Beyond the Cusp

April 21, 2017

It Can Get Worse But Why Wait?

 

The articles and editorials all point to the same truths. It is painful to read about but we read it anyways. Those who read here regularly know the feeling and most made of sterner mettle read on if for no other reason than the hope that in the story there will at the least be a single ray of hope. The stories from the last few days held no such light. Stories from across Europe and back again, from the campuses of the United Kingdom to across the Ukraine to Paris, the capital city of France, the stories are all too similar. The names of the victims change and all too often the perpetrators remain unidentified and probably without remorse. The only time these beasts feel remorse is before the television cameras and the media and even then the discerning realize their remorse is that they will face legal proceedings. Then there are the few defiant who cannot understand that they had committed any crime and demand to have explained what they did that was wrong, after all, they had merely beaten the life out of a Jew. And these miscreants often come in small groups up to a half dozen or so and attack as a mob again a singular target or perhaps two Jews both teens or old men. They rarely take their vengeance and hate out on any Jew physically capable of dealing harm to at least one or two before numbers take their toll. These stories rise out of Europe and one of the rare voices reporting on these heinous acts has been the Italian journalist Giulio Meotti. His most recent article ”Welcome to Europe’s Four Capitals of anti-Semitism” was one of a series of articles over the past week which served as the impetus for this article.

 

There has been one ray of light we have kept in mind when reading these stories, and that is that more and more European Jews are choosing Aliyah to Israel as the solution to the growing menace in Europe. The information we have seen indicates that Israel is the number one choice followed by the United States with a small number choosing elsewhere such as South America and Canada or even Asia. The main group we would like to speak with directly, and to anyone knowing of such people, are those deciding that the United States, and by inference anywhere other than Israel, as their destination where they can restart their lives anew and be safe. We are not trying to imply that currently the problems for Jews in the United States is something dire and that it is a reckless choice which places them in nearly the same level of danger as that is definitely not the situation. But on the other end of the scale, we are speaking as amongst those who made Aliyah to Israel from the United States. The main reason is that one of us had promised themselves at an early age that they would retire in Israel when the opportunity arrived. We lost a great deal of financial security by doing so having now to rent at a far higher price than the mortgage we paid on our home in Oklahoma. We can tell you that the sacrifice was more than worth it. That leaves the question as to why we would make such a move and that gets to the crux of why we recommend that the United States not be at the top of any Jew’s list of safe destinations. If your reason is that you have relatives in the United States and you are moving near them, then by all means go to the United States as having supportive relatives of close friends should always be amongst the highest priorities. But, if the choice is purely which destination would be best, then choose Israel.

 

First, we can give a couple of startling facts comparing Israel and the United States. Taking in all types of criminal acts even including terrorism, one is more likely to have a violent crime committed against their person in the United States than they are in Israel. The best means of avoiding such a fate is identical in Israel as it is in the United States; simply avoid areas where criminal acts are most often perpetrated. Do not visit certain places or at least minimize visiting such places to daylight hours and one severely diminishes the probability that they will fall victim to violence. We will grant that there is a definitive difference in the likelihood of a military attack on the nation between the United States and Israel. Mitigating this problem is that the Israeli government has made a great deal of effort into protecting the people, particularly the children, from the ravages of war. There are shelters throughout the country and should the sirens sound, simply follow the flow of people to reach the closest shelter. During the last Gaza war the seeming biggest question on virtually every Western journalists’ list came across asking, “Where are all the dead Jews to match the Palestinian losses?” Of course, it was not phrased so clumsily, well except one journalist who said almost exactly that, but they were all seemingly fascinated in the fact that more Gazan civilians appeared to be dying than Israel civilians. Now we must point out that these very same journalists were following the crowds of Israelis heading for the shelters when the sirens sounded and they marveled, as did we all, at the unbelievable accuracy and kill rate of the Iron Dome batteries. But, despite witnessing the exact reasons for the disparity, they were not making a comparison as much as a political statement which basically could have been read, what makes the lives of Israelis more important than the lives of Gazans. They were asking the wrong side, that is what they should have queried the Hamas and Islamic Jihad leaders as to why they too had not permitted their civilians the protections they reserved for their fighters. But that was a lesson that Israel will spend just as much if not more, fifty-thousand dollars a missile cost for Iron Dome to prevent a rocket costing a few hundred dollars if that, preserving the lives of her citizens, all her citizens. Israel has recently completed fortifying every school roof and structure to withstand the majority of rocket strikes and further enforced the kindergartens and many daycare facilities. Israel requires that all new residences come equipped with a shelter which will withstand rocket attacks up to a certain level. Basically, Israel is a nation with bomb shelters spread across every city, town, kibbutz and community and invests in the best intercepting systems all in the name of keeping the people safe.

