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Thursday, September 07, 2006

Belguim Destroying Holocaust Archives

-The Belgian authorities have destroyed archives and records relating to the persecution and deportation of Jews in Belgium in the 1930s and 1940s. Some of this happened as recently as the late 1990s. This was revealed during hearings in the Belgian Senate last Spring. Though the Senate report dates from 4 May the Belgian press has not yet mentioned the affair. [update 3 Sept.: The Brussels Dutch-language newspaper De Morgen published an article on page 6 of its 14 Dec. 2005 edition, under the title: Archives about Persecution of Jews were Intentionally Destroyed] The Senate report says that “documents about the period 1930-1950 have been destroyed on a massive scale.” READ THE REST OF THE ARTICLE...

-A terrorist leader and also leader of the PA police force, Zakariya Zubeidi, admits that Hezbollah and its leader, Nasrallah, has been very successful in sending money, weapons, etc. to Palestinian terror groups.
[...] In the fall of 2000, Hezbollah's TV station, Al Manar, began broadcasting calls for Palestinian Arabs to launch a major campaign of suicide terror, explicitly aimed at driving the Jewish population out of Israel. By flatly refusing to curb these broadcasts, indeed approving them, the Lebanese government made itself complicit in the incitement of terrorist violence in a neighboring country, an act of war. The question is: did Hezbollah limit itself to incitement? Or did Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah deliver on his promise to help Palestinian Arab terrorists with weapons, money and coordination for terror?

The answer is yes, says Zakariya Zubeidi, an Arab terrorist leader and also the Palestinian Authority police chief in Jenin. Nasrallah delivered.
-According to Eye On The UN, the United States is still refusing to isolate Iran despite their nuclear program and refusal to stop their uranium enrichment.
U.S.-Iran policy, spearheaded by Nicholas Burns and Secretary of State Rice, is a train to nowheresville, literally. That's what the world will look like (starting with the hole in the ground that was once Israel) when Iran has acquired nuclear weapons. Iran has no intention of stopping its nuclear weapons program voluntarily. Only a program of serious consequences, swiftly implemented, in response to its pursuit of weapons of mass destruction will prevent the catastrophe that looms before us.

We know that serious sanctions will not be forthcoming through the U.N. Security Council. China and Russia have made their views on the subject quite clear. But let's replay the words of Secretary Rice on May 10, 2006. Either Iran can accept a path to a civil nuclear program, she said, or "Iran can defy the international community and face isolation." And again on May 31, 2006: "It's a moment of truth for Iran." Tough talk - but the problem is that nobody takes American huffing and puffing seriously anymore.

Courtesy of the United States, Iranian proxy Hezbollah has just won a U.N. resolution permitting it to regroup and rearm to fight another day. Iran itself has been further emboldened by a resolution that does not even mention Iran, as if the war had nothing to do with it. U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan has been anointed to administer "peace" between Israel and those who want to annihilate the Jewish state. But Annan thinks those who share that destructive goal - and hail from states having no diplomatic relations with Israel - would make good members of his international "peacekeeping" force. Annan himself is now headed to Iran to further cement U.N. ties with terrorists, after his discussions with Hezbollah ministers in Lebanon. One wonders if he is planning to take in "the Holocaust is a joke" cartoon exhibit now playing in Tehran.

-The New York Post has an article, written by Uriel Heilman, that describes how Hezbollah's latest "victory" against Israel has paved the path for the entire Arab world to believe that Israel can now be defeated if they combine all their forces, alla 30 and 40 years ago.
ISRAEL'S war with Hezbollah in Lebanon has aroused not just great anger in the Arab world, but also great hope - hope that Israel can be defeated.

"We had given up on the military option. We believed this belonged to history," Hani Hourani, director general of the Al-Urdun Al-Jadid ("New Jordan") Research Center, told me the other day in his office. "By taking the initiative, Hezbollah created a new way of thinking about the whole conflict in the region: Israel is not that invincible. It could be beaten. It could be harmed."

"Even people like me, the moderate people, who never liked or supported Hezbollah, we began to think twice about how we were wrong," Hourani said. "Hezbollah, even if we don't agree with its ideology, was suggesting a different option to the Arab people."

