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Thursday, December 8, 2016

The Problem With Dor Yeshorim

Illustration photo by Matty Stern / U.S. Embassy Tel Aviv

Genetics activist Sarah Dworcan says singles tested by the Dor Yeshorim organization are not "safely assured."
By Sarah Dworcan for COLlive

We are taught that the truth always prevails. But there are times when one cannot stand by and wait for the truth to be uncovered. When lives are at stake, every moment matters, and if you know something that can save a life and yet you remain silent, you too are culpable.

The Dor Yeshorim article posted on on Thursday, December 1st, outraged me.

Not because my child was born with an extremely rare but known Ashkenazic genetic disease, after we had both been tested by Dor Yeshorim before marriage and told we were "compatible."

It is because the lies and manipulation continue to fester.

This year alone, 25,000 young frum boys and girls will be tested by Dor Yeshorim and will think, as we did, that their genetic prospects are safely assured.

In our communities, Dor Yeshorim is painted as The Angel. This is not only misleading; it is dangerous.

The article simply fails to mention the most important fact — Dor Yeshorim only tests for 7 diseases. There are a total of 39 life-threatening Ashkenazic diseases, made up of hundreds of mutations.

In addition to the limited diseases, Dor Yeshorim only account for one known mutation of each disease that they actually test for. Who makes the decision of what disease is deemed "serious" enough to warrant being tested for? Is being at-risk for metabolic crisis, coma and death each moment of everyday considered serious enough? Apparently, not.

Also not mentioned is the "second panel" issue. The second panel only tests for another 7 diseases, which amounts to a total of 14 diseases. That is 14 out of 39. This second panel needs to be personally requested and an additional fee paid for.

Besides the fact that the concept of limited panels in the genetic world is outdated, why does a second panel even exist? If those diseases are important, surely it should all be on one test? And why only for an additional seven diseases? What about the other twenty-three?

Finally, Dor Yeshorim is NOT a medical organization, despite what their picture and tagline would have you believe.

How does this continue when their choices affect lives? Do these lives not matter? Are they not, in their words, "ensuring healthy children for Klal Yisroel”?

In truth, I believe it is better not to do genetic testing than to be tested through Dor Yeshorim. That way, at least people do not have a false sense of security that they have been "comprehensively genetically tested."

That is why my husband Yossi Dworcan and I founded Jnetic, an initiative to raise awareness regarding the systems used in screening for genetic disorders prevalent in the Jewish community.

We are working to get the facts straight and, as a community, take a stand. All known life-threatening diseases and mutations should be tested for.

* Upon request of the patient, as with any other personal medical information, results should be available and explained by a genetic counselor.

* The stigma and fear factor associated with carrier status should be broken. The answer to this is: Education, education, education. There is no shame in being a carrier; every person in the world is a carrier for at least 5 different mutations. We, as Jews, simply have a higher chance of being carriers for the same diseases because of our likely common lineage.

* When both parties are carriers, there are ways to have healthy children to the best of science's ability. These options are Halachically and medically sound and should be explained to the community.

* "Compatible" and "not compatible" are not medical terms, and we should not allow them to label us as such. Breaking up a shidduch (match) because both parties are carriers for a genetic mutation is something that we, as individuals, should be able to make an informed and educated decision about with the help of medical professionals. Making this decision for others is called playing G-d.

* Cost is not a factor. Check out Jscreen. More comprehensive tests are available at a cheaper rate than that of Dor Yeshorim’s, plus they include genetic counseling.

* MOST importantly: We all have the right and obligation to be informed and educated.

