Friday, May 31, 2024

The world, too quick to blame Israel, should look at the facts

Certainly, Israel’s operation in the Gaza Strip has not been without its mistakes – far from it. But one thing is clear from even the shortest of closer looks into what happened on Sunday: Israel did not intentionally kill dozens of Palestinian civilians.

The compound where the Hamas leaders were located and ultimately targeted was a couple of hundred meters away from an unsanctioned civilian camp outside of the humanitarian zone. Shortly after Israel launched its attack, a loud boom was heard and then a fire broke out in said camp.

Trump Found Guilty in New York Trial. It's Not Enough |

Trump's conviction is something to be proud of because it affirms a fundamental American value—no one in this country is above the law. Trump seems to have lived his life thinking that the rules constraining ordinary mortals don't apply to him. His life has been soaked with scandals from which he, until recently, has walked away.

He has repeatedly been accused of cheating contractors, students at his unaccredited Trump University, donors to his charity, the Internal Revenue Service, and campaign donors. The public has watched as he made his way through serial failed enterprises to find genuine success on reality TV and to win the presidency. He was then accused of abusing that office in numerous ways ranging from subsidizing his hotels with government and foreign funds to advertising his wife's jewelry line on the White House website.

Founding Fathers would be ‘weeping and stunned’ over Trump guilty verdict

“It’s a tragedy that we now have a former president who’s a convicted felon and the leading candidate to be the next president, who’s a convicted felon,” Cobb said during his Thursday appearance on CNN’s show “Erin Burnett OutFront.” 

“I’m sure the founders, were they here today, we would all be weeping and stunned,” he said. “And I’m frankly saddened by this because it means it means a lot to America, and it tarnishes America.” 


A Manhattan jury found Donald Trump guilty of all 34 charges of falsifying business records Thursday, an unprecedented and historic verdict that makes Trump the first former president in American history to be convicted of a felony.

Not only is Trump the first former president to be found guilty of a felony, he’s also the first major-party presidential nominee to be convicted of a crime in the midst of a campaign for the White House. And if he defeats President Joe Biden in November, he will be the first sitting president in history to be a convicted felon.

The verdict in the hush money trial was announced after jurors deliberated for nearly 12 hours over two days.

Thursday, May 30, 2024

After strict instructions, Trump jury begins deliberations

During the morning court session, Justice Merchan delivered a variety of guidelines, advising jurors not to base their decisions on biases or the criminal convictions of other witnesses in the case.

Most crucially, he spelled out in detail prosecutors’ complicated felony case against Mr Trump. They claim he falsified a reimbursement to his fixer for the hush-money payment with the intent to conceal other crimes: violations of state and federal election laws and tax laws.

He told the jury that prosecutors do not need to prove these secondary crimes, nor do jurors need to be in agreement on which specific one Mr Trump committed. They must reach a unanimous verdict on each of the 34 counts, however.

From the start, the defence has denied any wrongdoing and sought to cast doubt on testimony from the prosecution's key witness - Mr Trump’s former fixer and convicted felon Michael Cohen - in an attempt to disprove the larger case.

Israel Land Authority tells UNRWA to evacuate Jerusalem premises for breaching lease

According to the Ynet news site, which reported on the letter, the ILA had turned a blind eye to UNRWA’s violation of the terms under which the land was leased to it, but decided to enforce the terms of the lease in light of tensions over the war in Gaza and the alleged involvement of several UNRWA employees in the October 7 massacre carried out by Hamas in southern Israel.

US to boycott UN tribute to Iran leader killed in helicopter crash

The United States will boycott a United Nations tribute on Thursday to Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, who was killed earlier this month in a helicopter crash, a U.S. official said.

The 193-member U.N. General Assembly traditionally meets to pay tribute to any world leader who was a sitting head of state at the time of their death. The tribute will feature speeches about Raisi.

"We won't attend this event in any capacity," a U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters. The U.S. boycott has not previously been reported.

Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Working is a Curse

 Michtav M’Eliyahu (01 page 187) The whole need to strive in material matters according to the course of nature, comes from the Adam's sin, which was said in his curse By the sweat of your brow you shall eat bread., It was because in his sin he descended to such a physical level. Before the sin when he was in a higher spiritual level, all the needs of his refined body came to him automatically. Our Sages said angels roasted meat and poured wine for him.