Renewed optimism about confronting Israel by force of arms isn't limited to the anti-Western masses. It's growing among the Arab world's moderates, who share the view that Israel is a colonialist and Western imposition on the region.

-Finally, regardless of your religious denomination or observance, the following story will bring tears to your eyes.
[...] One Soldier's Miracle

Nechama Frank, Ph.D.

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine traveled to visit family in Israel. He had brought with him from the US a Mezuzah in a beautiful silver cover as a gift for his relatives.

Upon arrival, he rented a car and began his journey from the airport to the Har Nof neighborhood in Jerusalem where his relatives lived. Not far outside the airport he saw a group of Israeli soldiers walking. Feeling sorry for them in the 105 degree heat, he pulled over and asked if any were going in the direction of Har Nof and if they would they like a ride. Not able to speak fluent Hebrew, it took a moment as they struggled with the meaning, and then one young man stepped forward and said he was on his way to Har Nof and would greatly appreciate a ride. He got into the car, and introduced himself as Menachem.

As they journeyed they spoke in halting Hebrew and got to know each other a bit. The soldier shared with my friend the purpose of his visit to Har Nof. Our sergeant informed us that tonight we are all to go home and spend time with family. Tomorrow we will become part of the ground offensive, our unit being the one that will enter deepest into Lebanon and we will not know how long it will be before we see them again or even if in fact we ever will. So I go home not just to spend time off with family but to take leave of them and say Good Bye. Just in case...

By this point they had successfully reached Har Nof and the soldier gave my friend directions to his home. As it turned out, Menachem's family lived just down the road from my friends relatives.

Stopping beside his house, the soldier began to bid my friend farewell, but my friend said, Wait! I have something for you.

Carefully drawing the beautiful Mezuzah encased in silver from his carry on luggage, he unwrapped it and gave it to the boy, whose eyes opened in wonder. I want you to have it. Do you know what it is?, my friend asked earnestly.

The boy responded, That's a Mezuzah! At the home where we first lived in Tel Aviv we had them on every door of the house. It was my brother who was in the army at the time and we lost him during an ill fated raid on a suspected terrorist stronghold. He was the only one killed. Shortly after, my parents decided to move us from Tel Aviv to Har Nof, not able to live with the ghost of my brother in every room. They left all the Mezuzahs behind, saying, that is what you do when a Jew buys your home. After we had moved I waited for them to purchase new Mezuzahs to place around our new home as it had none, but days turned into weeks and I finally asked why they hadn't put any up yet. My father said in a voice I'd never heard him use before, that G-D had forsaken us.

Seeing my confusion and fear, my mother pulled on his arm, telling him that was enough. But he continued, No Ettela, the boy should know the way of the world. Turning to me he said, It is true. We were G-d fearing Jews our entire lives -- your mother and I. And what did we get in return? G-d took our first born son and some day you too will be forced to go into the army and who knows what will be??

I remember being terrified thinking that if G-d had truly forsaken us how would we continue to go on? These are still questions I ask and now the time for me to serve in the army has come.

My friend handed him the Mezuzah and said, I want you to take this and place it in your shirt pocket. The Torah teaches that a Mezuzah [discussed in this week[s Torah portion, Eikev), has the power to protect the home and those living in the home. And it is said anyone on their way to perform a mitzvah will be provided with special protection. Do not go into battle without it. When you return from the war you and I will put this up on your home together.

The soldier thanked him for the gift, saying, I am named Menachem, which means comfort, yet it is you who has brought me comfort. They embraced and the boy turned one last time to wave before entering his home. My friend continued on to his relatives home where he recounted the story of the soldier named Menachem whom he had been blessed to meet on the way from Tel Aviv.

As the days passed, my friend became more and more concerned with the fate of the boy he had encountered on the way from the airport. For some reason, their journey together made him feel deeply connected to this young man. He listened avidly to the radio for updates, hearing of the Israeli soldiers killed during the ongoing war against the Hezbollah in Lebanon. Then came the day he had so dreaded. His relatives returned from the shuk (the market place), to find him seated at the table, tears streaming down his face, his arm draped over the radio still clutching the off knob. They knew at once what must have happened and rushed to console him.