I don't expect you take my word for it. I encourage you to reach out to a medical professional who specializes in genetics and specifically how it relates to the Jewish community. If you would like a reference to one, please feel free to reach out to us at

Jnetic founders Yossi and Sarah Dworcan with their son Eli

Hebrew may be world's oldest alphabet

A photo of Sinai 375a, a stone slab from Egypt, which is now located in the Harvard Semitic Museum. This photo contains the name Ahisamach (Exodus 31:6) on the two horizontal lines. (Credit: Douglas Petrovich)
A photo of Sinai 375a, a stone slab from Egypt, which is now located in the Harvard Semitic Museum. This photo contains the name Ahisamach (Exodus 31:6) on the two horizontal lines. (Credit: Douglas Petrovich)

The oldest recorded alphabet may be Hebrew. According to a controversial new study by archaeologist and ancient inscription specialist Douglas Petrovich, Israelites in Egypt took 22 ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs and turned them into the Hebrew alphabet over 3,800 years ago.
The discovery of this early Hebrew alphabet has proved  to scholars the dates Petrovich has for the Israelites’ stay in Egypt – 430 years to the very day, as recorded in Exodus 12:40-41, equaling 1876-1446 BC – 
The road to Petrovich’s discovery started back in 2012, when he was researching hieroglyphic inscriptions online from an Egyptian stone slab dated 1842 B.C. The slab, known as Sinai 115, identified Joseph and his sons Ephraim and Manasseh– all figures from the Hebrew Bible, the latter of whom inscribed the hieroglyphs on the slab himself. Something in the text Manasseh wrote– translation “6 Levantines: Hebrews of Bethel, the beloved,” which referred to himself, his son, and four other Hebrews on a turquoise mining expedition– caught the eye of Petrovich. It was the world’s oldest letter, he says.
“On this otherwise Middle Egyptian caption were a Canaanite syllabic and the world’s oldest attested proto-consonantal letter–‘B’, depicting a house for the Hebrew consonant bayit,” Petrovich told “It was this single proto-consonantal Hebrew letter that helped me to understand that the world’s oldest alphabet, the language of which has been unidentified for over 150 years of scholarship, is Hebrew.”
Petrovich, who currently teaches Ancient Egypt at Wilfred Laurier University, isn’t the first to identify Hebrew as the language of the world’s oldest alphabet. Back in the 1920’s, a German scholar named Hubert Grimme identified some of the inscriptions as Hebrew. However, unlike Petrovich, he was unable to identify all of the letters in the alphabet correctly. This led to failed translations and rejection by other scholars.
Putting together a complete alphabet, detailed in a soon–to–be–released book by Petrovich, was no easy task.
“I was translating Middle Egyptian and proto-consonantal Hebrew inscriptions that nobody ever had translated successfully before,” he said. “There were many ‘A-ha!’ moments along the way, because I was stumbling across biblical figures never attested before in the epigraphical record, or seeing connections that I had not understood before.”
Dividing words properly was also a hurdle because the letters all run together, without any spaces between them or punctuation.
After finally completing the alphabet, Petrovich was able to translate 16 Hebrew inscriptions from four different sites in Egypt and Sinai. In these inscriptions he found a number of distinctly Hebrew words, including the naming of 3 biblical figures: Asenath (the wife of Joseph), Ahisamach (the father of Oholiab, who was appointed to build the tabernacle in the desert), and Moses, who was credited by the Hebrew Bible as being the man who led the Israelites out of Egypt.
“I absolutely was surprised to find [the reference to] Moses, because he resided in Egypt for less than a year at the time of his provoking of astonishment there,” Petrovich recalled. “In fact, the Hebrew letters ‘M-Sh’ could have other meanings, and I had to examine every other possibility for those uses of Hebrew words with those letters. Only after realizing that every other possibility had to be eliminated, whether due to contextual or grammatical limitations, was I forced to admit that this word must be taken as a proper noun, and almost undoubtedly refers to the Moses who is credited with writing the first five books of the Hebrew Bible, known as the Torah.”
The inscription with the Moses reference dates back to 1446 or 1447 B.C.– the final year of the Israelites’ stay in Egypt– and describes events written about in Exodus 1, such as the enslavement of Hebrews. In the inscription, Moses is depicted as a man who inspired awe in the Hebrew community, which would match well with the biblical events describing Moses’ encounters with the pharaoh.
Petrovich hopes that skeptics, instead of coming to pre–conclusions about his claims, will study his new findings with an open mind and be objective.
“My discoveries are so controversial because if correct, they will rewrite the history books and undermine much of the assumptions and misconceptions about the ancient Hebrew people and the Bible that have become commonly accepted in the scholarly world and taught as factual in the world’s leading universities,” he said. “To my skeptics, I say, ‘Continue to be skeptical. Do not accept my conclusions until you are convinced they are correct.’ Truth is un–killable, so if I am correct, my findings will outlast scholarly scrutiny.”
Further details can be found in Petrovich’s book “The World’s Oldest Alphabet” (Carta Books), which will be available in the coming weeks.

