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Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Harvest of Terror


Harvest of Terror


There is a current and perennial fight that happens every year in Israel, and if you don't know the facts, you may be lulled into the idea that it is simply an agricultural dispute. It goes way beyond agriculture. The annual "olive tree problem" is a significant issue, not just in the rural areas of Israel, especially in Samaria, but for every person who cares about the future of Israel.

Please don't believe the claims of clueless television reporters and bleeding-heart left-wing people. It is not a case of "those settlers" destroying the olive trees in a mean-spirited attempt to make the "poor Palestinian people" go without an income or food or a job. Anyone who believes those reports has not only bitten at the bait of the Arabs, but has swallowed it hook, line and sinker. The war of the olive trees is not about olive trees at all. It's about land and safety.

The olive branch may be an ancient symbol of peace, but today, it is more a symbol of an unchecked Arab land grab. This is how it works. An Arab comes upon an old olive tree near a settlement. The tree, they know, is evidence of how long someone has lived in a place and who owns the land. Most older trees near settlements were planted by Jews, but some of the younger trees may have sprung up from an olive that rolled down a hill.

A lot of people, when picturing this scene, think the olives trees are growing in carefully defined orchards in nice straight lines, but most are not. In fact, unless you know what an olive tree looks like, you might think it was part of the scrub that dots the land of Samaria.

A lot of the trees were planted just outside of small Jewish towns in Samaria in order to define the boundaries of the settlement areas, but some trees are much older - and have been passed down from family member to family member for generations. If you don't believe the Torah, or the thousands of architectural landmarks that dot the "territories" of Israel as places of constant Jewish habitation, you can turn to these living testaments of family ownership of the land - a fact that has not escaped the notice of the Arab population.

Some trees are marked in to show who owns them, but in many areas it is just a matter of local knowledge who owns the tree - after all, it is on that person's land, or in their back yard, or it is on the block of land where their grandparents used to live. This doesn't matter to the Arabs, though.

The Arabs are intent upon proving they own the land, even though they do not. They will mark every small stick of olive tree that pokes from the ground, and they will mark the trees that are the ownership of others, as well. If the tree is marked, they destroy or erase the mark. Slowly, they attempt to mark every tree near a settlement in an effort to show that the trees belong to them. The closer the trees are, the better, because those trees can be allowed to grow large and bushy, providing perfect cover for terrorist activity against the Jewish population.

Then, claiming the "orchard" is theirs, the Arabs use the stolen and newly marked olive trees as an excuse to inch close to Jewish neighborhoods where they begin the surveillance for terrorist actions. With easily duped Westerners and soft-hearted ignorant Israeli college students as their accomplices, the Arabs make harvests of terror, reaping Jewish lives and security along with their stolen olives.

They also use these "orchards" to claim ownership of land blocks in strategic areas near Jewish communities. If you have ever been to Samaria, you will see that the Jews live on the hilltops, and the Arabs live in the valleys. It seems strange, at first. After all, the Jews are leaving all the fertile, green land for the Arabs to farm, while they struggle to make rocky and thorn-filled hillsides bloom. But when you realize that the Jews are there to protect Israel, you understand.

Those who live in Samaria chose to live on the hilltops from where Arabs could launch rockets at large cities like Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. When you understand this, you understand why these so-called "innocent" Arabs from the fertile river valleys would trudge up a rocky hillside to claim an olive tree next to a Jewish home on a hillside. They don't want olives, they want Jewish lives.

After they establish "ownership" of their stolen olive trees, they claim the land for their own. Next, they put simple stone structures there, then homes and then they build a settlement. The closer they can get to a Jewish population, the better. After all, the Jews are no threat to them, but they are a great threat to the Jews.

It is strange that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, President George Bush and the UN are screaming about "illegal outposts", but never seem to see the huge explosion of Arab homes, communities and mosques suddenly growing up hillsides near Jewish neighborhoods - all foreshadowed by the stealing of olive trees.