 

Israel can offer one guarantee; she will not enter into any conflict which can be avoided by negotiations or other means to mitigate the necessity of war. The same cannot be stated about her neighbors, especially Hamas, Hezballah, the terrorists in the Sinai Peninsula (who are fortunately busy fighting one another), Syria (which is also engaged with internal struggles), Jordan, Egypt or Iran. What is interesting about Jordan and Egypt is that the nation’s leaders in both countries are less inclined in fighting with Israel than are the people, with the Jordanian people actually having the highest and most deeply ingrained hatreds for Israel largely due to their listening to Palestinian Authority radio and television, stations Israel licenses and permits to broadcast. That is largely financed by the European Union, United Nations, many individual European governments and likely the United States funds are also used for these broadcasts and at least the first three would all be up in arms should Israel shutter these incitive voices of hatreds. Some claim that Israel is high upon the list of the Islamic State as a target to attack should the opportunity present itself. This was revealed to be untrue when one of the commanders in the areas closest to the Golan Heights was asked if striking Israel was a priority to which he responded that striking Israel was not even on their to do list as they would incur serious and irreparable damage resulting from such a foolhardy move. If only all our enemies thought so clearheaded and logically. The main thing is Israel will do everything possible to refrain from engaging in a war, often going further than the majority of the population in such efforts. Once such conditions exist, the safety of the population becomes of paramount concern. Israel is a nation which stocks her shelters regularly and such activity being hastily performed nationwide would be a greater sign of potential for coming conflict than the opening of weapons bays and other such readying which other nations take as a sign of impending conflict.

 

So, even in worst-case scenario, one would be equally safe residing in the United States as in Israel. We must grant that residing in Israel would decrease the numbers of holidays one could celebrate as other than the Jewish celebrations, the other communities mostly celebrate on their own and theirs are not national holidays. On the other hand, with Synagogues plentiful and the vast majority of food retailers selling only Kosher foods and many restaurants also serving kosher food, it is far easier to be a practicing Jew here in Israel. Outside of certain neighborhoods in the United States, the same is not the case and it would be next to impossible in large swaths of the United States or at the least most difficult. In some areas, one would need look far and wide and likely further just to find sufficient men for a Minion for morning prayers forcing one to recite them alone, not a conducive setting for remaining religious. Assimilation in Israel means becoming more Jewish aware if not Jewish while assimilation in the United States makes one more secular Christian where you are either secular or Christian, both is difficult. So, should your concern be remaining a practicing Jew or becoming a practicing Jew, Israel should be your destination. If within you is even just an ember, a mere spark, of being a practicing Jew, Israel will nurture that spark until it lights the fire and from there you decide. In the United States, such an ember would be doused with ample water unless one was to protect it with great effort. So in Israel such an ember is given to lighting the passion of being a religious Jew and this is made much easier in Israel while in the United States the driving force is to make one a secular humanist and possibly a leftist who discards Hashem as they believe only those things they can see, touch and explain with formulae.

 

The final reason to choose Israel is the most difficult for people to accept, the growing anti-Semitism in the United States. For much of the last seventy-five years, anti-Semitism in the United States has been swept under the carpet. Much of this has been accomplished by those wishing to hide the brutal truth so as to make the United States appear moral. They also wished to deny that any trace of anti-Semitism was existent within their great nation. The problem is that despite these efforts, anti-Semitism has been measurably rising. The often-strange property of this rise in anti-Semitism is its tendency to rise fastest in those communities with the fewest or no Jews. All too often acts of anti-Semitism were perpetrated by people living outside of the neighborhood or even the city or town where the incident occurred. This has permitted the explanation that the act was a one-out or rare occurrence which poses no threat to the Jewish population. Such thinking is desperately erroneous. It is exactly this sort of anti-Semitism which is most dangerous because beneath such an act is a seething anti-Semitism which will only be furthered by the punishment of the miscreant. This will be interpreted as the Jew victimizing one member of their community and punishing them to an extreme for some minor act. My fortune was to, more often than not, live in an area where there was some distance, often more than five or even fifty miles, between me and the next Jewish family. Of course as I have resided in Wyoming; there in one town if there were not a person matching some description, it was at least fifty miles to the next town with maybe three homes between the two, so we are talking fair sized towns of at least seventy-thousand. Yes, that included where I resided in Wyoming.