Trump the "tweeter"

Trump Tweeting

Fried Kugel Balls for Chanukah .....

Recipe comes from the Nosher via My Jewish Learning:

1 12 oz package wide egg noodles
4 eggs
½ cup sugar
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
8 oz full fat sour cream
10 oz canned, crushed pineapple (drained)
1 tsp vanilla
¼ tsp salt
For assembling:
2 eggs
1 Tbsp milk
4 cups cornflakes, crushed
Vegetable oil for frying
Sea salt
Powdered sugar (optional)
To make the kugel:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a deep, square baking dish (8×8 or 9×9). If your baking dish not a square, the kugel will be too thin and you won’t be able to scoop the kugel into balls.
Cook noodles according to directions (around 8-10 minutes). Drain and use right away.
Place butter in a large bowl. Add hot noodles right on top and allow the butter to melt.
In another bowl, whisk eggs, sugar and vanilla together. Pour mixture on top of noodles and mix. Add sour cream, crushed pineapple and salt and mix again.
Pour noodle mixture into greased baking dish. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until just golden on top. Place in fridge overnight.
To assemble and fry:
Using a medium or large size cookie scoop, form chilled kugel into balls. Place on a baking sheet or place and put into freezer or fridge for 20-30 minutes. This will help them keep their shape when frying.
Heat vegetable oil over medium-high heat in a large, deep pan. Kugel balls don’t need to be completely submerged in oil, just about halfway.
Crush cornflakes into crumbs and place in a bowl. In another bowl combine eggs and 1 Tbsp milk.
Remove kugel balls from freezer. Dip into egg mixture, the cornflake crumbs. Fry balls in oil, about 1 minute each side until golden brown.
Place fried kugel balls on a paper towel lined plate to remove excess grease. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt while still hot.
Top with powdered sugar if desired. Serve while warm

Biblical storm cloud of dust and rain 'sent by God to put a barrier between Israel and ISIS'

Claims are being made that a biblical storm cloud of dust and rain was 'sent by God' to act as a barrier between Israel and ISIS .
The huge storm allegedly stopped on the border of Syria, and was 'unable' to enter Israel's Golan Heights region.
DIN: Can't be, because the Satmar Rebbe said in 1967 that G-d doesn't perform miracles  for the IDF ... only the "sitra achreh" do  miracles! 
But the Rebbe also said that the "6 million Jews were murdered by Hashem" and one shouldn't ask questions  .... so according to this logic, Hashem only kills,  doesn't save or perform miracles! Get me a stiff drink, folks!
Footage of the strange weather phenomenon was uploaded to Facebook by Israel News Online.
They claimed that the storm was an act of God, or 'divine intervention' to protect Israelis from the notorious terror group.
It is believed that the storm occurred last Thursday, December 1, at around 8am.
On Facebook, Israel News Online wrote: "A weather phenomenon occurred at 8am Thursday on the other side of the Syrian border, in the same place where ISIS attacked Israel.
This strange storm of what appears to be dust, cloud and rain did NOT cross the border fence into Israel. It sat like a barrier between ISIS and Israel."
One Facebook user replied: Absolutely the divine intervention of God protecting Israel. Amen!"
Other more cynical viewers disagreed, adding: "Actually, sorry to be boring, but it's simply a weather phenomenon."
But Israel News Online hit back almost immediately, writing: "Yes it is of course. Now do we ask who controls the weather? Whatever the cause it sat between ISIS and Israel and did not enter Israel."