This is why, when I hear that the "settlers are destroying the Palestinian's olive trees," or that the "settlers are throwing rocks at the poor Palestinians who are trying to harvest their olives," I shake my head in disbelief and anger that any news agency would listen to this fiction and believe it.

But, I guess if someone is sitting in an office in downtown Tel Aviv or New York or Chicago, and has never seen an olive tree in Samaria, he might not understand the significance of an olive tree, and he might think that this is just a petty squabble between neighbors. But it's not. It's deadly serious business.

When I hear that the people of Elon Moreh or Itamar or Kedumim have destroyed olive trees, I know they have done it out of desperation. It says in Torah that we cannot destroy a fruit tree. These are religious people. The only reason they would go against a Torah prohibition is to protect life. I know that when they choose to destroy an olive tree it is to protect the lives of Jews in those towns. This is not about preventing an olive harvest, it is about preventing a harvest of terror.

So, the next time you are approached by a well-meaning soul who wants to help "rebuild Palestinian olive orchards" in the name of "peace", or you hear of a mixed up group of people like the Kibbutz Movement thinking that planting olive trees for Arabs is a good thing, please pass on this lesson. I hope they may be educated into understanding what a dangerous thing they are doing. But, if they don't get the message, we can still offer them an olive branch, just to be sure.

by Michelle Nevada
November 28, 2005

The End II

Please be careful....

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Esnoga Amsterdam (click!)

Yossele


mms://212.179.58.193/free/yossele-shirhamalot.mp3

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Wiske




Tuesday, November 22, 2005

The end.


Prefer to spend time with my books...

Houtsnede 17de eeuw



Uit jiddisch verhaal-prent-boek:
Rebecca lest kamelendorst,
Eliezer met zijn kamelen zoekt bruid voor zijn heersers zoon;
Isaac.


(Let op Europees bakstenen waterput, bleek haar met strik, zilveren kruik...
houtsnijkunstenaar was nooit in het Oosten...)

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Meer vrienden...



Titelblad met detail.



Waarde vrienden...

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Zomer in het Zuiden




Hanen kraaien mij mijn jeugd terug,
palmhaag ruikt mij weer tot knaap en
winden waaien mij opnieuw tot kind,
uitgedunde haren strelen zij tot bos
waar een verborgen bron ontspringt.

(Hedwig Speliers)
----------------

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Uit vervlogen tijd.....




"Les choses de la nuit".
Jean-Charles Aschero - France Inter-
"derrière le paravent"
"Le commissaire Joubert"

ah...wat een mooie uitzending was dat!

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Meer Wout Schram. Magisch Realisme

Uit eigen verzameling te koop:

Monday, November 14, 2005

Meer Wout Schram


Heb een aquarel van Wout Schram.(Naar Amedeo Modigliani).
Ik hou van Amedeo, zijn ranke, volle drangen. Hoe anders, hij was een tijdgenoot van A.Nahon & P.V.Ostayen.
Storm en Drang.

Wout Schram (1895-1987)




Sunday, November 13, 2005

Geef me maar een dulle griet...

Ah...een griet.

It’s the demography, stupid




‘What does it matter where this path leads, nowhere or elsewhere, if the furrow continues flowering, if the flash of lightning still inflames the night?’ writes Dominique de Villepin, Prime Minister of the French Republic, in his 823-page treatise on poetry. ‘If the poet still consumes himself, he refuses the enclosures of thought, certainties, to camp in the heart of the mystery, in the living spirit of the flame.’

Few people are as camp in the heart of the mystery as the flowery-furrowed M. de Villepin, but after the last two weeks he may be less enthusiastic about all those flashes inflaming the night. Poets, said Anatole France, are the unacknowledged legislators of the world. But in making one of them an actual acknowledged legislator the French have stretched the thesis beyond breaking point. Few countries are in such desperate need of ‘the enclosures of thought’.

Instead, the Prime Minister has announced ‘a raft of measures’, although, as rafts go, this one doesn’t seem likely to make it to shore. The measures include ‘the creation of an anti-discrimination agency’, ‘20,000 job contracts with local government agencies’ reserved for those in the less fashionable arrondissements, an extra E100 million for ‘associations’ in said neighbourhoods, etc.