 

While growing up as a youth anti-Semitism decreased hitting a low mark somewhere near or soon after the Six Day War as that made many in the United States feel as if they were a little bit Israel for that one week. Nevertheless, within a few short years, anti-Semitism began to grow, and in a most peculiar place, the far-left wing of the political spectrum. The far-right, today called the alt-right, actually remained relatively constant and more of a nuisance than an actual threat. The far-left had a simple problem with Jews, and that was Judaism and little ideas such as the Ten Commandments, the Torah and the entire Bible (Old Testament) and the morality within these documents. Adolph Hitler spoke of this hatred of a Jewish morality when he declared, “The Ten Commandments have lost their validity. Conscience is a Jewish invention; it is a blemish like circumcision.” And “…the personification of the devil as the symbol of all evil assumes the living shape of the Jew.” Hitler included Christianity as another of the items which prevented mankind from reaching its glorious heights he envisioned once Judeo-Christianity was dead. That is the overriding side of anti-Semitism left from many discussions, that what is the target is not as much the Jews as the Torah and the rules Judaism gave to human civilization. Judaism is the root from which Christianity grew and set at the core the Jewish morality which Christianity accepted as was with minor alterations making the practice more suitable for their target audience, the Roman pagans. Christianity kept many of the basics upon which Judaism is based, including but not limited to, the Ten Commandments, Love the stranger, treat others how you wish to be treated, and numerous other teachings which were gleaned from the words of Jesus. One item which remains in the backgrounds about Jesus was that he lived and died as a Jew, taught Judaic laws, preached from Torah and everything he said and performed he did so as Judaism taught and within the moral and legal codes of Judaism.

 

Conscience is a Jewish invention

 

Since the early to middle 1970’s anti-Semitism has grown regularly. This has been in part due to money flowing to anti-Semitic organizations with a great deal of this money invested on college-aged youth across the nation’s campuses. Many of these organizations and entities are under the collective arm of the Muslim Brotherhood often through multiple channels making direct tracing near impossible. Some of these organizations were recently linked to the Hamas terrorist group during the Holy Land Foundation trial which included amongst the numerous named co-conspirators Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). There was found numerous links from Palestinian Arab aligned groups especially the Students for Palestinian Justice (SJP) and the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions Movement (BDS), all of which come together for a singular cause, the destruction of the Jewish State followed by the systematic eradication of the Jews worldwide as called for in the Hamas Charter. The destruction of the Jewish State is also included in the Palestinian Authority Charter. These groups use far left tactics of intimidation, harassment, and ridicule targeting anybody who might give an even and unbiased review of anything to do with Israel. There are a growing group of colleges and universities which Jewish parents oppose sending their children there for further education and many of the names are as amazing as it would appear to many as unbelievable. This list on its own would be sufficient to prove that a serious problem exists at many of the leading liberal arts colleges and universities across the United States. What makes this even more threatening is that it is exactly these institutions which are producing the national leaders of the next generation and the generation beyond. These colleges have become central places of indoctrination of a curriculum and faculty fiercely anti-Israel, anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic. There will be those who claim that being anti-Israel is not against the Jews but the nation and its policies. They will also claim that Zionism is a form of racism and that they are against racism so of course they are not again the Jews. Yet the only nation these people demand be removed from the community of nations is Israel, the sole Jewish State. The only nativist group they call out as racist is the Jewish Israelite nativist calling. They have no problem with China basically destroying the Tibetan culture step by step removing forcefully Tibetan people moving them thousands of miles away into China and replacing them with Chinese peasants from rural areas of China. These groups have no problem with North Korea, Syria, Turkey, Canada and their indigenous people of the Inuit and other native tribes or a plethora of other nations and peoples we could name. Oh, many also have a problem with one other nation, the United States, where many will point to the problem that Jews have disproportionate power over the government. When pressed to explain, they basically just repeat that the Jews have too much influence and point out that President choose too many Jews for Cabinet posts and other important positions. If these are the most qualified people for these positions, we wonder why they should not be chosen. They always get to the same point, too many Jews alive and working hard and getting ahead. The simple answer is to come home now before the deluge starts, as it is coming. Some point in the near, far too near, future the United States will reach a critical point and past that point Jews will not be safe in the United States. This will signal the end for Jews in Europe as well and who knows where else. The Jews have already been wiped from the Arab World and pretty much from Russia. Europe will be next and when the United States pushes out her Jews, the end will have arrived. On that day, Israel has best be prepared because she will have no friends in the world and a mere half dozen nations remaining on talking terms. What comes after that, we are afraid to guess, really afraid to guess.

