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Category: Jewish Life (page 7 of 15)

Jewish life in Israel and in the world, humor, news, and commentary in OneJerusalem.com

The Dale Carnegie Course Lieberman style

Dale Carnegy Vs Liberman“I have seen all the proposals made so generously by Ehud Olmert, but I have not seen any result”; so spoke Israel’s new Foreign Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, during his first address to the media after assuming his post. He went on to say that the way the free world has tried to deal with issues like Islamic sponsored terrorism and Iran’s nuclear program hasn’t worked, and that the real world security problems are coming from countries like Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran and Iraq and not from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Lieberman specifically renounced the giving of concessions in order to gain peace. “The fact that we say the word “peace” twenty times a day will not bring peace any closer”, he added. He also said that the time-worn “Westphalia” conception of nation states is dead, and has been replaced by a modern conception of states, semi-states and “irrational international players” most noteworthy Al Qaeda and Iran. But what seemed to frost many diplomats the most, especially Egypt’s, was when he said he will only go there on diplomatic missions if his counterpart is willing to visit him in Israel’s capital, Jerusalem. That remark caused the Egyptian ambassador to say he will “keep his hands in his pockets” should the two men even meet face to face.

Judging from the silence that emanated from his remarks, and the comments made by various international medias afterwards, Foreign Minister Lieberman did not go very far in regards to the strategies mooted by that world famous maestro of human relations Dale Carnegie, whose best selling book How to Make Friends and Influence People appeared in the late 1930’s, and is still widely used for perfecting human relations strategies by many people today.

Thus began the term of the man who is questioned and even feared in his own country, regarding his outlook on the present world order; especially when he ended his 15 minute reality trip by quoting an ancient Roman general who said in regards to peace: “Si vis pacem para bellum“– if you want peace, prepare for war – be strong!”

Dale Carnegie would never have used this strategy in his world famous books and self improvement courses; but again, Lieberman is not Carnegie, and doesn’t intend to be. And we can all be certain that Israel’s enemies and critiques are already aware of this…

The Fish and The Shark

While PM Olmert, Defense Secretary Barak, and the intelligence agencies have failed to do their job and return Gilad Shalit home, the Israeli consulate in New York have managed to make an impact on the Jewish community in the States.

This is a video done a year ago. In it, you see 11 y/o Bronx kids reading the story Gilad Shalit wrote as a child (translated to English).

As the Shalit family and the whole of Israel are facing the fact that Gilad is apparently not coming home any time soon, we have to turn to Gilad’s words themselves to regain some hope — for him, and for a better Israel.

Waltz in Gaza

This video was made by Yoni Goodman, one of the animators that worked on Waltz with Bashir:

Gisha – Legal Center for Freedom of Movement calls on the State of Israel to fully open Gaza’s crossings and to allow the real victims of the closure – 1.5 million human beings – the freedom of movement necessary to realize their dreams and aspirations.

One Thousand and One Nights

980 days and nights have passed since Gilad Shalit was captured by Hamas militants.

Later this month, on Sunday, March the 22nd, we shall all mark the 1,001st day of Gilad’s captivity. On this day, the Aharai! (“Follow me!”) organization is holding a simultaneous march in 4 Israeli cities: Acco, Tel Aviv, Be’er Sheva, and Jerusalem.

The march in Tel Aviv is planned to begin in the Central Train Station (Savidor Station) and will continue to Rabin Square.

1001

Waltz with Bashir and the 18th Israeli Knesset

Regrettably, Ari Folman’s animated doco-fantasy film “Waltz with Bashir” didn’t win the Best Foreign Film at the 2009 Academy Awards presentation in Hollywood. With just a month passing after winning the Golden Globes film award, the American film industry second biggest awards extravaganza, hope had been high that Folman’s film would pull it off, especially due to its strong anti-war message. But Folman and his crew of animators, writers, artists and other team players had to sit by and see the Japanese film, Departures, win the coveted Oscar.