Michtav M’Eliyahu (01 page 187)  The whole burden of working is nothing but a punishment and a curse, and the Torah did not give a measure for it.It is not good for a person to reduce the curse as much as possible. What is the minimum effort that man is required to do? Rabbi Zundel of Selchem said, we need to engage in work only because we are not worthy of open miracles, Therefore the obligation is to act in such a way that the beneficial influence that comes down to us from Heaven can be attributed to some natural cause and that is the minimum required. Even buying a lottery ticket can be acceptable effort(hishstadlus)

Working is good only for some People

Michtav M’Eliyahu (01 page 197) It has already been explained that all man's efforts in earning a living is so that he may learn about Divine providence and withstanding tests. Also to know , that there is no such thing as Nature at all, but everything is from G-d alone. That is why the need to engage in a job varies according to the degree the man is aware of G-d’s providence.

Michtav M’Eliyahu (01 page 197) There are five different levels concerning the awareness of G-d’s providence. The highest level is the man who has already stood the test, and recognized that the miracle and nature are both truly visible miracles, and knows that there is no real nature. , For such a person there is no longer a need for the test of "by the sweat of your brow you shall eat bread". And it is proper for him to rely all the time on his attachment to G-d and His Torah, since there is no reason to conceal  the miraculous from him. This is the method of R. Shimon bar Yochai, that as long as Israel does the Will of G-d.  their work is done by others...

 Michtav M’Eliyahu (01 page 197)  The second level concerning the awareness of G-d’s providence: There are no miracles from heaven except for those who have reached the perfection of bitachon. They view miraculous and the natural in their hearts as being totally identical. Thus they perceive that nature does not exis and that is simply a test. But for those who have not yet reached such perfection, they should behave as if Nature exists and is real. He needs to overcome natural challenges. He still is required to obey the curse of with the sweat of your breath you shall eat bread, this is the level that Rabbi Ishmael  prescribes in the dispute with Rabbi Shimon. If such a person refuses to work and insists on relying on miracles, he will not be successful.

Michtav M’Eliyahu (01 page 197) The third degree concerning the awareness of G-d’s providence, is the one who sees nature merely as a tool in G-d’s hand. and he does not see that nature is not real. Also there exists varying degrees of these levels. Someone who has reached the degree of R. Ishmael should have a job, because in every act he continues to find out for himself the nonreality  of his deeds. Thus for such a person working actually increases his spiritual level. But he who is at a lower level than this, there is the fear that his actions will not add clarity to his knowledge, but will actually cause him to descend and to think that Nature is real.  For such a person nature activities are dangerous and he should minimize them as much as possible.

Is There Life on Other Planets?

Dr. Velvl Greene was a microbiologist who was enlisted by NASA in their project to determine if there is life on Mars. He asked the Lubavitcher Rebbe privately if this was something he should be doing.

The Rebbe replied, “Dr. Greene, look for life on Mars! And if you don’t find it there, look somewhere else in the universe for it. Because for you to sit here and say there is no life outside of planet Earth is to put limitations on the Creator, and that is not something any of His creatures can do!”

Parnossa - Pele Yo'etz

 Pele Yoetz (Parnossa) It is known that the key to parnossa is in the hands of G-d. He is feeds and provides sustenance for all from the horns of rams to the eggs of lice. Hower there are distinctions and differences  betweeen them. Man is sustained according to his deeds and mazel and according to G-d’s understanding. 

Pele Yoetz (Parnossa) There is a well known disagreement in the Talmud that the Rashbi believed that a person should engage only in the Torah constantly and as a result his work is done by others while Rabbi Yishmael believed that one should follow a natural course and have a job. the commentators say that what both of them say is true.  The meaning of the matter is that the work of the pious  is blessed in miraculous fashion. Therefore the little work they do is is blessed by G-d and is adequate for their needs. However for the majority, G-d provides parnossa in a natural manner. 