 

Anti-Semitic Cartoons top from Judge magazine bottom from April 15, 1896 issue of Sound Money magazine

Anti-Semitic Cartoons top from Judge magazine
bottom from April 15, 1896 issue of Sound Money magazine

 

The end of this story brings us full circle. Most anti-Semitism in much of the world generates the hatred for Jews in the baby’s milk. They are all but born with it permeating the conversation throughout their childhood. It is introduced as something as natural and normal as love for Mom and Dad. Life includes anti-Semitism is felt to be as normal as anything else in life and children are reared with anti-Semitism as if it were the right thing to do. Such hate simply is something that far too many children the world over are taught anti-Semitism just as they are taught their A, B, C’s and addition and subtraction. There is nothing strange or abnormal about such hatreds. That is the saddest of truths which the world must face.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

June 21, 2016

Jewish Americans and Love of Israel

 

Way, way back in another era during the Six Day War in my public high school teachers had two choices for that week, have the television on whatever channel was covering the Arab Israeli war or have an empty classroom. The choice was that simple. Teachers who had the television tuned to the news coverage had classes filled to the brim on the first two days as students simply reported to school and went directly to the classroom they knew would have their agenda correct. My high school was close to 80% Jewish and the remainder skipped school if they were not interested in the war as they knew there was no taking roll, as anything that organized was hopeless. By the end of the war virtually every classroom had the news on and the teachers had caught the fever of realizing that we were learning something, we were learning politics and watching a historic event, and it had proven so. That was then and this is now, almost half a century later and even in a public school with such a high percentage of Jewish students there would likely be almost no interest in such events. A school of Evangelical Christians would be more likely to be interested in events in Israel. Don’t get it wrong, there are many Jewish groups and charities which assist Israel, but as an issue Israel has proven to be a disappointment to most American Jews, especially those Jews on the left; the further left the less they care. Such a disinterest explains why the Democrat Party could not get the votes necessary to place belief in our Creator into their platform and had the same difficulty with having a statement supporting Jerusalem as Israel’s capital city. The Republican Party had no such difficulty as they placed both in their platform easily while the Democrats had to pretend they got the votes on their third try despite the obvious lack of support. Claiming things have changed would be a horrific understatement. So, what happened?

 

The first item has been a change in the Jews remaining in the United States. The majorities of Zionist Jews have made Aliyah and are now residing in Israel full time or between Israel and the United States for a number of others. In many cases entire families made Aliyah leaving no or few relatives behind. Also the Baby Boomers were mostly the last generation to have a sizeable percentage of Jews who were Zionists and either they are in Israel or their lives having moved onto other items of importance squeezing out their desires to move to Israel. You ask any of the majority of American Jews where is the best place for a Jew to live; their answer will be the United States and if then asked why, their answer is that it is the safest and best place for a Jew to be happy. If pressed on Israel, they may say that is a nice idea and they will mean it is a nice idea like having a car wreck and surviving is a nice idea. In many cases it comes down to one of two things or some combination. The first is they believe Israel to be a very dangerous place from all the news about terrorism and wars all around the Middle East and the potential for Iran to attack or have Hezballah attack possibly using chemical weaponized warheads. The second and more honest answer is that they have no desire to even visit Israel as Israel to them is a horrific embarrassment and is full of these crazy right wing nationalist, they might even say fascist, crazies who want to take over everything and refuse to make any concessions for peace. The fact that Israel is the only side to have made even a single concession, not to mention made all of the concessions thus far, this truth does not register and if you were to make the point they would ignore you or call you a liar and apologist for Netanyahu.