Waltz With Bashir

In a way, this event displays similarities to the results of the recent parliamentary election in which Tzipi Livni’s Kadima party managed to edge out over the rival Likud party, headed by Binyamin (Bibi) Netanyahu. Even though Kadima managed to gain more seats (actually 1 more) than Bibi’s party did, the Likiud has been given the nod by Israeli President Shimon Peres to form the next coalition government. Bibi’s right-of-center party has a lot of friends in the Knesset, including the right winged “Israel Beitenu” party, headed by Avigdor Lieberman, and the ultra-right winged “Ihud Leumi” (National Union) party headed by Benny Alon. The Likud party’s ideologies also make it easier to bring at least two religious political parties, “Shas” and “Ha-Bayit Ha-Ye’udi” (Jewish Home) into its fold as well, to guarantee enough Knesset seats to form the next government. Livni’s center movement party can only hope to pick up some of the left winged parties such as the now deflated Labor Party, headed by Ehud Barak, and others such as Meretz – a very left-winged party formerly headed by such liberals as Yossi Sarid and Dr. Yossi Beilin.

And just like the character in Waltz had to cope with life in Israel in the aftermath of the war, so does Livni and her party have to cope with the aftermath of both the 2006 Second Lebanon War (in which her party, headed by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, was accused of committing a number of blunders) and the just completed Operation Cast Lead foray in Gaza. Netanyahu has the advantage of being able to use the security element to convince parties with similar ideologies to join up with him and control Israeli politics for the next 4 year period; or until another election is held, as has been too often the case.

Israeli politics sometimes create strange bedfellows, however, and Tzipi may decide in the end that discretion is the better part of valor and decide to join Bibi’s governing coalition. If this happens she will get her “waltz” in the end; but the question will be with whom she winds up dancing with.

Hitler’s Parking Dilemma

A satirical video clip that supposedly depicts Hitler being enraged over the parking problems in Tel Aviv is gaining wide momentum, as well as several complaints by Holocaust survivors.

The makers of the clip took a scene from the 2004 movie “Downfall” and invented new subtitles in Hebrew. In fact, there are over 20 different versions of this clip, each depicting a different satirical scenario.

Someone translated the “Hitler’s looking for parking” subtitles to English, and this is the result:

Dirty Water

Two mineral water companies in Israel have halted the production of bottled water due to bacteria found in the streams they exhaust.

Bottled water dominates the Israeli market, and drinking tap water is considered an anachronistic oddity by most.

This development adds to the national water crisis Israel is experiencing this year, as the Kinnereth lake — Israel’s largest source of water — is continuously shrinking to unprecedented dimensions.

In a related note, Global Warming experts predict that disputes over water is going to be the foremost reason for why nations go to war in the 21th Century.

water

Alarming Trends

A survey conducted by the “Massuah Institute for the Study of the Holocaust” reveals that 35% of high-school youth believes that the Israeli society is racist.

In addition, 82% of the respondents believe that the Holocaust can happen again!

The 27th of January — this Tuesday — is the International Holocaust Remembrance Day. In Israel, we commemorate the Holocaust Remembrance Day at the 27th of Nisan (which falls either on April or May).

Phosphoric Situation

White phosphorus bombs are prohibited for use in civilian areas. They set buildings on fire and cause very severe burns that can burn a person alive.

There have been rumors lately that the IDF uses such bombs in the Gaza offensive. The IDF denies. The UN already wants to investigate the matter.

The “phosphorous front” got (literally) heated up this evening when a Hamas rocket containing phosphorous exploded in the Israeli desert. If this shell had fallen inside an urban landscape, it could have caused severe consequences.

Look at this photo taken by Reuters. Whether or not these are phosphoric explosions in the background, the whole scene looks Sci-Fi.

Gaza Bombing by Reuters

What’s Up With Olmert?

According to leading commentators, both Minister of Defense Ehud Barak and Minister of Foreign Affairs Tzipi Livni are in favor of pulling the IDF out of Gaza. They understand that there’s nothing more to gain from staying in enemy territory, and that it only puts our soldiers’ lives at risk.

On the other hand, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert wants to go in deeper.

Three political opponents, who admittedly can’t stand each other, are running a war together, just one month before the general elections. Each has his or her own personal and political interests.

However, there is one person who stand outs in this odd trio. Mr. Olmert is a man with no political future whatsoever. This is as clear as the morning sky in July. He is the only Prime Minister in Israel’s history whose government has had to tackle two separate war campaigns. When he leaves office, there are several corruption allegations that await him impatiently. It is already known for a fact that he will be prosecuted — Perhaps more than once.

