Monday, May 30, 2011

Things To Come

I would like to thank the people that replied to my tweet. I have decided that I will be recording videos, put on YouTube or Podcast, depending on my computer skill level.

As I have been saying for some time, the point of Supporting Our Israel is positive. It is proactive. So to follow that, it is important to give the Political, Economic, nice side of the story commentaries. On the other hand, why do we fight so hard to keep Israel as it is. Ideologically, we need to know WHY we do what we are doing and what to do when Israel is in Jew's hands.

After a few discussions with my Rabbis, friends and colleagues, I have decided to work through the Halachic (Jewish Law) views and Orthodox philosophic views of Israel. The boundaries, the mitzvah of Settling and things of the sort. As well, the Halachos of living in Israel, the agriculture, the mitzvos that dependent on the land, etc, are so important.

I have decided that I am starting a YouTube channel. It will have many items to watch and to learn from. I am going to start with two things. The first, and extremely important, are the Mishnayos of Seder Zeraim. Seder Zeraim is applicable (for the most part, besides for Masechet Brachos) ONLY in Israel. So to start on these will be great. Secondly, I am going to be going through the sefer, Em HaBanim Semeicha, by HaRav Yissachar Shlomo Teichtal, HY"D.

I will let everyone know when it is up. It will take some time to start. I will first start with the Mishnayos, as it will be easier to get those up and running. Soon after, Em HaBanim Semeicha. Once we finish Em HaBanim Semeicha, we'll start another sefer.

To strengthen the ideology as well as the active support of Israel is going to be a blast and I hope everyone will join me in learning the holy words about the Holy Land! I look forward to learning with you!

You can follow me on YouTube at: http://www.youtube.com/user/SupportingOurIsrael.

BECOME MY FRIEND!!

Jerusalem Video: 4000 years in 5 minutes



Truly superb video!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Amazing Video.

Happenings...

First, I would like to thank Lizie for her contribution on Supporting Our Israel. It went over very well and I got a tons of hits because of her article. Thank you so much and I look forward to publishing more articles of yours anytime!

Second, please..and I mean....PLEASE check out the Holy Land Phone coupon on the left side of the website. My dear friend, Yaakov, owner of Holy Land Phone, is a big supporter of the site and is and was so excited to offer my readers deals on cell phone rentals in Israel. If you are planning on going to Israel and you need a cell phone, please go to his website.

Third, I am in a pickle. I have made it a point to keep away from politics, as much as I could at least. I am not sure how much longer I can go on that way. Not because there isn't a plethora of positive news and business building available in Israel, because there is. It is because yesterday I received a call from my little sister, in college in Seattle, my home state. She called me all worked up because of a situation that occurred in her history class.

At the outset, I must applaud the teacher for ending the debate before it got too heated. That being said, the education of Americans, in regard to the complete story of Israel, is severely lacking. Bullet point statements are made by idiots and reproduced by even bigger idiots. People like Tom Friedman, author and analyst for the New York Times, and other slime rags, who posit that a repeat of Tahrir Square events in Egypt should be repeated in Jerusalem. This outrageous thesis is dangerous and is calling for the overthrow of the Democratic State of Israel.

I think politics is important in context. Historical context, especially, is so important. Therefore, I would like to start writing a series of articles that open up and set the record straight, historically and politically. That doesn't mean I wont be writing other articles as well, but it is about time to set the record straight.

Enjoy the ride people.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Peace Must Be Anchored in Security

I would really like to thank Lizie, @liziemozc on Twitter, for taking my offer for guest writers! All the way from BRAZIL!! Supporting Our Israel is really worldwide! I have not changed or fixed her writing at all, as I feel that it takes away from her personal flavor. Please enjoy! Follow Lizie on Twitter! If anyone else would like to guest write, please let me know!

 

"PEACE MUST BE ANCHORED IN SECURITY": NETANYAHU GIVES A LESSON OF LUCIDITY TO OBAMA.

What about the pronouncement of Binyamin Netanyahu in the U.S. Congress?

Firm, sharp, true. And applause with justice. While here in Brazil I watched the speech of Bibi on CNN over the internet, I was thinking that Obama picked the right time to travel to England. After all, the comparison between the discourse of Israeli Prime Minister to the U.S. president is embarrassing. Netanyahu stated, with awareness, the crucial moment that lives the Middle East, to the U.S. who watched last week, a proposal, at least "unprecedented" of its chairman. So Israel should reinvent International Law and return the annexed territories, backing to pre-1967 borders? Bibi was resounding: NO. The boundaries, he said, are "indefensible" that is a security issue for Israel, something that to Obama seems always under control, even when Hamas is sleeping by Israel's side.

The approach of Barack Obama with the Muslim world, as strategic as dangerous for everyone involved, begins to unravel the mystery of why a candidate such as the atypical had such as high popularity ratings. Obama is a good lawyer: reconcile, shakes hands with one and another, but will not commit to anyone in fact. This is unprecedented in the history of the "best friends, Israel and USA".

The creation of a Palestinian state can be viable? Yes. The Israeli PM said he was willing to sit down and discuss this possibility. He reiterated that Israel will not be the last to recognize the Palestinian state. But how to do this with those who never recognized the Jewish state? By joining with Hamas, Fatah took to himself a terrorist credential that bar any attempt at negotiation. When Bibi says six words spoken by Mahmoud Abbas, "I recognize the Jewish state", could change history, he's right. While the Palestinian Authority does not resolve its internal problems and do not decide what kind of state they want to be, there will be no negotiation. And that directly depends on the choice between Hamas or peace. After all, what is the purpose of creating a Palestinian state? It is meet people in a peaceful territory, united by the same culture or respect for other cultures, progress and democracy, as the Israeli model? Or to be a militarized state, to legitimize the behavior of terrorist groups and become a more powerful enemy for Israel?