Pele Yoetz (02 page 58) . 1. A craft, is a laborious act that requires concentration and effort, and therefore has the ability to keep the thoughts of lust away from a person. But on the other hand, its content is usually material, and therefore In any case, it also distances from spiritualityand from the Torah. 2, Torah and Derech Eretz, various explanations have been given to this concept, but the most striking is that of Rabbi Chaim of Volozyhner, who interpreted when is the Torah beautiful with Derech Eretz? When Darech Eretz is also Torah. And this is his language there, "Raba said (Brachos 35) to his students on the days of Nisan and on the days of Tishrei, do not appear before me in order not to struggle with your livelihood the rest of the year.” G-d forbid to say that they turned their hearts completely to working all day long and they were  completely negligent from Torah study. But in fact while they were involved in their business their thinking was involved with Halacha.

Pele Yoetz (02 page 58) Mixing in oil means the Torah that should be mixed with good deeds, As they say “It is beautiful that Torah studying be comboned with derech eretz. Since the exertion in both obliterates sin.”When a who has good deeds is engaged in Torah study he keeps himself from sin. In other words, by this he keeps himself from sin, and in this man comes closer to the level of pure motivation for the sake of G-d.

Parnossa Kad HaKemach

 Rabbeinu Bachya (Kad haKemach  Parnossa) And He even sustains every nation of the seventy nations that exist in the world even those who are not worthy of it because there are some nations among them who have no Torah and nothing to do with a mitzvah but are worshipers of idolatry. Also the wild animals including those that are dangerous and harm us as it is written He gives bread to the animal, etc., and all are nourished and provided for by His ever-great kindness that does not cease. and David also said He gives bread to all flesh because His kindness is eternal.

Rabbeinu Bachya (Kad haKemach  Parnossa) G-d sustains the whole world from the horns of rams to the eggs of lice, that is, from the largest to the smallest of the animal species that does not speak, and it is not necessary to say of the human species

Rabbeinu Bachya (Kad haKemach  Parnossa) In the name of sustenance, G-d was called a shepherd Come and see how great the power of sustenance is because the parts of the world that need sustenance are four. And these are inanimate and vegetative and living and speaking. . And each and every one's livelihood is prepared for him according to his value and that which is appropriate for it.

Rabbeinu Bachya (Kad haKemach  Parnossa) Children. Lifespan and parnossa, are not dependent on virtue but on mazel. This  it is not to be understood that the matter depends on luck and according to the stars and that prayer is irrelevant. Because we know from other sources that prayer does help in these matters. In fact this statement informs us how great is the power of prayer. Because everything decreed by the stars can be canceled by G-d. In fact everything that is decreed by the stars, it is possible for a person to cancel it by his merit even  without prayer and without shouting at all. Nevertheless in these three things which are dependent on the stars, he is needs to pray

Rabbeinu Bachya (Kad haKemach  Parnossa) And because in the giving of the parnossa a miracle is done in them by canceling the power of the stars. Therefore our sages compared the giving of parnossa to the splitting of the Red Sea, because the splitting of the sea was an open miracle and while parnossa is a hidden miracle, therefore they said it was like the splitting and not the splitting.

Rabbeinu Bachya (Kad haKemach Parnossa) It is well-known that the matter of livelihood is a testimony to the wonders of G-d and to his great kindness of His graces from the fact that He gives bread to all flesh and distributes sustenance to all His creatures.Our Sages said It is called the Great Hallel because God sits in His midst of the world and distributes sustenance to all His creatures, because He gives each and every one his need for sustenance and enough for his lack that he lacks.

Deadly Rafah strike doesn’t cross Biden’s ‘red line’

The Biden administration has decided Israel’s weekend strike in Rafah that reportedly killed nearly 50 displaced Palestinians did not cross the “red line” President Joe Biden set two months ago, a U.S. official said Tuesday.

The administration made clear in public and in private on Tuesday that the incident, while devastating, would not trigger any serious reprimand from Washington. It’s the strongest indicator yet that Israel is conducting a military operation that the administration can accept, even if U.S. officials don’t like every aspect of it.

IDF says hidden store of terror munitions may have caused deadly Rafah blaze

The military suspects that the munitions or some other combustible substance it was unaware of caused a secondary explosion and a fire to spread in a complex housing displaced Gazans in Rafah, killing dozens of Palestinian civilians, following an airstrike targeting two top Hamas terrorists in the area.