In other words, M. de Villepin’s prescribed course of treatment is to inject the patient with a stronger dose of the disease. When you’ve got estranged demographic groups with 50–60 per cent unemployment and an over-regulated economy that restricts social mobility, lavish welfare is nothing more than government-subsidised festering. That doesn’t seem a smart move.

My colleague Rod Liddle writes elsewhere in these pages about the media’s strange reluctance to use the M-word vis-?-vis the rioting ‘youths’. I’m sure he’s received, as I have, plenty of emails arguing that there’s no Islamist component, they’re not the madrasa crowd, they may be Muslim but they’re secular and Westernised and into drugs. It’s the lack of jobs; these riots derive from conditions peculiar to France, etc. As one correspondent wrote, ‘You right-wing shit-for-brains think everything’s about jihad.’

Well, it’s true there are Muslims and there are Muslims: some blow up Tube trains and some rampage through French streets and some claim Mossad’s put something in the chewing gum to make Arab men susceptible to the seduction techniques of Jewesses. Some kill Dutch film-makers and some complain about Piglet coffee mugs on co-workers’ desks, and millions of Muslims don’t do any of the above but apparently don’t feel strongly enough about them to say a word in protest. And it’s also true that it’s better to have your Peugeot torched than to be blown apart on the Piccadilly Line. But what all these techniques — and those of lobby groups who offer themselves as interlocutors between bewildered European elites and ‘moderate’ Muslims — have in common is that they advance the Islamification of Europe.

Just for the record, I don’t think everything’s about jihad. Rather, I think everything’s about demography. It wasn’t a subject I took much interest in pre-9/11. A decade ago, for example, I tended to accept the experts’ line that Japan’s rising sun had gone into eclipse because its economy was riddled with protectionism, cronyism and inefficient special-interest groups. But so what? You could have said the same 30 years ago, when the joint was booming. The only real difference is that Japan’s population was a lot younger back then. What happened in the 1990s was what Yamada Masahiro of Tokyo’s Gakugei University calls the first ‘low birth-rate recession’. It’s not the economy, stupid. It’s the stupidity, economists — the stupidity of thinking you can buck demography.

Let’s take that evasive media characterisation of the rioters — ‘youths’ — at face value. What is the salient point about youths? They’re youthful. Very few octogenarians want to go torching Renaults every night. It’s not easy lobbing a Molotov cocktail into a police station and then hobbling back on your Zimmer frame across the street before the searing heat of the explosion melts your hip replacement. Civil disobedience is a young man’s game.

Now go back to that bland statistic you hear a lot these days: ‘about 10 per cent of France’s population is Muslim’. Give or take a million here, a million there, that’s broadly correct, as far as it goes. But the population spread isn’t even. And when it comes to those living in France aged 20 and under, about 30 per cent are said to be Muslim and in the major urban centres about 45 per cent. If it came down to street-by-street fighting, as Michel Gurfinkiel, the editor of Valeurs Actuelles, points out, ‘the combatant ratio in any ethnic war may thus be one to one’ — already, right now, in 2005. It is not necessary, incidentally, for Islam to become a statistical majority in order to function as one. At the height of its power in the 8th century, the ‘Islamic world’ stretched from Spain to India, yet its population was only minority Muslim. Nonetheless, by 2010, more elderly white Catholic ethnic frogs will have croaked and more fit healthy Muslim youths will be hitting the streets. One day they’ll even be on the beach at St Trop, and if you and your infidel whore happen to be lying there wearing nothing but two coats of Ambre Solaire when they show up, you better hope that the BBC and CNN are right about there being no religio-ethno-cultural component to their ‘grievances’.