Israeli Army men have one of the world’s highest life expectancies

Israelis in the army can toast l’chaim to their military service, which may be adding years to their lives, according to a new study.
Israeli men enjoy one of the world’s highest life expectancies — 80.6 years — second only to San Marino, and much greater than the worldwide average of 68.5 years, according to researchers at the Taub Center for Social Policy Studies, who said the age gap could be thanks to athletically grueling, mandatory 32-month service in the Israeli Defense Forces.
“In Israel, the army is one of the agencies with a particular status that allows it to impact public health,” Prof. Alex Weinreb said in statement released Wednesday.
Military service contributes to Israeli men’s physical fitness, which, in turn, improves their overall health and life expectancy, he said.
Weinreb first examined primary variables typically considered in life-expectancy studies – namely, a country’s levels of development and education, affluence, and measures of inequality.
A second group of criteria took into account the amount spent on health and the general accessibility to medical care, while a data set included demographic characteristics like population growth, crowding and fertility rates.
While the standard variables could account for over 80 percent of the variance in life expectancy among other countries, it didn’t sufficiently explain why Israeli men live so long, Weinreb found.
So he included another layer of variables: geography and religion.
Weinreb found that populations located along a coast – such as Israel’s — are generally healthier and have a higher longevity. He also considered the role religiosity played in life expectancy.
Finally, he took into consideration the contribution of IDF service to Israeli men’s overall health and wellness. He pointed out the effects of physical training in the military and how Israel’s low rates of cardiovascular disease and other medical conditions can be influenced by exercise.
The mortality patterns among Arabs and Jews in the country also supported his findings, he noted. And Data from more than 130 countries showed that men in other countries with a mandatory military service lived on average three years longer than their civilian counterparts, according to the study.
Arab-Israelis, who generally do not serve in the IDF, on average suffer from higher rates of heart disease than their Jewish counterparts, Weinreb said.
The study did not examine such a possible link among women or focus specifically on ultra-Orthodox men, few of whom serve in the IDF.
Weinreb’s final set of criteria also found a direct correlation between life expectancy and how much a country spends on its defense.
“If Israel did not have the compulsory military service and spending that it currently has, male life expectancy in Israel would probably be much lower,” he said.
Compulsory military service is “not a cure-all,” but there is “some evidence supporting [military conscription’s] positive influence on public health,” he said.
But Critics said plenty of questions linger about the study’s conclusions.
Dr. Yuval Heled, former head of the Institute for Military Physiology at Sheba Medical Center, that increased exercise during a relatively short period of time is not a guarantee of a longer, healthier life, he told The Times of Israel.
“I’m not familiar with the details of the study, but I do have some reservations about it,” he said Wednesday. “If the study isolated and researched soldiers serving in combat units, then there could be a positive correlation.”
But he pointed out that most Israeli men don’t serve in combat units, where the physical fitness demands are far greater than those of soldiers serving in clerical positions.
“I don’t know that as a whole Israelis between the ages of 18 and 21 are more physically fit than their college-aged peers in other countries,” he said. “Doing rigorous exercise as a young adult isn’t necessarily going to increase your life expectancy.”

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Target Blocks Computers from Israel .... UPDATED!

Last year announced that they would be delivering to Israel, which made everyone in Israel excited, but yesterday Target made a decision to block all Israeli computers from being able to view their website.
Anyone from Israel who tries to access the site gets an”Access Denied” message.

Rabbonim Condemn Mizrachi the "Holocaust Denier"

The Stoliner Rebbe’s Unique Approach To Technology

Image result for stoliner rebbe

Of the different approaches in dealing with the dangers of technology, the Stoliner Rebbe is known to have a more engaging approach. Seeing it as a reality of life, the Rebbe puts more of a focus on confronting it than avoiding it.
On Motzei Shabbos Parshas chayei Sarah, Hagaon R’ Shimon Spitzer a prominent Magid Shiur in Karlin delivered and explained the Rebbe’s approach on dealing with the challenges posed by technology.
The following is a free-style translation from Yiddish to English of the shiur on Technology by R’ Shimon Spitzer regarding the Rebbe’s derech in this sensitive area, courtesy of Bechadrei Chareidim.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Good Riddance John Kerry, we won't miss you

Image result for john kerry caricature
John Kerry just couldn't resist.

Even though his pubic career is about to end--even though the Israeli-Palestinian "peace process" is long dead--even though he has absolutely nothing to gain from it--the 73 year-old Kerry just could not resist unleashing one final blast at Israel.