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Airstrike shrapnel hitting fuel tank likely caused Rafah fire - US official

Initial information suggests that the fire that broke in Rafah following the airstrike targeting two Hamas senior members on Sunday most likely occurred as a result of shrapnel hitting and igniting a fuel tank in the vicinity of the attack, ABC News reported on Monday, citing a US official.

Response to Rav Feldman

This is going to be short. Others might have much more to say. I would only like to contrast Rav Feldman’s approach with that of R Moshe Sternbuch, shlit”a, – whose anti-Zionist credentials are even richer than those of R Feldman – penned just a few days after Oct. 7. Here is a free translation of his words:

The Gri”z, zt”l, said a lofty thing. When the navi Yonah boarded the ship to escape to Tarshish, and Hashem brought a tempest to the sea that threatened to capsize the vessel, Yonah’s reaction was, “I am the cause of this great tempest.” Now, there were many actual idolators aboard, as it is written, “Each man cried out to his god.” Nonetheless, Yonah did not attribute the cause of the tempest to the sins of all the others on board the ship. He attributed the fault to himself. The Gri”z said that this instructs us on how to react at a time of great affliction – for, after all, only prophecies that had continued relevance to all times were recorded. At such times a person should not seek out the sins of his friend and those around him. Rather, he should say, “I am the cause of this great tempest.” He should examine his own actions, and how to repent for them.

How the Activist Left Turned On Israel

 But for many members of the young left, the massacre of Israeli innocents represents a glitch in a moral dogma that reduces most political conflict to an underlying battle between the oppressor and the oppressed.  "The default of the left is to side with the victims and defend them," says Berger, and in the long-simmering conflict between Israelis and Palestinians, "it doesn't seem like the Jews are the victims.”

Child of Famed Jewish Family Funded Pro-Palestinian Protests

 the Gelmans have ranked among the biggest bankrollers of the Birthright Israel Foundation, which sponsors free trips for Jewish young adults to Israel—and which she also once chaired.

Meanwhile, the Gelmans have simultaneously bankrolled the Bafrayung Fund, their daughter Rachel’s charity, pouring in $3,470,000 between 2019 and 2022—the last year for which disclosures are available—all from Morningstar Philanthropic, the same outfit through which the Gelmans support Birthright and the Israel Policy Forum.

Bafrayund has in turn disbursed money to a wide range of left-wing causes, including those tied to pro-Palestinian and anti-Israeli activism. That includes $60,000 for the Palestinian Youth Movement—doled out in annual earmarked tranches to the group’s sponsor WESPAC—and $40,000 for the Arab Resource and Organizing Center.

Tzadik is not necessarily a Scholar

 Malbim (HaCarmel) The name tzaddik refers to one who uses the laws of wisdom to do justice and habituates himself to acting according to the laws of wisdom and this becomes his nature. Even though he is not learned and did not accept and learn the laws of wisdom through extensive study from others, he trained his nature to do them according to commonsense 

Women ran stores in Europe - but not in Israel

While there are many sources which explicitly state that women should remain home - the historical reality was something else. For example there are letters written by the students of the Vilna Gaon who came to Israel in the early 1800's. The letters were requests for financial assistance from their European brethren. One of the reasons given for the need for this help was that in Israel the accepted practice [of the Arab population] is that women don't work in stores as they did in Lithuania. In addition the men came to Israel to learn Torah - not to work.

אברהם יערי אגרות מארץ ישראל ע”מ 336.
מכתב מתלמידי הגר”א בשנת 1810
“טעם הב’ ראיתי חובה עלי להודיע כי הספרדים יש להם פרנסות בחנויות וס”ד  הכל בהיתר ולא באיסור ובמנוחה. אבל לא לאשכנזים מפני מניעת הלשון, וגם כאן המנהג שהנשים אינם יושבות בחנויות, ואנשינו הבאים
לאה״ק ע״פ רוב ביאתם לקנות שלימות ולהיות מתופשי ב ה מ ״ ד " לישב על התורה ועל העבודה ובאים בידים ריקניות.”