The longer the war continues, more and more voices — both in the media and in the Knesset — are calling to postpone the elections. The one person who might gain the most if such a scenario takes place is obviously Ehud Olmert. The prospect of a few more months in power — and a few more months out of the courtroom — could definitely alter any person’s sound judgment.

These are mere speculations of course. It’s inappropriate to lay down such serious accusations without any evidence. There is only a restless gut feeling… and some very bizarre comments made by PM Olmert himself.

During a press conference yesterday, Mr. Olmert boasted in front of the cameras how he had managed to subdue America’s Secretary of State, and how President Bush promptly agreed to abandon the podium in the middle of a speech in order to pick up Olmert’s call.

“I said: ‘Get me President Bush on the phone,'” Olmert said in a speech in the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon. “They said he was in the middle of giving a speech in Philadelphia. I said I didn’t care: ‘I need to talk to him now.’ He got off the podium and spoke to me.”

Olmert said he argued that the United States should not vote in favor, and the president then called Rice and told her not to do so.

“She was left pretty embarrassed,” Olmert said.

   – Associated Press

Another childish remark soon followed this self-accounted tale of international diplomacy. “In this struggle between the Hamas and us, we shall see who has the bigger motivation!”, he said firmly.

Yes, our Prime Minister is busy comparing who has the bigger… hmm… missiles.

Concerning four rockets does the Torah speak

כנגד ארבעה בנים דיברה התורה: הסקאד, הקטיושה, הקסאם, והגראד.

Concerning four rockets does the Torah speak: Scud, Katyusha, Qassam, and Grad.

Today we can pretty much divide the state of Israel to geographical districts according to the type of missiles that fall there.

Here’s a crude illustration:

Map of Israel divided by Missile type

Chronicle of a Death Foretold

The hugely popular sketch comedy show “Eretz Nehederet” (translated as “A Wonderful Land”) was exceptionally satiric and keen last week, several days after the current war began. Since then they’ve been pulled off the air, because Channel 2 believes it’s inappropriate to broadcast live entertainment during wartime.

This is a very talked-about sketch from last week’s show. In it, an Ehud Barak (Minister of Defense) impersonator explains the projected phases of war.

Thanks Lisa for translating!

Children in Gaza and Hamas – Updated

This is a video that was sent to us – again part of the media war I am sure – but still really disturbing. Grabbing a kid as you’re running with a weapon is just not right. Regardless of what you believe in its just wrong and well — that guy is definitely going to hell!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gLwIotgcr8M[/youtube]

I just heard that the army hit a school in Gaza and there are reportedly 40 dead. It’s still not clear if these are children or civilians but regardless it sounds bad. We hear about the Hamas grabbing human shields, ambulances and taking over buildings.

Currently the Hamas has relinquished all control of responsibility of the Gaza population. They are not responsible for any of the basic services, they provide no care and answer to no one. The have basically reverted back to a terror organization without any social responsibility.

The Gaza population is the real victim here and I hope that this last attack we are starting to hear about is not going to turn out to be a civilian nightmare…

Gaza – The Information War

The war in Gaza and its surrounding Israeli cities is waging still, with no clear end in sight. Yet in this age of abundant technology and streaming information, there is also a propaganda war simultaneously going on via television networks, personal blogs, and YouTube videos. One enthusiastic even programmed a simple video game to demonstrate the war tactics, as he sees it.

This is a brief collection of home-made videos, news briefings, and the aforementioned notorious game.

Danny Gillerman, Israel’s former ambassador to the UN speaks about the war, 12/28/08:

“Raid Gaza” Flash Game – Gain Extra Points for Bombing a Hospital:

Annie Lennox on the Humanitarian perspective:

Qassams on Europe, a fictional cartoon:

2 Qassams are launched while CNN’s Paula Hancocks reports from the border:

When the alarm goes off, people in Sderot have 15 seconds to find cover:

Life in Beer Sheva

It’s a terrifying sound. I remember hearing it during the first Gulf War. You close yourself in a room, and pray the alarm ends without a shocking boom. Complete helplessness.

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