Kerry's disingenuous and mean-spirited attack on Israel at the Saban Forum on Sunday served as a powerful reminder of how good it is that he is about to leave office--and how dangerous for Israel it would have been if he had remained as secretary of state.

Kerry said he finds it "profoundly disturbing" that many members of the Israel cabinet think a Palestinian state isn't such a great idea. Kerry acts as if Palestinian statehood has been an enshrined part of U.S. policy since time immemorial. In fact, only two presidents have endorsed Palestinian statehood; it has been part of U.S. foreign policy for only a very brief time. Future presidents have every right to disagree with the wisdom of that proposal. And certainly Israeli cabinet members have even more of a right to question its wisdom.

"There will be no advance and no separate peace with the Arab world without the Palestinian process and Palestinian peace," Kerry absurdly declared. Apparently he has forgotten that Israel already has separate peace treaties with two of the four neighboring Arab states, Egypt and Jordan. Israel does not need a peace treaty with Lebanon, and Israel has nothing to gain from a peace treaty with Syria, since Syria is no longer a functioning state. So what "peace with the Arab world" is Kerry blabbering about? Does Israel really need the recognition of Morocco or Qatar?

Kerry also rambled off into a long denunciation of "the settlements" for supposedly "blocking peace." He said how bothered he was that Israel has ignored his "warnings" about settlements.

 Maybe one of the reasons Israel has ignored those "warnings" is that Israelis are sick and tired of Kerry's hypocritical lecturing. He never says a word about the massive illegal Palestinian construction in the territories. He acts as if it's a given that a Jew residing in Judea-Samaria or many parts of Jerusalem is illegal and illegitimate while it's perfectly fine for Arabs to build anywhere and everywhere they please.

At the Saban Forum, Kerry also launched into another tired recitation of the claim that Israel's "can't be both democratic and Jewish" unless it permits creation of a Palestinian state. 

This old canard has been discredited innumerable times, but Kerry just won't let go of it. "There are more Arabs than Jews living between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River," Kerry pompously asserted, as if Israelis are unaware of that questionable fact, which demographic changes are altering.
Yes, there are a lot of Arabs living in those territories. But they're not Israeli citizens. They're citizens of the Palestinian Authority. There is no threat to Israel's democratic majority, because non-citizens don't vote in Israel--just as they don't vote in the United States or any other country. The "demographic threat" is a myth.

Kerry has repeatedly demonstrated both a poor grasp of the facts and a troubling willingness to harass, threaten, and pressure Israel.

In February 2014, he warned that if Israel did not make more concessions to the Palestinians, it would face “an increasing delegitimization campaign”--a campaign that he boosted with his comment, as he surely knew he would. In April 2004, he said Israel would turn into "an apartheid state" if it did not quickly agree to a Palestinian state.

Last October, Kerry declared at Harvard University that "there's been a massive increase in settlements over the course of the last years" --a total lie, since Israel has not authorized the establishment of a single new "settlement" in Judea-Samaria since Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin froze the creation of new communities there in 1992. Even worse, he said the mythical settlement-building causes Palestinian "frustration" which then causes Palestinian violence--thereby providing a justification for Palestinian Arabs to stab, shoot, bomb and run over Israelis.

Kerry met Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas in Amman last February 21. It was the height of the so-called Knife Intifada, the daily Palestinian stabbings of Israeli women and children, and incessant anti-Jewish incitement in the official PA press, radio, and television.

It could have been the moment that defined Kerry's career as secretary of state. It was his opportunity to speak the truth, to display moral fiber, to exhibit strength of character and fortitude. It was his chance to tell Abbas, in no uncertain terms, that the violence and to stop, immediately and completely, or the PA would forfeit the $500-million it receives each year from the Obama administration.

Instead, what did Kerry tell Abbas? He called for "calm and a decrease in violence, incitement and inflammatory rhetoric." That was it. "A decrease." Not an end to violence--just a decrease. Thanks a lot, Mr. Secretary.

Kerry will be remembered as a secretary of state who appeased Palestinian terrorists and tyrants, while lecturing and pressuring America's democratic ally. 

Goodbye, John Kerry. We won't miss you.