 

Many American Jews will never ever be able to forgive Prime Minister Netanyahu for opposing President Obama so vocally on the Iran Nuclear Deal and doing so with such public affect as possible addressing a joint session of Congress. Never mind that Netanyahu’s address was made all the more public by the antics of those supporting President Obama and vocally stating their intent to boycott the speech. The Jews actually worked to reelect most of these Congresscritters. They saw his speech not as protesting and representing Israel, instead as his having shown bad manners and being ungrateful for all President Obama has done for Israel. Even telling them, showing articles that prove the facts, that President Obama and members of his administration have compromised at least three strikes Israel had planned for destroying much of the Iranian secret nuclear facilities does not faze them in the least. These dastardly undercutting of Israel included exposing cooperative nations causing them to back out as these were Islamic nations and finally promising to shoot down any Israeli aircraft found heading towards Iran using all Iraqi and naval deployments of anti-air assets. The United States placed their entire military, industrial complex, CIA and military intelligence units, and diplomatic core all against any Israeli plan to address the Iranian threat to Israel, Europe and the United States as well as their using nuclear weapons as an umbrella sheltering their terrorist forces outside the nation.

 

The claim that Iran is only a threat to Israel and would never plan to strike the United States denies one crucial piece of information. Why is Iran continuing to develop multi-stage warhead carrying rockets and missiles as they have many rockets and missiles they can have strike Israel. Iran has no need for two and three stage Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) to strike Israel, these are only necessary to strike distant targets such as the British Isles and the United States and other potential distant targets. Their developing such warheads should trouble President Obama but all the President cares about is pushing any and every problem down the road and eventual first strike nuclear weapons will most certainly be a part of Iran’s future game plan. The sole concern of the President is to make sure when everything falls apart he will be long gone and only the alert will count President Obama as the gift that just keeps on giving. During his eight years in office he was integral to the Nuclearization of Iran and the new push by Islamists to control Europe and the generalization of the Shiite Sunni war spreading from Syria on to Iraq, Libya, threatening Egypt in the Sinai and empowering Iran and through Iran Hamas and Hezballah. Additionally President Obama is more than an observer in the making of the Islamic State but it was directly due to his dithering and fiddling away the power and influence in the world that used to be held by the United States in preserving order and instead the United States took an eight year vacation completely vacating her self-defined responsibility as the adult on the block. As everybody knows, when the adult leaves the house the children will run wild and the pets will get into everything taking special attention to anything they believe is edible and spreading it liberally around the house. Hopefully the Americans will awaken to their real role in the world and elect somebody credible, oh, wait, they already threw that option out during their little temper tantrum during the Primaries while the other Party simply promoted the inevitable one and it is almost difficult to choose between them. The choice is the walking temper tantrum against the crooked last mile on its way to prison.

 

Jason Greenblatt and David Friedman Trump’s Israel and Middle East Advisors

Jason Greenblatt and David Friedman
Trump’s Israel and Middle East Advisors

 

Meanwhile we have an actual difference when we look at the race as on things Israel Trump is clueless but he did appoint a pair of decent advisors to advise on all things Israel and Middle East, Mr. Jason Greenblatt and Mr. David Friedman. This is a far cry from the record of Ms. Hillary Clinton who has in her record one of the most destructive relationships with Israeli elected leaders of any Secretary of State including Secretary of State James Baker who was the first American official to negotiate directly and officially with Palestinians and the first senior U.S. official to leverage American aid to Israel in an attempt to halt Israeli settlements. On top of this was his reasoning summed up in one infamous quote, “F%&k the Jews, they don’t vote for us anyway.” One special Hillary act was kissing Ms. Arafat immediately after she gave a speech accusing the Israelis of handing out poisonous candy to Arab children and Israel was using poison gas to pollute the West Bank’s water and land. Ms. Clinton had also stated during a video linkup speaking to a group of Israeli, Palestinian and Jordanian teens who were members of the Seeds of Peace group, Clinton stated very adamantly and clearly her position on Israel’s future and the question of Palestinian Arab statehood, “I think it will be in the long-term interests of the Middle East for Palestine to be a state.” Still, we feel we can safely bet that she will receive well over three-quarters of the Jewish vote come November as for too many American Jews being a leftist and a Democrat is far more important than being Jewish or remembering Jerusalem. Despite at least half would know the Biblical quote from the Song of Babylon, “If I forget you, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning. Let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth, if I do not remember you, if I do not Jerusalem above my chiefest joy.” Well, they may not recall the entirety but probably would get it mostly correct up to “right hand forget her cunning” and maybe even including “let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth,” but no further. Additionally, Hillary Clinton’s long time special aide, and she is the wife of disgraced former congressman Anthony Weiner, Huma Abedin is yet another Arabist and anti-Israel advisor close to Ms. Clinton.