As it turns out, peace is not about a choice of Israel, but Palestine, and the paths leading to it are still uncertain. The only concrete fact is that Israel exists because it has that right, others recognize it or not, and as mentioned Bibi, is the only democracy in the region, is "what is right in the Middle East." For now, the only state that showed a right to exist was Israel. And he must defend it from any threat until the end.

Shalom from Brazil,

Liziê Moz Korssak Correia.

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Faith

Rav Avraham Yitzhak Kook, ZTVK"L, wrote a beautiful poem named "The Faith." I am not sure if it was written as an alternative to Hatikvah, as has been reported, but I believe it should be the National Anthem...it is gorgeous. Obviously, some things are lost in translation, but you get the idea!

Eternally there lives in our hearts,
The steadfast faith
That we will return to our holy land,
The city in which David settled.
There we shall fulfill our destiny,
[which the] Father of many [nations] acquired,
There we shall live our life
The life of the nation of multitudes.
There we shall serve our G-d
With joy, happiness and song
There we shall pilgrimage
Three times each year.
The Torah of life is our desire,
Given by a Heavenly voice,
Forever it is our heritage,
A gift acquired in the desert.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Shabbat Shalom

To all my Readers, Old and New,

I hope everyone has a wonderful Shabbos/Shabbat/Sabbath. Relax, Enjoy, Connect. Keep Israel in your prayers.

Good Shabbos!

Simon

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Man That SHOULD Run For President!!!

Congressman Allen West had a significant and extremely important response to President Obama's remarks today about Israel. Needless to say, this is a leader. Congressman West is a true friend of Israel and should be hoisted on the Pro Israel lobby's shoulders. When he runs for President, which I hope he does, every Jew in the United States MUST vote for him...Its not even a question.

Also, everyone with a little bit of time and a little bit of HaKaras haTov should contact Congressman West's office and thank him for his support of the State of Israel!

Washington DC Office:
1708 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515
ph: 202-225-3026 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            202-225-3026      end_of_the_skype_highlighting begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            202-225-3026      end_of_the_skype_highlighting • fx: 202-225-8398





Congressman Allen West Response to President Barack Obama's Call for a Two State Solution in Israel
(WASHINGTON) --- Congressman Allen West (FL-22) released this statement today:
"Today's endorsement by President Barack Obama of the creation of a Hamas-led Palestinian state based on the pre-1967 borders, signals the most egregious foreign policy decision his administration has made to date, and could be the beginning of the end as we know it for the Jewish state.

From the moment the modern day state of Israel declared statehood in 1948, to the end of the 1967 Six Day War, Jews were forbidden access to their holiest site, the Western Wall in Jerusalem's Old City, controlled by Jordan's Arab army.

The pre-1967 borders endorsed by President Obama would deny millions of the world's Jews access to their holiest site and force Israel to return the strategically important Golan Heights to Syria, a known state-sponsor of terrorism.

Resorting to the pre-1967 borders would mean a full withdrawal by the Israelis from the West Bank and the Jewish neighborhoods of East Jerusalem.  Make no mistake, there has always been a Nation of Israel and Jerusalem has been and must always be recognized as its rightful capital.

In short, the Hamas-run Palestinian state envisioned by President Obama would be devastating to Israel and the world's 13.3 million Jews. It would be a Pavlovian style reward to a declared Islamic terrorist organization, and an unacceptable policy initiative.

America should never negotiate with the Palestinian Authority- which has aligned itself with Hamas. Palestine is a region, not a people or a modern state. Based upon Roman Emperor Hadrian's declaration in 73 AD, the original Palestinian people are the Jewish people.

It's time for the American people to stand by our strongest ally, the Jewish State of Israel, and reject this foreign policy blunder of epic proportions.

While the winds of democracy may blow strong in the Middle East, history has demonstrated that gaps in leadership can lead to despotic regimes.  I have questions for President Obama:  'Who will now lead in Egypt?' and 'Why should American taxpayers provide foreign aid to a nation where the next chapter in their history may be the emergence of another radical Islamic state?'

President Obama has not stood for Israel or the Jewish people and has made it clear where the United States will stand when Palestine attempts to gain recognition of  statehood by the United Nations.  The President should  focus on the real obstacle to security- the Palestinian leadership and its ultimate goal to eliminate Israel and the Jewish people."

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Demand is Huge

Article on Arutz 7

"The demand is huge, but there is no supply."

I have been beating this drum for some time now. Building in Israel is better than the Field of Dreams, build it and they will come. The statement of Or Doari explaining the investment opportunity in the North really does speak for itself:

“We’re currently looking for entrepreneurs who will come to Migdal Ha’emek, for example, to invest in 88 housing units there,” he said. “In Nazareth Illit there are 3,000 housing units. Tiberias has another few dozen. Afula has another few dozen. We need those entrepreneurs to come and put down the money. People will fill the housing units right afterwards.”

With the recent report that Israel is one of the hottest Real Estate markets in the world, why do I have to keep discussing this?

Just today, I was on the phone with the Founder of B'Ahavat Shalom, who is also working on bringing settlement, as well as Jewish-owned land and Avodat Ivri, Jewish workers. His frustration was apparent as he tried to explain the situation in the North. On a recent trip to America, he came back with enough money to buy a few dunam in the Galil. When he got back, an Arab had bought over 100 dunam. I recently posted an article that stated that 375,000 acres of 5,500,000 acres of Israel is owned by Arabs. That number grows by the day as money from the Arab countries pours into Israel to boost the squatters in our land. Now please don't forget, however, that some of these Muslim countries are actually investing into Israel, not by way of the Arabs. It is a little known fact that Saudi Arabia holds a very sizable portfolio in the Israeli economy, including Real Estate that is inhabited by Jews and not Arabs.Regardless of your feelings towards these countries, please recognize that, in reality, they hate the Palestinians too.

