A Splintered Reed of a Staff

by Ari Bussel

It seems everyone gave up on Mubarak. Rulers under duress mistakenly believe that keeping quiet and protecting their individual turfs is the necessary remedy, but it is not. While Iran talks about the shockwaves reeling through the Middle East, there is no united front of the Arab League, or for that matter, of any of the major Arab leaders.

Talk about friends in time of need. Everyone already seems to be eulogizing President Mubarak’s rule. Exactly at a time that encouragement and support are needed most, everyone seems to have disappeared.

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The New Middle East

by Ari Bussel

If what we currently see is the face of “Democracy” in the Middle East, most would prefer dictatorships. Stability in this area of the world is not derived from freedoms, rather from very strict controls. There is only one exception to this observation, and that is Israel. Yet, even there, in the cradle of sanity, things can become quite insane.

The United States of America, supposedly surprised by the developing events from Tunisia via Egypt eastward, is not losing any sleep. President Obama is dispensing advice, the wrong kind.

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Supporting One’s Friends

by Ari Bussel

I often highlight the courage and true friendship of the Consul General of Azerbaijan in Los Angeles. It was a very contentious time for Israel, and I was invited for a celebration of the Azeri Independence Day. The Consul General, without any hesitation or fear, highlighted Azerbaijan’s close cooperation with Israel, mentioning Israel by name.

The Consul General gained my eternal gratitude, for everyone else was afraid to even mention the name “Israel” lest they be accused of (or catch) something bad. It was the most politically incorrect thing to do, and the Consul General, a diplomat, threw all caution to the wind and stood by us—when it counted most. It was not youthful indiscretion or mischievous experimentation – he actually meant what he said.

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Spitting in God’s Face

by Norma Zager

“And the Lord said unto Moses, I have seen this people, and, behold, it is a stiff-necked people: Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them…” Exodus 32:9-10

God has not abandoned Israel; Israel has abandoned God.

Just as the generation of the Golden Calf was denied access into the Promised Land, today also turning one’s back on God will have tragic repercussions for the Jewish people.

Honoring God is not a religious issue. It is an obligation of every human being, every Jew, Christian or Muslim who has been blessed with God’s favor.

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The Report

by Ari Bussel

A local group of Israel Deniers calling itself “Jews for Peace” has taken upon itself to analyze, once a month, a portion of the Goldstone Report.  The Report is highly critical of Israel’s conduct during Operation Cast Lead (12/2008 – 1/2009), accusing the Jewish State of “serious violations of international humanitarian and international human rights law.”

Head of the UN Fact Finding Mission Justice Richard Goldstone presented the report of the Mission to the Human Rights Council in Geneva on 29 September 2009, urging the Council and the international community as a whole to put an end to impunity for violations of international law in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

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A Body of Lies

by Ari Bussel

I was treated to a lecture by a Jewish professor of philosophy about things that interest him. He is a part of an orthodox community here in Los Angeles, but feels an outsider as his views are closer to those of Americans for Peace Now.

The professor is passionate about Israel, telling of his first visit to Israel in 1990 and the annual pilgrimage thereafter: “I felt in a weird way, I have come home. It was a real sense of connection, very powerful.” He talked about Shabbat, God’s day of rest, in Israel describing “a certain peace that descends on the country.”

As he described Abraham taking Isaac to be sacrificed, walking from Tel Aviv to the hills of Jerusalem, he corrected himself: “It was probably from the other side.” Absolutely, it was from the side that, in his opinion, was apparently in Biblical times and thus is still today – Palestine. [We know it as Judea and Samaria.]

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A Room Full of People

by Ari Bussel

I meant the title to read “A Room Full of Jews” but was afraid it would be misconstrued as anti-Semitic. While it is not, I am very critical of my people.

Allow me to describe the setting of an event that recently took place at a major hotel here in Los Angeles. A group of like-minded people gathered to hear a major speaker.

It was an activity planned by an organization to which they all (or most) belong. Officially, some are “Board Members” (which primarily means they donate a certain amount of money each year to the organization) and others were “invited guests.”

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Missiles Aimed at Tel Aviv

by Ari Bussel

Israel is now and will undoubtedly be under further attacks. There are more missiles today in Lebanon and Gaza than possibly anywhere else in the world, all stockpiled and ready to be launched against Israel. Not exactly a statistic countries like to boast about: “We have the highest number of missiles per capita.”

Modern Israel has seen a tremendous buildup in recent years, skyscrapers of the most beautiful kind add an aura to a new skyline against the deep blue of the Mediterranean. There is a road infrastructure that would be suitable in any country, although it is often a parking lot – there are so many cars. These roads, buildings and millions of people on this tiny piece of land are all within missile range.

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War of Biblical Proportions

by Ari Bussel

If we lived in a different era, a long pole would have been erected, my body hanging there, or a large pile of wood I am tied to set on fire – my body burned alive at the stake. But in the second decade of this Post-Enlightenment 21st Century, everything seems permissible. The less sense the pronunciations make, the more widely repeated and accepted they become.

Let us view some of the claims we hear repeatedly.

Tolerance? Acceptance? Reason? Logic? Expect none, as we will not find any.

If the Holocaust never happened, and the systematic attempt to exterminate the Jewish people is not truth, one must wonder how can Israel be accused of Nazi-like behavior toward the Palestinians?

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Never Fail to Miss an Opportunity

by Ari Bussel

It is said that our enemies never fail to miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity. How sad when the same is applicable toward us.

I was sitting with the top brass of COGAT, the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, a unit in the Israeli Ministry of Defense. Water has become a big issue, both because of the April 2010 issue of National Geographic and because Israel is accused of stealing the water from the Palestinians.

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