 

Hillary act was kissing Ms Suha Arafat  and with Ms Huma Abedin which pose  a double Arabist Love Affair Problem  for Hillary President Bid Past and Present

Hillary act was kissing Ms Suha Arafat
and with Ms Huma Abedin which pose
a double Arabist Love Affair Problem
for Hillary President Bid Past and Present

 

Closing comments are simple and to the point. Israel is a non-issue with the vast majority of Jewish voters outside of the Orthodoxy. The average Leftist Jew cares more deeply about gun control, free abortions, same sex marriage, United States as the greatest polluter of the Earth and any number of false or misleading lies masquerading as serious issues and they further find Israel with its nationalism and pride in being Jewish as over the top and disgusting. Jews are supposed to be compliant and seek the path of least notice and keep their heads down. Israelis charge towards danger and do not shy away when challenged and that makes the American Jew frightened as it means more people might look at them as well and that is the most frightening thing. One thing for sure, they will likely not see what is coming and coming fast until it is too late, but at least this time the doors to Eretz Yisroel are in Jewish hands, not British; so these doors will remain open for there are two things Israeli and American Jews have in common, we are both Jews and we love our brothers and sisters with their faults. As without their faults, loving them would be far too easy. Now it is true love because we forgive their voting with eyes fully shut.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

April 15, 2016

Where Have the Zionists Gone?

 

With the Jewish support for Democrat candidate Bernie Sanders being gauged and taking flak from Jewish Republicans and many Zionists even from the Democrat Party, some editorialists are wondering why the relative silence challenging the Jewish support. Many believe, whether backed by fact or not, that Hillary Clinton would be better for Israel of the two Democrat hopefuls challenging to represent the party in November. There is an easy answer to this quandary by simply looking at the voting record of Jewish voters in the last two Presidential elections where in the United States close to 80% of American Jews supported President Obama while over 80% of Jewish Americans residing in Israel voted against President Obama. This provides the answer that the vast majority of Zionists have already realized their dream and made their move to Israel and those who remain as Jews residing in American have drifted away from concerns about Israel and aligned with leftist politics over concerns for support of Israel.

 

 

Israeli Flag

Israeli Flag

 

 

We realized this when we were preparing to realize our dream and make Aliyah to Israel and the reactions of the congregation in Oklahoma. Where the Rabbi was very supportive and the few Republican conservatives were also supportive the majority had one simple question, why were we going to Israel and what was our problem with living in America, was that not good enough for us? To many of these Jews moving to Israel was not a realization of the Jewish dream of returning to our ancient home as much as it was performing an act of hatred and loss of faith in the United States. The reality was that the decision which brought us to Israel was made by one of us around fifty years earlier as a youth who realized very early that the pull to return to the Jewish homeland has grabbed them and had decided that once all the parents were cared for the time to realize the dream would be addressed. Where that obligation was met in a way unanticipated, we came when it had been satisfied or at least started the paperwork. It is remarkable how difficult it can be to document an entire life to the satisfaction of governments, any government. After many, many months we had completed our documentation and realized we had had full lives, or at least almost a book’s worth of documentable life between us. We still want the best for the United States and will vote and even continue to vote for our former Representative though we will not likely vote on the individual questions which dot every election ballot but as we still have friends and a son residing in our former district we still want the best for them and will likely consult to make sure we grasp the choices for the different candidates.

 

Yes we participate and vote here in Israel and are beginning to understand the parliamentary system of voting for party and their lists and realize its shortcomings which have granted us a greater appreciation for the direct election for the American President as against getting whoever the party that makes the governing coalition decides should be Prime Minister. In order to vote for the person you want to be Prime Minister you need to accept the slate of party ministers listed and hope the ones farthest down the list, the ones you know virtually nothing about, and neither do most others you talk with, are in the government as you need the party of the desired Prime Minister get the most seats. So, everywhere has its appeal and its not so appealing which makes sense on some level and thus wherever one goes there are those benefits and deficits and the sums often are quite surprisingly near identical. So, for those friends who wondered why we would leave America and who claimed we would regret the move we have some good news and some bad news. The good news is that there are things where the United States has great advantages over life in Israel and then there are some things so much greater in Israel. The straightforwardness of politics in the United States and the variety of products available in the stores and malls in the United States have no equal we have found thus far and we are comparing places of relative same size populations except we have yet to spend a week in Tel Aviv (which we have sort of renamed Los Angeles) which might have everything materialistically while the quality and social life here is beyond imagination as the people are by in large very much more accommodating and friendly and it is so much more natural to just be Jewish, no surprise there.