(Mr. Flatow, a New Jersey attorney, is vice president of the Religious Zionists of America and the father of Alisa Flatow, who was murdered by Palestinian terrorists in 1995.)

Monday, December 5, 2016

Eating just 20 grams of nuts every day could reduce the chances of dying early by more than a fifth

A handful of nuts a day can slash your risk of heart disease and cancer.

Eating just 20 grams of nuts every day could reduce the chances of dying early by more than a fifth, scientists found.
Nuts, particularly walnuts, sunflower seeds and pecans, are high in antioxidants, thought to protect the body against cell damage.

Peanuts – technically a legume – are so healthy that a review suggests even peanut butter could help us live longer, although the sugar and salt it contains may cancel out some benefits.

An analysis of 20 studies by Imperial College London found people who ate a daily ounce of nuts slashed their risk of coronary heart disease by almost a third and their cancer risk by 15 per cent. 

The findings suggest they may also prevent people dying from respiratory disease and diabetes, although there is less evidence.

Co-author Dr Dagfinn Aune, from the School of Public Health at Imperial, said: ‘We found a consistent reduction in risk across many different diseases, which is a strong indication that there is a real underlying relationship between nut consumption and different health outcomes. It’s quite a substantial effect for such a small amount of food.’

Previous studies have suggested that nuts protect the heart and prevent premature death, but there had been little evidence on cancer risk or other disease.

The review highlights that walnuts may be particularly good at warding off cancer, and peanuts at reducing the risk of stroke.

The handful of nuts a day can include tree nuts, defined as dry fruit containing one seed within the ovary wall which becomes hard at maturity. These include walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, cashews, pistachios and pecans.

However Brazil nuts, which are actually seeds, and peanuts, classified as legumes, were incorporated within the studies as they have similar nutritional properties.

Despite being high in fat, all these nuts are healthy because they contain poly-unsaturated fat, while also packing in fibre, magnesium and vitamin E. It is believed they protect against heart and blood vessel disease by helping the body break down cholesterol and cutting the body’s resistance to insulin.
The nuts in the bottom of Christmas stockings this month may also reduce cancer risk by helping the body develop new blood vessels and maintaining cells.

An average of at least 20 grams of daily nut consumption was found by the review to cut the odds of dying from respiratory disease almost in half, and cut diabetes risk by nearly 40 percent, although the researchers noted more data is needed.

There may be no need to eat any more, as the researchers found little evidence of further improvement in health by consuming above the 20 grams.

Dr Aune said: ‘Nuts and peanuts are high in fibre, magnesium, and polyunsaturated fats - nutrients that are beneficial for cutting cardiovascular disease risk and which can reduce cholesterol levels.

‘Some nuts, particularly walnuts and pecan nuts, are also high in antioxidants, which can fight oxidative stress and possibly reduce cancer risk.

‘Even though nuts are quite high in fat, they are also high in fibre and protein, and there is some evidence that suggests nuts might actually reduce your risk of obesity over time.’

The study, led by researchers from Imperial College London and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, is published in the journal BMC Medicine. 

Dennis "the menace" Ross' obsession with the Palestinians!

Image result for dennis ross
Dennis "the Menace" Ross
Att'y Stephen M. Flatow
The writer, a New Jersey attorney, is the father of Alisa Flatow, who was murdered by Palestinian terrorists in 1995 on a study trip to Israel when the bus she was on exploded on her way to the beach in Gush Katif.. 

For nearly thirty years, Dennis Ross has been advising presidents of the United States to pursue more pro-Palestinian policies. 

This week, he was at it again, offering President-elect Trump some unsolicited "tips" on the Mideast on the op-ed page of the Washington Post. Hopefully the new president will pay less attention to Ross's bad advice than his predecessors did.

Ross first came to wide public attention in 1989, when the New York Times revealed that he was one of the State Department officials responsible for convincing outgoing President Ronald Reagan and incoming President George H.W. Bush to recognize the PLO. Ross insisted that Yasir Arafat had genuinely given up terrorism. That blew up in Bush's face the following year, when PLO-affiliated terrorists tried to attack Tel Aviv beachgoers and the U.S. embassy nearby. Bush broke off the PLO ties that Ross had so carefully cultivated.