Let me give a smaller example. In the Guardian the other day, Maureen Lipman wrote a marvellous rebuke to Clare Short over her claim that American support for Israel is the biggest single factor in global violence — an assertion so deranged it suggests a kind of societal Stockholm Syndrome. Miss Lipman is a longtime Labour luvvie but I doubt that she feels too comfortable with much of the British Left these days. I remembered those British Telecom ads she used to do back in the Eighties, playing a nice Jewish lady who’s proud her grandson has got an ‘ology’ in his A-levels, and I found myself thinking how unlikely it would be for any major business enterprise in Britain today to promote itself on TV with a Jewish-flavoured ad campaign. They’d never spell it out that explicitly, of course. I doubt anyone would even propose it at the most wide-ranging brainstorming session. But in the event of anyone running it up the flagpole nobody would salute. Affectionate Yiddisher stereotypes would not be received so warmly in the Britain of 2005. It’s a small loss, unspoken — a response to changing demographics, but also a reflection of how quickly those demographics have been internalised by the broader culture.

Back in March, Chris Doyle, director of the Council for Arab-British Understanding, wrote to our letters page. ‘Mark Steyn seems obsessed with trying tirelessly to prove that he was right about the “big things”,’ he grumbled, ‘forgetting that he is not the story.’

Au contraire, I am the story. That’s to say, I’d have been happy to recycle for another decade or so the same Clinton blowjob jokes that provided me with a very easy living during the 1990s were it not for the fact that I’ve got three kids under the age of ten, and it seems to me that by the time they’re in young adulthood a lot of the places I know and love — including, believe it or not, France — will be a lot less congenial, if not lost for ever. I’m in this thing for me and mine. I am the story. And so’s Mr Doyle. And so are you. And, if you reckon you’re not, you’d better be a childless centenarian in the late stages of avian flu. Unless you act, you’re going to lose your world.

So the question is: do you think M. de Villepin’s one last shot of failed French statism will do the trick?

Finished laughing yet? OK, on we go. It’s possible that, as Europeans often say, the American century is over, and the hegemonic lardbutt is about to keel over and expire. Anything might happen. Was it Timothy Garton Ash or Will Hutton who suggested that giant space monkeys might suddenly descend and eat Cleveland? Could be. I wouldn’t rule it out. But the point is that, while one can draft all sorts of hypothetical apocalyptic scenarios for the Great Satan, the European catastrophe isn’t hypothetical, but already under way.

Right now, the US produces roughly 25 per cent of global GDP. Most analysts figure that by mid-century it will still be producing 25 per cent, and so will India and China, but Europe will be down to 10 per cent. As National Review’s John O’Sullivan has noticed, the three global heavyweights are all strongly attached to traditional notions of national sovereignty, so European countries which have bet on EU-style ‘transnationalism’ as a way out of their individual weaknesses are likely to find that, far from being the inevitable way of the world, it’s already on the wane.

And that’s the optimistic scenario. More likely, those Continental demographic trends will accelerate, as they did during the decline of the Roman Empire, when the imperial capital’s population fell at one point as low as 500. Some French natives will figure that they don’t have the stomach for the fight and opt for retirement elsewhere. The ones who don’t will increasingly be drawn down the old road to the neo-nationalist strongmen promising to solve the problem. That’s why I call it the ‘Eurabian civil war’. The de Villepin-Chiraquiste tendency will be to accommodate and capitulate, but an unreconstructed minority will not be so obliging and will eventually act. Meanwhile, it will be the Muslims who develop a pan-European identity, if only because many have no particular attachment to France or Belgium or Denmark and they’ll quickly grasp that cross-border parties and lobby groups will further enhance their status. The European Union is already the walking dead, but the Eurabian Union might well be a goer.

It’s remarkable to me how many European commentators cling to the old delusions — mocking Bush for being in thrall to his own Texan version of Osama-like fundamentalism. I look on religion like gun ownership. That’s to say, New Hampshire has a high rate of firearms possession, which is why it has a low crime rate. You don’t have to own a gun and there are sissy Dartmouth College arms-are-for-hugging types who don’t. But they benefit from the fact that their crazy stump-toothed knuckle-dragging neighbours do. If you want to burgle a home in the Granite State, you’d have to be awfully certain it was the one-in-a-hundred we-are-the-world pantywaist’s pad and not some plaid-clad gun nut who’ll blow your head off before you lay a hand on his $70 TV. That’s the way it is with religion. A hyper-rationalist might dismiss the whole God thing as a lot of apple sauce, but his hyper-rationalism is a lot more vulnerable in a society without a strong Judaeo-Christian culture. American firearms owners have a popular slogan: ‘If you outlaw guns, only outlaws will have guns.’ Likewise, if you marginalise religion, only the marginalised will have religion. That’s why France’s impoverished Muslim ghettos display more cultural confidence than the wealthiest enclaves of the capital.