 

The reality is the Jews remaining in the United States are wholly Americanized Jews with almost none if any Zionists remaining in any congregation. The American Zionists are here in Israel with some exercising dual citizenship and others having completely transited and are Israeli only. A small number reside in both nations as they have business interests in the United States which require their presence so they make regular visits, business trips, to the United States. Many of the Jews from the United States and the Anglosphere are retired and some still make trips back to their native country as they have family and this means grandchildren, weddings, Bar Mitzvahs and other events which they choose to attend. Some of us have insufficient funds for such luxuries and making such a visit would take a concerted amount of savings to make such a trip so any such trip would be extensive as we would desire to visit family and friends which lie spread across the United States.

 

 

Let’s Run Them Up Any Flag Pole and See Who Salutes Them Smartly Showing Your Love of Freedom and Feel Free to Add Your Flag if the Moment Grabs You as You See This Pair of the Flags for Freedom

Let’s Run Them Up Any Flag Pole
and See Who Salutes Them Smartly
Showing Your Love of Freedom
and Feel Free to Add Your Flag
if the Moment Grabs You as You
See This Pair of the Flags for Freedom

 

 

There is one last advantage in Israel, the climate. With no snow or ice along the coast and residing a mere five blocks from the Mediterranean Sea one could claim to have retired to the Riviera of Israel as the weather here resembles San Diego more than anywhere else in the United States, especially Michigan, Oklahoma or the Washington D.C. area where winters can be more disasters caused by serious snowstorms. We would like to say we miss these wintery mixes, well; actually no we don’t miss such wintery blustery weather. We will take the mildly chilly and wet winter weather which makes a serious winter bluster for as long as six to ten weeks where it actually can get into the low 40o F which when it is also raining means hunkering down in place and waiting it out until it at least stops raining. Here in Israel there are those who don their winter coats while others wear their shorts and sandals no matter the weather, even the most blustery of days. Guess which group are Sabras, local Israelis. For those who do not know, a Sabra is both a native born Israeli and a cactus and both are said to have a prickly outer layer but a soft, gushy and sweet inside which in the cactus is edible and in native Israelis comes out as soon as you make a connection with them. The majority of Israelis speak English and many speak Russian as well as Hebrew. There is said that there will be an influx of French speakers we just do not know where they may settle.

 

The one misconception we encountered from our American friends is that due to terrorism living in Israel is unsafe and outright dangerous. We have gotten a handle on the reality and after some research found some unexpected realities. Crime in the United States has a greater possibility of striking one’s life than crime and terror combined in Israel. The similarity is that as long as you avoid known places where such threats are more likely one can mitigate almost completely any threat from anything untoward. So, all things considered, at least for us, Israel has a better quality of life though some things a very different. Instead of living outside of town and relying completely on a vehicle to get around we live right next door to City Hall and can walk nearly everywhere we need to get to in town. When we need to go elsewhere such as for medical appointments the Israeli trains are clean, comfortable, affordable and convenient. For places the trains do not have tracks there are options such as busses or shared taxis which hold eight to twelve people and are very reasonably priced and will drop one near or at where one needs to go. The only drawback is they pick up at set locations so one might need to walk almost a whole kilometer to get to the pickup points. Basically, a car is a luxury and one which is not really necessary. Will we get a car some day, perhaps but such is not a priority. Meanwhile life is good and the Zionists do appear to almost all reside here. The Jews remaining in the United States, as everywhere where Jews are largely assimilated; well, should they continue to have an easy acceptance, they will assimilate and likely cease to be practicing Jews and within two generations be completely secularized and not identify as Jews. Then again, the situation could turn ugly slowly across the entirety of the Western World even including the United States and these assimilated Jews who thought they were completely secularized and not actually Jews would find themselves treated as being very Jewish and if they are fortunate they will be able to get to Israel where whatever the drawbacks, at least being a Jew is not one of them.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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