Migdal Ha'Emek = 88 units
Nazareth Illit = 3,000 units
Tiberias = Few dozen
Afula = Few dozen
Kiryat Shemoneh = ?
Acre/Acco = ? (with a brand new, beautiful Yeshiva being built)
Tsfat = ?
Karmiel, Nahariya, need I go on?

Historically, these cities are extremely important in the Jewish tale. For security purposes, these cities are on the forefront of keeping the Syrians at bay. Economically, it is tiny but has extreme room for growth. And they are trying to grow. They are trying to bring local and foreign money into the area to (1) reclaim it and (2) build the infrastructure to secure jobs for Israelis, Olim and Sabras alike.

This isn't Yehuda and Shomron. Idealogically, some people would have problems with investing there. I for one do not, but to each his own. This is unquestioned (at least for now), unadulterated Israel. And our sworn enemies, people who would love nothing more than for Israel and the Jews to be wiped off the map completely, are buying our land up in huge quantities.

To quote George H. W. Bush, "This aggression will not stand." This is not an all out attack on Israel as we know it. This is the drips of water, eating away at the rock, working holes through solid sediment. If this continues, we will have no more Northern Israel left.

There is hope, dear readers. I have mentioned these groups before and I will continue to mention and push them until they are so busy they have to ask people to slow down. On the side of your screen there are a few links: B'Ahavat Yisrael, United With Israel, Israel Land Fund, Nefesh b'Nefesh, Ateret Cohanim. Click on them. Donate. Use them to purchase a slice of paradise for yourselves. If you don't have that type of money, please consider donating. A large sum is always appreciated I'm sure, but with todays economy, whoa re we kidding. If we can all donate $20, $50, or even $100 a month, that adds up. That can add up to help diffuse some of the costs for management, help build Israel, help keep Israel safe or help settle Israel.

Do you really want to let this beautiful region of our holy land go to evil?






I hope not.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Media

Over the last few days, for whatever insane reason I may have, I have been hooked on the train wreck that is NPR, National Public Radio. In New York, there are several of these types of stations on FM. The day of the Nakba marches, it was very clear that they supported the Palestinian cause. The mention of the dead didn't include the Israeli that was run over by an Arab in Tel Aviv, only the death of Arabs breaking the law in violent protests.

This situation was repeated several times. At closer look at the mainstream media on TV, as far as I saw, Fox News was the only station that carried the news that the truck driver was a terrorist.

This leads me to my point: The world will not do for Israel. Israel MUST do for itself. With pioneers like Arutz Sheva, who made it a point to tell the proud Israeli story, making it OK to be a Zionist and a Jew, we cannot sit idly by while the world refuses to tell Israel's story.

I am extremely proud to be part of the pro Israel blogging world. It has helped me develop my opinions and helped me further develop my love of Israel. That being said, not enough is done. We have no real voice to the general public. Our facts and articles are sometimes looked at, sometimes not. Even the bigger names in the Jewish/Israel blogging world have little exposure.

With the news of the development of the Jewish "al Jazeera" recently, I feel that nothing will be done really. Although it is a great step and I'm sure it will be done very well, by setting up our own club because the other boys won't let us play isn't the answer. The answer is simple, make our voices heard. Between Fox and CNN, World Net Daily (which should be picking up more writers from the blogosphere anyways) and other news outlets, we should not just be putting our articles on our personal blogs and retweeting and reposting our friends, but we should be sending articles, en masse, to these places. The new Jewish news outlet will have its own audience, we need to reach the bigger audience. Our voices need to be raised to a level where they will not only hear us, but pay attention as well.

When I have some actual time to myself, I will be posting a list of news outlets and where to send articles to. I hope people follow suit, because at this time in the existence of Israel and the Jewish people, not being heard will allow our enemies to weaken us further.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

They Keep Playing Games...and We Keep Letting Them

As seen on Arutz 7

"German national railway company Deutche Bahn has backed out of the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem railway project over concerns that the train line will pass through areas east of the 1949 armistice line. The company faces pressure from the left-wing groups in Germany, Israel and the Arab world, led by the Israeli feminist group Coalition of Women for Peace."

I must say, it doesn't surprise me in the slightest. I won't talk about the past atrocities that this company was involved with, but recently, they are involved in a political game that is based on lies. Even though Germany is friendly with Israel in many ways, personal politics can't be pushed aside.

"Deutche Bahn had been in charge of electricity and communications control on the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem line. However, the company decided that the project was “problematic” because it crosses the armistice line at two points, once near Latrun and once near Beit Surik."


Regardless of where the line crosses, even though it is all Israel, this company is trying to make a stand. In many circles, even in the circles of some self-hating Jews, they are lauded, but these cowards are nothing more than weaklings, spewing the same hatred towards Jews that their forefathers did in World War II.


The reason I speak so strongly about these types of companies is because this type of hatred, whether it is private companies such as Deutche Bahn or more public entities such as Hollywood actors or Musicians, begins to rally anti-Semites and hate mongers. The last thing Jews worldwide and Israel need are more people trying to hurt them in any way possible.


Even though Israel lets little things like this slide off of their backs, these little boycotts (and don't be fooled, they are little and completely useless. The amount of nutcases who actually follow BDS and other disgusting groups are so minute and are usually college age people and dropouts who would rather protest than pick up a real job and make the world a better place) do places small cracks in the confidence of people who do trust and believe Israel is the right country to invest and do business in.

I hope that a company steps up to the plate, calls Deutche Bahn out on being the spineless cowards they are, and completes this project, forging a strong connection with Israel.