So what can be done? For the political class, the demography’s becoming an insurmountable obstacle. When your electorate’s split between a young implacable ethnic group and elderly French natives unwilling to vote themselves off their unaffordable social programmes, there aren’t a lot of options your average poll-watching pol will be willing to take. And the trouble with the social democratic state is that, when government does too much, nobody else does much of anything. At the very least, European citizens should recognise that the governing class has failed, that the conventional wisdom has run its course, and that it is highly unlikely that those culturally confident Muslims will wish to assimilate with anything as shrivelled and barren as contemporary European identity. Donald Rumsfeld, a man confined to the enclosures of thought, likes to say that weakness is a provocation. And for the last two weeks that’s all the French state has projected.

As evidence of anti-Europeanism in America, Timothy Garton Ash has quoted on several occasions — and, indeed, preserved in book form — a throwaway line of mine from April 2002: ‘To the list of polities destined to slip down the Eurinal of history, we must add the European Union and France’s Fifth Republic. The only question is how messy their disintegration will be.’ That may be ‘anti-European’ (though I don’t regard it as such) but so what? What matters is whether the assessment is right, and after the last couple of weeks that prediction looks better than the complaceniks’ view that there’s nothing wrong with the EU that can’t be fixed by more benefits, more regulation, more taxes, more immigration, more unemployment, more crime and more smouldering Citro?ns. If you carry on voting for the Euroconsensus, you’re voting for a suicide pact. M. de Villepin put it very well: ‘What does it matter where this path leads, nowhere or elsewhere?’ The Euroconsensus leads nowhere. Time to try elsewhere.

Mark Steyn - New Hampshire

Saturday, November 12, 2005

11 november








Eentje uit WW2. .תנצב"ה. הי"ד

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Flupke 2


trouwe vogel...

Posh. Deftig.



Flupke in 't zwart.
Papake in blauwgebloemd.
Grootva in 't wit.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Boontje komt om z'n loontje.

Heilig boontje.




'Paristinian state' not in Bush plan. (By Les Kinsolving)

While boasting that President Bush is making "great progress" in working toward the establishment of a separate Palestinian state in the Middle East, White House press secretary Scott McClellan said today in the case of Muslim violence in France, it is strictly an "internal matter" for the French government.

Keying off WND Editor Joseph Farah's column today calling for a separate "Paristinian" state in France for disaffected Muslims, WorldNetDaily asked McClellan at the White House press briefing about the option.


Said WND: "Since President Bush supports the creation of a separate Palestinian state to halt Muslim violence in Israel, will he now back the creation of an autonomous 'Paristinian' state to quell violence in France?"

Responded McClellan: "The president has made very clear what his view is when it comes to the Middle East peace process. And he was the first president to articulate a policy of two states living side-by-side in peace and security. We're making great progress there.

"In terms of what is going on in France, you need to talk to the French government on how they're working to address those matters. That's a matter – internal matter to France."

McClellan did not offer an explanation of why one nation's uprising is an internal matter and the other's is a major foreign-policy issue for the United States.

"It's clear that these freedom-fighters – whom I have dubbed 'Paristinians' – want a state of their own," wrote Farah.

"It's clear that the international community must force France to the negotiating table with these freedom fighters to begin the peace process that will inevitably lead to the creation of an autonomous, independent state of 'Paristine.'"