During the years following the 1993 Oslo accords, Ross was one of the architects of the Clinton administration's close relationship with Arafat. Once again, Ross claimed Arafat had become moderate. 

That myth was shattered (again!) when Israel intercepted the Karine A, a Palestinian ship full of weapons that Arafat tried to smuggle into the Palestinian Authority's territories in January 2002. The ship contained 50 tons of weapons and 700,000 rounds of ammunition. 

But Ross soon did it again. 
From 2009 to 2011, he served as a senior aide to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and as Middle East director on the National Security Council. Those were the years when Hamas was starting to build tunnels to enable its terrorists to reach Israel from Gaza, and the Israelis began restricting the importation to Gaza of building materials that could be used for the tunnels. So the Obama administration sent Ross to the region--to pressure Israel.

Ross later admitted what he did: "I argued with Israeli leaders and security officials, telling them they needed to allow more construction materials, including cement, into Gaza so that housing, schools and basic infrastructure could be built. They countered that Hamas would misuse it, and they were right.”

Assured by the Obama administration's insistence that the cement would not be used for military purposes, Israel allowed it to be imported. 
The result? Hamas built "a labyrinth of underground tunnels, bunkers, command posts and shelters for its leaders, fighters and rockets," 

Ross acknowledged. They built them with "an estimated 600,000 tons of cement," some of which was "diverted from construction materials allowed into Gaza."  (Washington Post, Aug. 8, 2014)

Despite this record of being consistently wrong on Israel and the Palestinians, Ross is at it again.  

In a December 1, 2016 op-ed in the Washington Post titled "Tips for Trump on the Middle East," Ross offers the next president some suggestions that he says will advance the cause of Israeli-Palestinian peace.

Just as in the past, Ross pretends he is calling for concessions by both sides. But the concessions by the Israelis would all be concrete and almost irreversible, while the "concessions" by the Palestinians are all rhetorical and could be reversed at any moment.

Israel, he proposes, should officially announced that it would "no longer build outside the settlement blocs." 

That would mean a complete freeze on all Jewish construction in the vast majority of the Judea-Samaria region. In the affected areas, a young Jewish family that has a new baby would not be permitted to build another room in their house to serve as a nursery. A kindergarten would not permitted to expand its playground. Jewish life would be effectively choked off.

If Israel tried to reverse such an officially-announced freeze, it would face international condemnation and maybe even sanctions. Meaning that the freeze would probably be irreversible.

What "concessions" would the Palestinians have to make in exchange, according to Ross? 

They would "acknowledge that there are two national movements requiring two states for two peoples" and they would "end [their] efforts to delegitimize Israel in all international forums."

The first part of that formulation is obviously vague, and falls far short of recognizing the right of Israel to exist as a Jewish state. The second part means that the Palestinian Authority would temporarily stop introducing anti-Israel resolutions (big deal)--something that they could renew the minute they dislike some Israeli policy.

So once again, Israel would get vague rhetorical assurances, while the Palestinians would get tangible territorial and diplomatic gains.

That strategy didn't work in 1989, when the U.S. recognized the PLO. It didn't work in the 1990s, when the U.S. embraced Arafat again. And it didn't work in 2009, when the U.S. pressured Israel on the Gaza construction materials. 

So why should anyone think that Ross's current advice would be any better than the mistaken and dangerous advice he has offered in the past?

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Skverer Chassidim Buy Houses near Skver and rent them out to Latinos to stop Frum people from buying the houses!

It seems that New Square doesn't care about anyone except for Skverrer Chassidim!

In an effort to keep the area around New Square "Judenrein," New Square started buying up property around New Square and  renting them out to Latinos, bringing up the crime rate!

Recently they threatened the Kosiner Rebbe that had the "Chutzpeh" to buy a home in the area.

This idea that Jews cannot live near another Jewish Kehilah is crazy .....and never ever been practiced.

The Skverer Rebbe Shlitah is frightened that if other Jews move nearby the residents of New Skver will emulate their "modern" ways, and become Chas Ve'sholom ...Modern, or even worse Satmar Chassidim!