Which leads me to another point I would like to make. I have previously mentioned that actors and musicians, not all of them, but many, are apt to boycott Israel for no reason. I would like to say a warm "Thank You" to the cast of House who visited Israel, toured many cities and facilities, including hospitals, commenting on the good work Israel is doing in the world. According to the article, the next cast to be brought to Israel is the cast of Grey's Anatomy. Like the cast of House, I hope that the trip is successful and they bring the positive experience back with them to America and to their colleagues in Hollywood. Israel could use some good publicity!

Friday, May 13, 2011

A Little Behind.

To all the readers of Supporting Our Israel,

I am so sorry there hasn't been many new posts this week. With Blogger being down and many other things, there was just no time. Sunday I should have a couple put up that are back-ups as well as some new articles.

I wish all of you a very relaxing, Holy Shabbos Kodesh!

Monday, May 9, 2011

What is Real Independence?

Being that it is Yom Ha'Atzmaut, or Israel Independence Day, I thought that I would throw my two cents into the matter. I mean, I DO blog, so I have some type of opinion, as silly as it may be.

I don't celebrate Yom Ha'Atzmaut. I recognize it but I don't celebrate it. Some of you may be angry at this confession. Some of you may agree. Almost none of you will have no opinion on the matter. But before you either steam off or throw a celebration, let me explain why.

The foundation of the State of Israel is truly a wonderful day, without a doubt. Regardless of your philisophical views on Medinat Yisrael vesrus Eretz Yisrael, Israel is accessible to both camps. Jews can wander the land in relative peace and harmony. It really is great. However, I do have some serious issues.

Besides for my "Chareidization", which is a factor, I believe that even the founders didn't believe in Israel. For the most part, it could have actually been IN Uganda, as was spoken about by Herzl and his cronies. Secondly, Israel was loosely based of a Socialist model. It may have changed a bit since then, but really not by much. I mean in certain Kibbutzim, there were pictures of STALIN hanging in their dining halls. Socialism doesn't work and will never work and I believe it is ruining Israel. Call me crazy, but last I checked the USSR has fallen and Mr. Gorbachev did tear that wall. Thirdly, Israel is not independent. It is its own entity, but it isn't independent.

In an article I read on YNetNews, 62% of all donations coming into Israel come from abroad. I'm not talking about cataclysmic disaster relief either. For the most part, these donations help Israel and it's citizens function. Why does this matter though? I mean, who cares. Well, the reason why Zionists should care is as follows: 0.7% of Israel's GDP is philanthropic. This small amount is indicative of many things, one being prosperity. If you have ever been inside any synagogue, ever, there is always a Tzedaka box, Charity box. Jews give charity, big time. It is even written in the Torah to do so, and yet 0.7% in Israel from Israelis. Then, I read this article, also on YNetNews which states that the OECD's, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, of which Israelwas admitted to in 2010, annual report on economic gaps are the widest of all members of OECD in Israel. 


As of 2010, the labor force of 3.08 million people, of which 23.6% live under the poverty line, has an unemployment rate of 6.4%. Please note, unemployment rate is only counted by people who are looking for jobs but can't find. (If I hear someone talk about Chareidim, I will laugh at you and possibly call you out for being a hypocrite. The societal norm for Chareidim is to study and not to work. It is a holy endeavor and should not be mocked. I don't see people mocking Christians for becoming Priests or Pastors or Buddhists. This is nothing more than a close-mindedness.)

With an unemployment rate of 6.4%, which is probably low-balling the figure and is probably higher than that, its interesting to see how the labor force is broken down by occupation:


Agriculture: 2%
Industry: 16%
Services (as of 2008): 82%


Now, I don't know where certain professions may sit, but it does go without saying that jobs in Agriculture and Industry are lacking, like everywhere in the developed world. Industry, the production of  an economic good in an economy, is what nurtures economic growth. It supplies jobs as well as brings foreign money into the country through export. 

Time and time again on Supporting Our Israel, I have discussed self sufficiency. Israel must do for itself. Being that it is roughly the size of New Jersey, however, makes it a little harder to diversify the Industry portfolio. Automakers probably won't be popping up and building vehicles in Be'er Sheva anytime soon. But, if you look at nurturing and raising an economy as a child, if the kid has a natural proclivity towards mechanical workings, you try and nurture and develop that skill in the child.


Israel is number one in so many niche industries worldwide, why are they not bringing these powers to the forefront? As it says on the Wikipedia page for Israel:


  • "Israel is a global leader in water conservation and geothermal energy, and its development of cutting-edge technologies in software, communications and the life sciences have evoked comparisons with Silicon Valley."

  • "According to the OECD, Israel is also ranked 1st in the world in expenditure on Research and Development (R&D) as a percentage of GDP."
  • "Leading exports include fruits, vegetables, pharmaceuticals, software, chemicals, military technology, and diamonds."

Brain power! Israel has significant brain power. So naturally, putting that brain power to good use, and with the palpable rise of investing into Israel, why is the unemployment rate at 6.4%? Factories could be opened to produce the technologies developed in Israel. If not factories, then support centers for the technologies, like India for Dell, Motorolla and basically every other company.

Before the expulsion from Gaza, Israel had incredible greenhouses and greenhouse technologies being developed there, so advanced that the current residents, former employees, call to ask how to work them.

I am a Zionist but my definition varies from other people. I believe that the only way I celebrate Yom HaAtzmaut and support Israel is to bring these topics to the forefront in a venue like this or other publcations, volunteer my time to help and to learn Torah and pray for the existence of a country that benefits the world, but for me to celebrate Yom HaAtzmaut, Israel has to help itself. Stop kowtowing politically and still benefit from the world. Make China come to Israel for technology advancement. Make the US come to Israel for greenhouse technologies. Make Africa come to Israel for water conservation and energy advancement. Becoming indispensable in the world is the only way Israel will truly become dependent.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Out of Sight, Out of Mind

I must confess. Sometimes, because I don't see much of it in the news, I forget about the city of Hevron. It's not that I don't love it, because I do. It's not that I don't want it to be a fully integrated Jewish city, with schools and businesses and where kids can walk freely without fear of attack, I do.