Continued Farah: "If it's good enough for Israel, it's good enough for the French surrender monkeys who have been leaders of the global movement to force the Jewish state into appeasement of terrorists. …


"The French have been speaking out of both sides of their mouths for too long. They've been speaking out of both of their nostrils for too long, too. If appeasement was the solution in Iraq, it's the solution for the 'Paristinian' revolt. If appeasement was the solution for Hitler, it's the solution for the 'Paristinian' revolt. If appeasement was the solution for Israel in dealing with its 'Palestinian' problem, it's the solution for France's 'Paristinian' uprising."

The French government implemented a 12-day state of emergency today, including a midnight curfew, as it deals with its 13th night of Muslim riots in as many as 300 towns across the country.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Venum


Well, there are very few things as instructive these days as watching the French grapple with their backyard intifada. The suburbs of Paris are now more dangerous than Jenin, and the French are getting their comeuppance for decades of snootiness, for anti-American and anti-Israel agitprop, for decades of cowardice, and especially for the repulsive French love of old Jerry Lewis movies.

Paris is now being targeted by violent rioting hordes. For years, the French accused American racism of having produced the race riots in the US in the 1960s and 1970s, as well as the Los Angeles riots after the Rodney King business. And the French are sure that only Jewish cussedness and just plain Israeli evil lie behind the behavior of the Palestinian pogromchiki. The Gall of dem Galls!

Well, now that the French are experiencing their own intifada, we suggest that they resolve the problem using the very same plan that they have been trying for decades to impose upon Israel. Yes, comrades, it is time to implement the Land for Peace Plan, Paris-style. Here it is:

The French Solution: Land for Peace

So after leading the Solidarity-with-the-Baathists movement in Europe during the recent Gulf War, France is now enjoying its own intifada by urban Muslim resistance fighters, in suburban Paris. Of course, this is all on top of France's long history of supporting Islamist fascism and Palestinian terrorism.

Now, a few years back, during a trip to Israel, French Prime Minister Lionel Jospin urged Israel to make concessions for peace. More interesting yet, in documents relating to his visit, Jerusalem was called the ''capital of the Palestinian Authority.'' And what do the French consider to be the capital of Israel? Tel Aviv, of course. This trip followed by a few years a visit made by President Jacques Chirac, who used the occasion of his visit in 1996 to announce that ''Syria has a moral right to demand return of the Golan Heights.''

These French politicians may be on to something important. Never one to back down from a challenge, I have prepared a set of proposals for consideration by the French people, so that not only can they preserve peace in Parisian suburbia, but they too can achieve a full, lasting and just peace with their urban resistance opponents.

First, until this plan is implemented in full, we must insist that the French government acknowledge that there is no military or police solution to the problems of violence in its suburbs, and only through recognizing the legitimacy of the demands of the murderers and rioters outside Paris can the problems be resolved.

Second, we all agree that territory must not be annexed by force. Therefore, we can also agree that Germany has a moral right to demand the return of Alsace-Lorraine, for the French aggression in 1945 and its consequent occupation must not be rewarded. ''A full withdrawal for full peace'' should operate here. Further, France must agree to the return and rehabilitation of all ethnic Germans expelled from Alsace-Lorraine after World Wars I and II, as well as all those they define as their descendents.

But this, of course, is just the first step toward a solution, as no aggression can be rewarded, and France has much other stolen territory to return. It took Corsica from Genoa, Nice and Savoy from Piedmont. As the successor state, Italy must get back all these lands. By similar token, territories grabbed from the Hapsburgs go back to Austria, including Franche-Comte, Artois and historic Burgundy. The Roussillon area (along the Pyrenees) must be returned to Spain, its rightful owner. And Normandy, Anjou, Aquitaine and Gascony must be returned to their rightful owners - the British royal family.

Not even this is enough for the sake of peace. Brittany and Languedoc must be granted autonomy at once, recognizing the Breton and Occitan liberation organizations as their legal rulers. This leaves the French government in control over the Ile de France (the area around Paris).