Tzadikim are G-d's Partners

 Ramchal (Daas Tevunos 158.8) And see how much honor the Creator, G-d, gave to the tzadikim, whom He considered to be partners with Him. Because He truly gave them a part in the correction of the world and the perfection of creation.until we find the correction of creation, so to speak, divided between G-d and the tzadikim, which is not fulfilled except by both.

Ramchal (Daas Tevunos 158.13) And now we will explain the reality of the partnership that we mentioned between the righteous and God in the correction of creation in that G-d provides benefit only according to the preparation of tzadikim.  It is therefore best if the tzadikim increase preparation upon preparation and correction upon correction, and correspondingly G-d will send benefit and elevation.

Trump told donors he will crush pro-Palestinian protests, deport demonstrators

Former president Donald Trump promised to crush pro-Palestinian protests on college campuses, telling a roomful of donors — a group that he joked included “98 percent of my Jewish friends” — that he would expel student demonstrators from the United States, according to participants in the roundtable event with him in New York.

Tzadikim need to consent to G-d's Decrees

 Rav Tzadok (Tzedkas HaTzadik 2:87) There is no decree that comes from the mouth of G-d except with the consent of the righteous of the generation who are His beis din. Until they agree agree, no law is given to world.

CNN legal expert says idea of Trump being acquitted in hush money case is ‘out of reach’

“This was a winnable case. It still is not a slam dunk, in my view, having been there every day for the prosecution,” Eisen said in a CNN interview with Jim Acosta on Monday. “I think the odds of conviction are somewhere upwards of 80 percent.”

“In part because of this scattershot approach, the defense is not really gunning for an acquittal. That’s out of reach here,” he continued. “What they are hoping for is one angry juror.”

“Whether there’s one juror who either feels sympathy for Trump or just for whatever reason does not follow the evidence and the law. The holdout,” the expert added. “That’s what they’re trying for. Just one.”

Monday, May 27, 2024

Judge: To convict Trump of felonies, jury does not need to unanimously agree on what 'predicate' crime he committed

In other words: If some jurors believe that Trump falsified business documents solely to cover up a tax crime, while others believe that he falsified business documents solely to cover up an election crime, the jury can still convict Trump on the felony-level falsifying-documents charges, despite disagreeing on the predicate crimes.

MAGA Influencers Slam Israel After Rafah Strike

Republicans have generally been supportive of Israel's attacks in Gaza, which were launched in response to the surprise October 7 attack on Israel by Hamas. However, a selection of Trump's most dedicated supporters have denounced the continuing assault by the IDF, with some joining leftists in characterizing the situation in Gaza as a "genocide." Trump himself has not denounced Israel's military tactic

A Tzadik decrees and G-d upholds

 Michtav M’Eliyahu(02:186) A Tzadik  decrees and G-d upholds, It is clear that it is not meant that a tzadik decrees something that is against the will of the Creator,, but the point is, that there are tzadikkim for whom the whole world exists because of their merit. That means everything that happens in the world is through them. From them is learned how to serve G-d which preserves the whole generation. So by raising up the whole generation it is possible for them to request changes in things that they regard as against the honor of G-d. This is what is meant by a tzadik decrees and G-d fulfills,

Man was made a little lower than angels

 Meiri (Tehilim 08:06) Man was made a little lower than angels – this is related to the fact that Tzadikim rule. That is because the Jewish scholars are compared to G-d in that they crown Him and magnify His name

Tzadikim called by name of G-d

 Bava Basra (075b) The righteous will in time to come be called by the name of G-d; for it is said: Every one that is called by My name, and whom I have created for My glory. I have formed him, yea, I have made him.   R. Samuel b. Nahmani said in the name of R. Johanan: Three were called by the name of G-d, and they are the following: The righteous, the Messiah and Jerusalem. 

Megila (18a) Rav Acha also said in the name of Rav Eleazar: How do we know that G-d called Jacob G-d Because it says, And the G-d of Israel called Jacob G-d. For should you suppose that what the text means is that Jacob called the altar G-d, then it should be written, ‘And Jacob called it’. But as it is not written so, we must translate, ‘He called Jacob G-d’. And who called him so? The G-d of Israel.