With all of the focus on Yehuda and Shomron regions or in Sderot or Gaza or other "trouble" areas, sometime Hevron gets pushed to the back of a lot of people's minds. This beautiful city, the burial place of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs of the Jewish people, is an extremely holy place for the Jews. Yet, next to Jerusalem, I feel it is one of the most highly contested cities in history. In 1929, many years prior to the establishment of the State of Israel, the local Arab population slaughtered 29 people, many of whom belonged to the recently located Hevron Yeshiva from Slobadka. Similar attacks happened in 1834 and further back, so far back similar attacks happened by the hands of Muslims and Christians to the time of the First and Second Temples. There must be something very special here if so many people want to put their hands on it.

As I have been known to do, I was reading an article tonight on Arutz 7. National Infrastructure Minister Uzi Landau visited Kiryat Arba and Hevron. As he said:

     “My impression is that the true infrastructures of Israel are not water or energy, but rather the city of Hevron,” Landau said during the visit. “It has been this way from the days of our forefathers and it is true today. It is regrettable that the school system does not educate our young generation to this simple truth.”

Honestly, I have no idea what that means. Yes, Hevron is special and Yes, it has been special for many, many years, but what are you talking about? From what I can surmise, he is speaking ideologically, which is fine. I'm all for that, but more must be said. Why is it a true infrastructure? As a Jew, I don't disagree with him, but for us to sell people who don't care about the Torah or those who don't believe in practicing Judaism, these words fall on deaf ears.

 Why is Hevron so important to the State of Israel? Lets take a look:

1) Historical Significance- Just like everywhere else in Israel, Hevron is extremely important to the Jewish people historically. Besides for Ma'araas HaMachpela, the Cave of Our Ancestors, it is believed, by some,  that when there was two Israelite Kingdoms, the Kingdom of Israel and the Kingdom of Judah, the capital of Judah was Hevron. Historically, many events took place in Tanach in Hevron. Jews have always tried to settle and establish Yeshivos and communities there as well. In the 18th century, Lubavitch, Karlin and many other Chassidim established communities there and, in 1924, the Slobadka Yeshiva established and ran a Yeshiva there until 1929, when the community was run off and many were murdered.

2) Security - See the Map Below:

If you can't see it so well, do what you can or find another map. Hevron is 19 miles away from Jerusalem. It sits in the Southern part of the "West Bank." If Yesha were to become an "official" PA State, Hevron would be a centerpiece of destruction of the Jewish State, much like Gaza is to Sderot and the South communities of Israel. With a population of roughly 164,000 people, of which 500 are Jews (as of 2007), it just spells disaster for Israel.

3) Economic Factors- As it says on Wikipedia:

"Hebron is a busy hub of West Bank trade, responsible for roughly a third of the area's gross domestic product, largely due to the sale of marble from quarries. It is locally well-known for its grapes, figs, limestone, pottery workshops and glassblowing factories, and is the location of the major dairy product manufacturer, al-Junaidi. The old city of Hebron is characterized by narrow, winding streets, flat-roofed stone houses, and old bazaars.

Economically, what seems to be such a small economically dry city is actually very lively. Marble, Grapes, Figs, Limestone, Glass, Pottery. These types of businesses are the bread and butter of Israel. Granted, now it may not be so busy because of the political tensions, but imagine the type of thriving business that could be based no more than 19 miles away from Jerusalem. Since this website is dedicated to strengthening Israel, finding, developing and growing a community like this should be of main importance, as Mr. Landau said.

I believe there should be a bigger push for this city and that is why I decided to write a piece on it. Mr. Landau is right. It deserves our attention. It deserves our growth and prosperity. It deserves us.

To find more information on Hevron, click here or on the sidebar of Supporting Our Israel under the "Communities in Israel" heading. I hope to give more information at another time on this wonderful community.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Running On Fumes

Not to sound conceded, but I think one of my favorite articles written on this site is Israel and Argentina. Besides for being extremely well written, insightful and generally great, it helped me start something off right. I started wondering why Israel has to be dependent on the things from outside of Israel. Obviously, there needs to be importing from other countries, thats how things work, but why must we be dependent?

If Argentina and Israel's diplomatic relations went down the tube, Israel, for the most part, would be out of luck with meat imports. That puts Israel in a predicament and being that Israel can't stand to lose food supply or any other supplies, it naturally makes sense (to me at least) to increase the prosperity of the cattle production inside Israel's borders. Increased production helps Israel become self-sufficient. Its a simple equation.

This equation can be presented in many other, beneficial ways to Israel. For instance, Oil and Gas. Since the Middle East uprisings started, Gas and Oil prices world-wide have become astronomical. Even more recently, I read an article on YNetNews stating:

    "Egyptian Finance Minister Samir Radwan has been quoted as saying that the 1979 Israel-Egypt peace treaty does not obligate his country to sell natural gas to the Jewish state." 

 Duh. This is not even foreshadowing. This statement is going to be the catalyst for renewed problems between Israel and Egypt. Not that the Arab world is known for its treaty adherence anyways. The prices for Gas and Oil in Israel, from what I have been told, are sky high to begin with and now even moreso.

Enter Qatar, a small country hanging on the coast of Saudi Arabia. (So everyone knows, it is extremely important to know the location and the information on all of the countries in the Middle East because you have to know your neighbors. Read what you can on these countries as well as their relationship with Israel and Jews. Some of the information you'll find is seriously amazing.) Qatar, as reported in this YNetNews article:


     "According to the reports, Qatar's Industry and Commerce Minister Hassan Abdulla Fakhro told his Israeli counterpart in a phone conversation that his country was willing to export natural gas to the Jewish state "for an unlimited period of time and below market prices"."(Emphasis is my own.)