That, however, still does not solve the problem of the Holy City of Paris, sacred to artists, gourmets and adulterers. The Corsicans obviously have a historic claim to the Tomb of the Emperor Napoleon, their famed son, as well as the Invalides complex and beyond. For the sake of peace, is it too much to ask that Paris be the capital for two peoples? The French authorities must agree to prevent French Parisians from even entering the sacred tomb area, lest this upset the Corsicans.

The Saint Chapelle and the Church of Notre Dame, of course, will be internationalized, under joint Vatican-art-historical auspices. Indeed, the French should consider it a compliment of the highest order that so many people see Paris as an international city.

The French have nothing to complain about. They will enjoy the benefits of peace and retain control of the Champs Elysees.

Actually, come to think of it, even the Champs Elysees may be too much. Recalling the French position that Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel, perhaps the true French capital is not Paris at all, but Vichy.

Sunday, November 06, 2005



still enjoying it very much.
1000 x thanks!


It's All About Theft. (ask Bayle O. nee M.)



A few years ago I was visiting Lodz, Poland, with my father and I asked him about his childhood. He spoke of going to see Hollywood cowboy movies, winter skiing holidays in the southern mountains, summers at their country villa, his private school, his family's newspaper, and then he told me the tale of the grand piano. He said that one day, after the Germans had occupied Poland, a Nazi came to visit. He looked all around the apartment, finally settling on a beautiful black lacquered grand piano.

"Anyone here play piano?" he had asked.

"My sister plays," my father, who was 11 years old at the time, had answered helpfully.

"Bring her here," said the Nazi.

He went and got his big sister, a 16-year-old.

"Play something," the Nazi commanded.

She played a song. The Nazi left. The next day a couple of strong men came to the apartment, picked up the piano and carried it away. So the Nazi had in effect been 'shopping,' only without having to use money. He simply picked out whatever the Jews had that he wanted and took it. Nice trick.

The next day I went to an antique shop on Lodz's main street - Piotrokowska - just down from the Grand Hotel where we were staying. I looked around the large dusty room loaded with 'Judaica' and wondered what I could buy to symbolically reclaim some little object of my heritage, when suddenly I became acutely aware that all the Jewish things had at some point been stolen. While theft seems a relatively small thing to contemplate compared to the fact that the rightful owners were murdered, at that moment, surrounded by all sorts of things in an antique shop, the theft of it all became overwhelming. I realized that there must have been millions and millions and millions of things that they had stolen from the Jews.

Let's see, if there were six million Jews who died and they took say a hundred things from each one that would be, oh my goodness? Small things - like silver candlesticks and kiddush cups, jewelry, china, crystal, furs - large things - like pianos, carpets, armoires, homes, even villas. They took my father's family's villa and five families are now living in it. All those beautiful things - it must have been like one huge candy store for the thieves. Was it all for theft?

A chill went up my spine - the sort of chill you get when you are in a discussion with someone and you come upon an absolute truth, which suddenly illuminates many seemingly disparate things that now crystallize brilliantly into parts of the same whole. In a flash it hit me: for the perpetrators it wasn't really about the 'Jewish character' or anti-Semitism or ideology or religion or scapegoating or anything grand, philosophical, theosophical or principled (albeit wrongly so).

It was about theft. Small, petty, banal, common theft. Theft on a scale so grand and outrageous as to be mind-boggling. A theft so greedy that it searched the teeth of the dead for bits of gold, a theft so meticulous that it turned churches into warehouses with sorting spaces for shoes and clothes of the dead, a theft so insatiable that it drained the last bit of labor out of each Jew on the minimum of rations and experimented with barely alive skin-and-bone children with pleading eyes when they were too sick to work (why waste anything?).

I stood in horror with my hand over my mouth at the thought. I had seen into the heart of darkness and it was filled not with great philosophical sins, just theft, and an absence of morality that allowed this smallness to reign. The 'root cause' of evil is lack of morality. It seems circular, but it is in fact a great truth.

------------------------------------------

(So it is with anti-Semites. It's futile to look for the grand reasons why they do things. Look for the small reasons. They do them because they are evil and smallness reigns. It is said that every generation of Jews has their anti-Semites to deal with. My father's generation had the Nazis and we have the assorted Muslims and Arabs who have declared open season on Jews the world over. Daniel Pearl was killed simply for being a Jew. Who can doubt that we are witnessing the vilest form of anti-Semitism since the Nazis?

