel left, never to return. Those who remained – the smarter ones – enjoyed the paradise that was subsequently built around them called the Jewish state. They have been enjoying the fruits of this paradise for the last seven decades, all the while cursing it and supporting those who try to cut it down.
How do I know this? Because they vote for Arab parties that openly support Israel's enemies. Amazingly, a poll on Arabs attitudes to the Holocaust found that Israeli Arabs had the highest percentage of Holocaust deniers!
Saturday saw two demonstrations against the U.S. proposal to place vast numbers of Israeli Arabs under Palestinian rule. One was organized by Peace Now, an extreme left Israeli group. They apparently do not want to part with their anti-Israel Arab comrades no matter their true hatred of Israel. That would be clearly immoral and illegitimate. (Expulsion of thousands of Jews from their homes is, however, legitimate, moral, and just wonderful.)
The second demonstration took place in the Israeli Arab town of Baka al Gharbia. The residents there do not want to leave the Jewish paradise they hate so much and live under their beloved "Palestine" flag. (I get it. Paradise beats a corrupt dump.) They claim they are legitimate and natural citizens of Israel; it is thus unthinkable and immoral to take their Israeli citizenship away from them.
If I were them, I would have – in order to win naive Jewish hearts and secure Jewish allies for my cause – raised the "beloved" Israeli flag at this demonstration and sang Hatikva. Instead, they raised the "Palestine" flag and chanted "Palestine from sea to sea" (in other words: Destroy Israel). Did G-d harden their hearts? Or did He not have to?
Yet, despite the benefits of losing a quarter million Arabs who hate Israel, there is a huge downside to this proposal: It would mean accepting the other parts of Trump's peace plan, and how can any Jew ever relinquish even an inch of our G-d-given beloved land? It seems like we're in a lose-lose situation.
I once knew a very great rabbi, a warrior for his people who had just the right formula. His name was Rabbi Meir Kahane, and his solution was a win-win one for the Jewish nation.
He warned us of the thorns in our sides. He refused to attend the masquerade ball. He kept warning us of missed opportunities. But these were lost along with this leader – the sort that is gifted to the Jewish people once in generations.
As was the case so often in the past, our people did not rise to the opportunity. We were undeserving of he who begged us to open our eyes and hearts. And here we are today.

See you tomorrow

Love Yehuda Lave

Rabbi Yehuda Lave

PO Box 7335, Rehavia Jerusalem 9107202


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