Qatar has taken the business that Egypt is throwing away, stupidly, and running with it. The restrictions of "unlimited period of time and below market prices" as well are enticing. I'm not sure why they have decided to offer this deal, and don't get me wrong, it is truly wonderful. Business is business and they recognize profit and partners well.


This leads me to the real reason I wrote this article. Self-sufficiency. Israel has been in the news recently because of the discovery of vast fields of Oil and Natural Gas. In fact, I am on the mailing list of Zion Oil and Gas Company, who, besides for drilling for oil, have been given license, which is a HUGE deal, in the Jordan Valley, where they believe is a huge repository of petroleum. 


If these ventures of Zion, as well as other companies in Israel, come to fruition, Israel could be well on the way to taking care of themselves and not having to rely on oil and gas from countries who would rather see Israel wiped off of the map. (Side Note: DRILL IN ANWAR! DRILL OFF THE COASTS! The USA should take these steps too...I am seriously sick and tired of paying over $4.00 a gallon for gas! I drive a big truck too, my wallet is hurting.)


As I have said before, Israel needs to stop depending on other countries unless they need to. They don't need the meat from Argentina, they don't need the oil and gas from Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Qatar. They have the ability and the need to do it themselves. Until the time they can, deal with whomever they need to deal with, but it is seriously time for Israel to stop playing the child and grow up. Israel is in the Middle East, a region known for oil and natural gas. It stands to reason that they have some too. Saudi Arabia doesn't have it all. 


Drill baby, Drill!

Lop Sided Enjoyment

For some time now, I have enjoyed certain shows on TV. As my pictures show, I do love food. Also, I love traveling. So when I found shows like Anthony Bourdain's "No Reservations" and Andrew Zimmern's "Bizzare Food" it was as if I had found some kindred spirits in these two areas. I mean, who wouldn't want to go around the world and taste foods that people usually only hear about!?

I then realized something that led me on a fact finding mission. Neither one of these shows, and a lot of other Travel Channel shows, have not been to Israel. Zimmer, who is Jewish, even went to Syria before he went to Israel. Bourdain has been to Beirut twice (once happened to take place during the 2nd Lebanon War), Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Istanbul, and Dubai.

While I am not advocating that these types of shows and channels are anti-Israel and anti-Semitic, which I believe they are not nor will they be, I do believe two things (1) The perception of Israel outside of Israel is poor. Poor enough to not want to showcase the beauty of the country. (2) The Hasbara (Political PR) for Israel is even worse.

Outside of Israel, regular people see Israel as a wasteland, filled with hate and fighting and violence. Why the heck would anyone want to visit there? Also, since Israel is the oppressor, they shouldn't support such a fascist and murderous country. It boggles my mind that this is actually believed in the world.

I don't blame them though. I can't. You cannot be angry at a child fro being a child. These people aren't fully to blame. The group that is to blame the most is Israel itself. Where are the positive pictures and informational ads? Where is the push for ambassadors of travel like Bourdain and Zimmern to come and experience the side of Israel people don't even know about?

For example, in Travel and Leisure Magazine, Jerusalem was ranked 17th in the World's Best Cities. 17th! That is a high number considering how many big named cities are out there in the world. Why hasn't Israel's governmental bodies embraced that distinction and used it as a positive PR ad campaign? Sometimes you have to help yourself guys! Another article from Travel and Leisure Magazine extols the virtues of the Negev desert.

What I am saying is this: In the war of teaching that Israel is a good place, a fun place, a safe place, Israel itself does little to boost others non-political opinions. It takes websites like Supporting Our Israel, United With Israel, Stand With Israel and so many others to show what Israel REALLY is.I hope that this gets through to the right people and they do the right things.

On a Side Note: Mr. Bourdain, when you had the viewer contest to choose where you would be going with the contestant, it was brilliant! And I, reluctantly, of course, will come to Israel with you and show you what Israel is about. From the North to the South. I mean, I do it because I must. In all seriousness...go to Israel. You too Mr. Zimmern. Go check it out, your perceptions will change and I promise you will have a good time!

Town of Eli to be Authorized

Well, I am not writing much on this subject, the article on Arutz 7 speaks for itself. The only bit of commentary that I can add really is that the organization "Peace Now" is and will always be an enemy to the State of Israel and it's citizens. They believe that anyone who believes that the West Bank is Israel is wrong. They agree with the uprooting and evacuation of Jews from the Yehuda and Shomron regions. This group and the people who are in their camps are nothing more than Anarchists. They don't care for the security of Israel and even believe that a Two State Solution and evacuation of Yesha will bring peace. These left wing people are dangerous for the State and will stop at nothing, including lying (which has been proven) and breaking laws (which the Director Yaniv Oppenheimer has supposedly done).

We all should be rejoicing at this announcement.
 
(Israelnationalnews.com) The government has finally decided to authorize the zoning plan of the more-than-3,000-strong town – but a cloud still hangs over the homes of fallen war heroes.

Kobi Eliraz, the “mayor” of the Samaria town of Eli – some 30 kilometers north of Jerusalem – welcomes the new official State position to “finally regulate and authorize our town’s zoning plan.” A State Prosecution representative informed the Supreme Court of the new decision, in the course of a hearing regarding claims that part of the HaYovel neighborhood is privately owned by Arabs.

“This is good news,” Eliraz told Arutz-7, “and the first time that the State has said that it plans to give final authorization to HaYovel and all of Eli. After 27 years, it is certainly about time! But the problem is that they added in the words ‘wherever possible.’ This is the real Achilles’ Heel of this decision.”