For days he was unable to leave the house but realized he must visit the home of the boy to pay his respects while they sat shiva for a second son, their last child. As he walked down the road leading to the boys home, it were as if his feet were made of lead, and with each step his heart beat faster and seemed to need to work harder in order to carry him the short distance to his destination.

As he neared the house, he thought he heard laughter and singing. Believing he had the wrong home he backtracked and approached again from the other side, following the direction he had been traveling the night he came from the airport.

Again he found himself at the same house and now distinctly heard the laughter and singing coming from the windows which stood open.

Hesitantly, as is the custom during Shiva, he entered the house without knocking. He was amazed by what he saw. Everywhere people were laughing and hugging. Several children were singing songs he recognized, songs of thanksgiving. Everywhere he looked food was heaped on platters, and banners were gently swaying in the breeze coming through the opened windows. No one sat on footstools, and all the mirrors remained uncovered, not a normal sight in a house of mourning.

Confused, he looked for a couple who might be the boy's family. Perhaps in another room, he thought and began to make his way through the house. A middle aged man came up to him, introduced himself as the father of the boy and asked if he was a friend of Menachem's.

Taken aback by all he had witnessed, he could barely stutter a Yes. Before he could get out the traditional words offered to mourners, the man broke into a huge smile, slapped him on the back and said something he surely couldnt have understood right. It sounded like You must come and see him then?.

But Jews don't display the dead,? he thought, greatly disturbed by the possibility. But then again, this father had appeared quite mad, smiling with the death of his last child. He dutifully followed the man down a hallway. At the end of the hall was a doorway, standing slightly ajar. The man pushed it open fully, and gestured my friend inside. Reticently, he entered, finally turning his head to see what was in the room. To his great shock and utter bewilderment, there lay the boy. Alive.

His leg was in a cast but he looked otherwise unharmed and healthy.

What is this? he cried. But, but I heard your name read with the rest of the names of the dead on the radio just three days ago.?

I am sorry I was responsible for causing you such anguish, the boy began. There was a mistake, as I had been unconscious and originally they took me for dead, notifying my family and announcing my name before realizing the mistake. You can imagine the astonishment of my parents when I was transported home later that evening. But there is more to the story than that my friend, and it is a tale you must hear, for you play the major role within it.

We entered Lebanon as scheduled at nightfall, taking up our positions by midnight. When the word was given, we began to attack but soon came to realize we had been given faulty information and there were far more Hezbollah than we had been lead to believe. We had fallen into an ambush. I was out in front. Suddenly, screams sounding like banshee warriors broke the silence and bullets were everywhere. The rest had to be told to me as this is all I remember. We miraculously won the battle, turning back the Hezbollah fighters though they must have outnumbered us 3 to 1.

It was my Menachem who was the miracle, said his father proudly. The way they tell it, Menachem, as a function of being out in front, drew all the initial gunfire. His fellow soldiers saw him fall but the distraction let them take down many of the Hezbollah fighters and the remainder, when they saw the turning of their luck, withdrew, leaving the rest of the unit entirely untouched.

When they first told my wife and I that our son had died, it was like reliving what happened with his older brother. I railed against G-d for taking our second son exactly the same way as he had taken our first.

As it turns out I had been shot in the leg and through the heart, Menachem continued.

The bullet missed then? my friend asked.

No, the boy replied, It was dead on.

So what happened? he asked.

Silently, Menachem took something out from his shirt pocket. As he opened his hand, my friend saw the silver Mezuzah he had given him only days before. Embedded in it was a single bullet.

Do you remember your promise? Menachem asked.

Yes, of course.

Hobbling to the front of the house Menachem opened the door. Watched by those celebrating within as well as by neighbors arriving from without, Menachem held the Mezuzah in place, as my friend hammered the nails to affix it to the doorpost.

Taking his hand away when they were done he kissed it reverently as tears coursed down not only his cheeks but those of his fathers, who stood beside him. The bullet from the terrorists gun, meant for Menachem's heart, remains a part of this special Mezuzah that helped save one heros life, to this day.

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