Decades ago Jews were run out of Arab countries, their belongings stolen. Barely a protest was heard. Now the Arabs are trying to run Jews out of their own country, to steal their land, land Jews have lived in for thousands of years, historically and biblically meaningful land, barren uninhabited land they reclaimed from swamps and built up into a thriving Israel. Land that only attracted any interest whatsoever from the Arabs once the Jews began reclaiming it. It's the same old story. Theft.

The difference is that the Jews of this generation, unlike those of my father's, are armed. At least they are in Israel. The question is will they use those arms to vanquish Amalek in this generation?)

Friday, November 04, 2005

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A Train In Poland. by Nissan Ratzlav




A Train In Poland.


My grandfather, of blessed memory, was an underground fighter – a partisan – in Nazi-occupied Poland during World War II. One of the main objectives of the partisans at the time was the destruction of eastbound train tracks, in order to prevent both the transport of German troops to the Russian front and the transport of Jews to their internment and ultimate deaths in Nazi concentration camps in the East.

On one occasion, my grandfather told me, his unit of partisan fighters blew up a railroad track and waited in ambush. When the train eventually approached, and was forced to stop in order to avoid crashing, the partisans charged aboard and killed all of the Nazi troops who were manning the cars. Afterwards, the partisans opened a passenger car from which they heard the sound of people excitedly talking and crying. Inside was a group of Jews dressed in their finest clothes and grasping suitcases filled with possessions – as if they were on their way to a long vacation. For their part, the Jews on board were shocked and apprehensive about the strange-looking people from the woods who had attacked their train and killed all of the Nazi soldiers. My grandfather told me that the rescued Jews, who moments before had been locked in the car, at first refused to believe that their liberators were Jewish themselves.

After some discussion, it became clear that the Jews in the railroad car were from occupied Belgium. The partisans described what awaited them in the Nazi concentration camps, but the Belgian Jews refused to believe their ears. They protested to the wild Jews from the forest that it was utterly impossible that the train was to take them to their deaths. “After all, the Germans told us that this was evacuation east for military purposes,” and, with a glance at the dark, foreboding Polish woods, "Who can believe that the cosmopolitan Germans would plan such a thing as you are telling us? In fact, the opposite is the case, we have to try and survive under the terms set by the Germans – your way is dangerous and only brings down the fury of the Germans on all the Jews.” The partisans tried to convince, cajole, plead, cry – nothing helped. They had to return to the sanctuary of the forest before the arrival of Nazi reinforcements.

The Belgian Jews waited patiently for the train to be repaired. Then, they continued on their journey eastward.

That story is one of the saddest, most chilling stories from that most sad and chilling period in history. However, more chilling is our failure to learn from those who have come before us. We still, in the words of Elie Wiesel, trust the promises of our friends more than the threats of our enemies.

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(While it is undeniably true that today’s train, the Arab-Israeli “peace train”, has run off the tracks, there are still those obstinate people who insist on remaining on board until the Arabs come to repair the train and carry all of us, for the sake of peace, of course, to our final destination. When Jewish leaders say that all that they are waiting for is a new leadership among the Arabs, they are saying that they are waiting for a new crew to fix the derailed train. They have no intention of leaving the train and confronting the truth of its ultimate destination.

Often, those Jewish leaders mired in the ideology of Olso appeasement pose what they deem to be a rhetorical question, “What’s the alternative?” The Belgian Jews in that Polish forest also made a calculation of “what’s the alternative.” They asked themselves: the woods or the camps? Total defiance or cooperation in an effort to appease our attackers? The answer to those now stuck in the “peace train” has to be the same as the response of my grandfather and his unit of partisans to the condemned Belgian Jews: the alternative, my brethren, is to take responsibility for yourselves and to live.)

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Good morning.


toda rabba

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

London Flowers 43



thanks to dear Ant & Shosh !