The concern is that six homes in the HaYovel neighborhood might be razed because of the claims – including the homes of the families of fallen war heroes Ro’i Klein and Eliraz Peretz.

Mayor Eliraz says that there is no justification for leaving these homes out of the authorization process. “Just because there are some aerial photos from 40 years ago indicating that the land [on which the six homes were built] was being worked is no reason to destroy the homes now. For one thing, no one is claiming ownership over the land! Secondly, when Eli was built, no one was working this land!”

These points were researched and brought to the court's attention by the legal advisor to the Samarian Regional Council, who pointed out that despite concerted efforts by left-wing groups to find claimants, no Arab has stepped forward to claim the land. This, he said, makes it highly likely that the cultivation 40 years ago was done by usurpers and not owners - and that the land should therefore be considered ownerless by default. Chief Justice Dorit Beinisch responded that any land in Judea and Samaria  that was once cultivated, no matter how long ago and no matter if unclaimed, must be Arab by default.

Money Talks
Mayor Eliraz brought out a third, more basic point - namely, that the homes need not be razed under any circumstances: "If someone ever comes forward and proves ownership, there are many acceptable ways of compensating him – with no need to destroy the homes. Can you imagine if someone would come with a photo showing that his grandfather’s grandfather worked the land on which the Azrieli Towers in Tel Aviv now stand – would they destroy the building? Of course not. They would simply pay fair compensation.”

Since no Arab has come forward to claim the land and demand that the homes be razed, the radical-left Peace Now organization has done so instead, bringing the matter to the Supreme Court. The court is to issue its ruling in the near future, in which it will weigh the State’s declaration of intent to legalize and authorize the homes and the entire town with Peace Now’s claim that the homes were built without authorization.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Why I Do What I Do...

I was recently asked by many people "Why?" Why am I religious? Why am I a Zionist? Why not bend and let modern life have a shot? It has some wonderful things to offer. I often tell people answers that they would best understand, but last Shabbos, my wife and I were discussing our pasts and she asked was there a specific point when I became religious?

I have had many times in my life that helped define who I was. But there was only one time, prior to my marriage and my daughter being born, that was my definition. For those of you who actually read this article, it may not make sense to you. If it doesn't, I hope you find your defining moment soon. To those who read it and say "Wow, I remember my special time..." you can appreciate this. This is why I write Supporting Our Israel. This is why I push and try to help Israel and the Jewish communities as much as I can. This is the essential Simon and I write this article here because, besides for being my personal forum, I think there is something very special about people relating their experiences in Israel as PR for Israel. If someone can relate their story and it helps someone else come and find their story, then my experience has payed dividends.

After I graduated High School, in 1999, I went to Israel for the year, like many Orthodox Jews do. A year off helps give perspective and matures those who go away for the year.

I decided to go to a Yeshiva called Beis Medrash L'Talmud, which is no longer in existence. None of my friends from home went there and that was the biggest draw. I liked meeting new people and experiencing new experiences. And for months, like many others, I honestly wasted my time by going out into town and living like my parents were thousands of miles away. Eventually, I did slow down and started to prioritize. I took my studies very seriously (as far as I remember, maybe some of my Rabbis would have some other words.)

I credit BMT for two things that shaped and solidified my life. My love of Torah and my love of Israel. BMT, being a Da'ati Leumi institution, helped shape my love of Israel into a burning fervor, something that, to this day, cannot be extinguished.

I don't recall the time period on which we went on the school trip up to Tsfas/Safed/Tzsfat, but I do remember the indelible mark that trip left on me. The entire Shabbos away blew my mind. The Mikvah of the Ari"zal, all of the historical Synagogues, the Abuhav, Ari, Karo shuls. All truly breathtaking. The beautiful alleyways that took us back into history, modern and further. What struck me about this city was that for being as old as it was, it seemed fairly clean. I don't know why that sticks out in my mind and I may have even made it up, but I remember thinking that for 2,000 years old, this is pretty nice.

After we had settled into our sleeping quarters for Shabbos, we prayed Minchah, Kabbalas Shabbos and Maariv (Afternoon and Night prayer services and the supplemental service to help welcome Shabbos). As soon as Minchah ended, I happened to be standing around the pulpit. A man, who must have been in his 60s grabbed my hand, his engulfing mine; his voice deep and powerful. For this guy to intimidate me was incredible, as I was 6'3" or 4" at the time and larger than I would like to admit. Those hands making mine disappear. It was truly frightful at first, then I saw this:

These windows pointed out to the Galil, Galilee and over Lake Kinneret. The windows were slanted from several powerful earthquakes in the 17 and 1800s. The beautiful historic synagogue was called the Rabbi Yosef Karo synagogue, named after the author of the Shulchan Orach, the basis of codified Jewish law as we know it today. It's said that Eliyahu/Elijah the Prophet himself would learn with the venerable Rabbi in this synagogue. It is a truly beautiful place.

Then, out of the slanted windows, next to the slanted bookshelves, holding years and years of old Seforim (Jewish Books) and Siddurim (Prayer Books) I saw the sun setting over the Kinneret and over the rolling hills in the Galil. This is when I knew that my already observant lifestyle was going to stay and was never going to take a back burner on anything I do.



These truly incredible and awe inspiring sights helped cement the love of Judaism and the love of Israel in my mind and heart forever.

Dancing, Singing ancient tunes with my friends, Rabbis and the members of this extremely holy synagogue, with the sun setting over the beautiful rolling hills and sparkling lake, something in me clicked. I remember it very well. I remember a chill run up my neck and I closed my eyes, only to reopen them a completely changed person. I had tapped into something very real and palpable and as I breathed in the fresh air from the open windows, I knew that one day, I would live in Israel as a religious Jew.

Fast forward to today: Thank G-d, I am married and have a baby girl. My family is my life. When I watch my daughter dance and clap and squeal with excitement when I put B'Chatzros Kadsheinu (A DVD of the "Superstar Rabbis) or Uncle Moishy on for her, I know that I am raising my family in the holy traditions of Judaism and I know that my daughter and any subsequent children my wife and I may have, will be instilled with a love of Judaism as well as Israel, because the two are inseparable. This personal contribution to the cause if superb. I know it is because I am raising future advocates for the best country on Earth.

After the horrific attacks in Itamar, I was speaking with my wife about my frustration. She sympathized, but could only help so much. There was something so deep inside of me that wanted to write again, as I used to. At first, I thought that maybe I'll write on the news, like so many people do. Politics is always interesting and I would feel accomplished, and a bit pacified, if I published my feelings on these situations.

Then the voices started chirping. My wife, my mother and a friend all said that being negative and reporting on negative will only frustrate you. Also, the type of vitriol and anger I can type towards hate and terrorists would boggle most peoples minds. Instead, be positive. There isn't enough positive news and enforcement out there in regards to Israel besides for their heroic helping of Haiti and Japan. Being Israel, those feats are all but forgotten at this point anyways. I enjoy business and I think there is a lot of money to be made for investors as well as for the employees and the State of Israel if business is pushed there. Boosting the Israeli economy only makes it stronger and helps people ease their tensions on leaving the US or Canada or the UK or Australia. Money talks. Positive Reinforcement works.

In summary, this is why Supporting Our Israel is up and, Thank G-d, has had some success. I hope that each and every one of you who reads this can relate. If you can't, then find a way to relate. Israel depends on you and even more than that, the satisfaction that you have from knowing who you are and what you want to do with your life, speaks volumes and makes any issue in your life that much more bearable.

As I have said before, Support Israel any way you can. The links on the sides of this page are extremely important and all should be helped. Please read the websites of the cities that I have posted and I promise to put more up in the near future. As I advocate peace and prosperity and positive thoughts, my Twitter account is buzzing with news of hatred and idiocy from our neighbors. We shouldn't have to take this any more. Besides for fighting fire with fire, we also have to worry about the repercussions to the State. By strengthening security, economy, population, the stronger our might and armed forces will be.

Do what you can while you can. Thanks for reading.

Monday, May 2, 2011

A Departure from the Norm

Since Supporting Our Israel's inception, I have tried to stay away from negative, political and generally not pleasant topics. I have tried to remain positive and tried to remain focused on Israel and Economics and the fun side of Israeli PR.

This isn't an article about that.

Last night, before bed, I did a quick search for news on the Internet for today's articles. I was greeted with something even more moving and exciting. Osama bin Laden, Mr. al-Qaeda himself, was dead. I woke my wife and told her the news. Her response? "That's great, but now there will be some serious retaliation," and went back to sleep.

Then, this morning, I woke up and saw several articles on Twitter and other sources that Hamas CONDEMNED the assassination of Osama bin Laden. As great as the news is of his death, my wife's words stuck with me. Hamas is crazy enough to condemn the US for killing bin Laden. These are the Israeli's unfortunate neighbors. Sure, there may be some moderate Arabs somewhere, but the loudest, most followed and most violently dangerous voice inside Israel is Hamas. Hezbollah, Syria and Iran to the North and now the Muslim Brotherhood and soon to be Egypt in the South.

Maybe people will finally realize, if the Hamas condemnation actually is broadcast, that Israel is not the bad guy. Israel, in a fight to survive, protects itself and protects its citizens. It supplies Gaza and the PA will millions of dollars a year, as well as goods, services, medical assistance and other things to help the people stuck under the false rule of the PA. I don't see Iran doing that. I don't see Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Afghanistan, Yemen and other useless militant countries "helping" their brothers and sisters in Israel. Want to know why? Because they don't actually care. They are looking for a fight.

Well, the fight found them in 2001 and the figurative culmination of a victory hit them last night with the extermination of the figurehead of hate. I am not so naive to think that this is the end of terror. In fact, this could actually be the beginning of a harder onslaught. We should all remain vigilant and aware. Be safe. They will come harder and faster. When they do, we will be ready.

For now, enjoy the news. It is a beautiful day for the victimized.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Making the Past Come Alive

One of the most intriguing industries in Israel to me is the Tourism trade. I know that I have spoken a lot about it and to some, it may seem boring or even not even slightly interesting, but to me and many others, the historical sites in Israel help make the past into a tangible experience.

Being inspired from last nights article on the Kishon River, I decided to find some new pictures and information for myself on antiquities, religious sites and nature reserves and parks. Its incredible how the government (and this isn't to start any type of political discussions. I am fully aware of their lack of regard for many religious sites and the rights of Jews to visit them, i.e.; Kever Yosef, Ma'arat HaMachpelah, etc.) has taken the initiative on many sites to make them appealing to a broad audience. Visiting the Israel Nature and Parks Authority helps someone who is not in Israel, or for that matter anyone who is in Israel, to marvel at how beautiful Israel truly is. The ability to identify and bring history and nature to the forefront of a modern culture is truly incredible. It helps history not be lost, but to become a birthright and a privilege as an Israeli.

It's not done by the government alone. There are private people and companies that produce Biblical theme parks, zoos, parks and other things of the sort. I came across the Neot Kedumim website and I remember visiting this place myself. As someone who learns the Talmud and Tanach and other holy books in Judaism, it is so cool to see the flora and fauna, archeology, as well as the tools and items that are discussed in the historical documents.

As a Jew, these things make my Judaic experience come alive. The link from Mount Sinai to Moshe Rabbeinu to me has brought us all closer and I hope it would for all people who visit Israel.

I really just wrote this article because I wanted to post some beautiful pictures...I hope you don't mind..