Rabbeinu Bachye (Bereishis 33:20) A kabbalistic approach: the G-d of Israel called Yaakov “EL.” This is also what our sages have said in Bereshis Rabbah 79,8. The wording there is that G-’d said to Israel: “I am G-d in heaven whereas you are “EL” on earth.” This would reflect what we have quoted repeatedly that Yaakov’s likeness is engraved on the throne of G-d.

Rafah rocket volley targets Tel Aviv area, in first such attack in 4 months

The Hamas terror group fired eight rockets at central Israel on Sunday afternoon, marking the most significant attack out of the Gaza Strip in some four months and underscoring some of the challenges remaining for the Israeli military as it seeks to oust the Palestinian group from its last major stronghold.

Three of the projectiles were downed by the Iron Dome anti-missile system, according to an Israel Defense Forces spokesperson, and five landed in open areas.

5 Criticisms of Trump’s New York Hush Money Trial That Are Just Wrong

Trump has proven himself to be a reflexive criminal: someone whose natural reaction to a variety of personal, business, and political situations is often to do whatever he wants regardless of whether it’s appropriate, ethical, or legal. Quite simply, he believes the rules do not apply to him, so he does not adjust his behavior to comply with the rules like the rest of us do. But the notion that falsifying business records over a $130,000 campaign finance violation was not well thought out does not mean it is not deserving of prosecution.

Sunday, May 26, 2024

World narrative on ICJ ruling on Rafah wrong, officials say

"This is the fourth time South Africa has asked for a complete halt to the war. The wording of the ruling is not accidental," the official said. "When we read the ruling, we see a few things stand out and when we read the judges words individually, they say the same things. South Africa's demands are not answered, for the fourth time. Even the South African judge acknowledges that."

Police uncover Rami Levy scandal: Cashiers steal approximately half a million in cash and products

By the end of the investigation in May 2024, the police had built a substantial body of evidence against the suspects and their accomplices. Following this, the police, through the prosecution unit, filed more than 50 indictments against the suspects, residents of Jisr az-Zarqa and Fureidis.

Iran supreme court rejects retrial for Jew facing imminent execution

Sabti told the Jerusalem Post that “In these last days and weeks, there have been international efforts to release him and get the Muslim family to forgive him and turn the execution to a prison term.” He said "Jews in US and other countries raised funds amounting to over $1.5 million including an offer of an apartment, and the building of a mosque in name of the dead Muslim man. It seems that they did not agree.”

Saturday, May 25, 2024

A Prisoner of Zion in Iran 

The execution, initially slated for early this week, has been temporarily delayed by international pressure, ostensibly by a month. However, sources within the local community confided to Mishpacha that the final decision could be carried out in a matter of days, potentially without prior notice.

“We urge Jews worldwide to pray to prevent the execution,” said Iran’s chief rabbi, Rav Yehuda Gerami, in an exclusive interview with Mishpacha.

From Tehran, Rabbi Gerami asserted that he is exerting every possible effort to nullify the grim verdict, though he indicated that the young man’s situation is exceedingly precarious.

Stoliner Rebbe and the Holocaust

Rav Avraham Elimelech’s dire warnings seemed taken from nowhere. Yes, the puzzle pieces of a dreadful world war were falling into place. This was the month when Germany and Italy signed the military pact that undergirded their Second World War alliance. But Britain was still busily practicing diplomacy to defuse German-Polish border tensions and Hitler’s threats against European Jewry seemed fantastical.

It wasn’t the first time the Rebbe had warned of a black future for European Jews, though. From 1933 onward, he spoke of Hitler’s threat constantly. A full year before the outbreak of war, Rav Zalman Brizel, a leading Karliner chassid from Yerushalayim, had spent Rosh Hashanah with the Rebbe and returned with a disturbing account of what went on.

Although British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain had returned from meeting Hitler with a proclamation of “peace for our time,” saying that the German leader wasn’t bent on war, unlike most observers, the Rebbe wasn’t heartened.

Before the tekios began, he addressed the crowd. “We’re faced today with the same threat as in the times of Mordechai and Esther. We need to storm the Heavens for miracles.”

Standing now by the Kosel, one Karliner chassid turned to the Rebbe and asked what was on everyone’s mind. “Why is the Rebbe scaring us so much?”

Alien life

The Sefer HaBris (Stars chapter 9) says this is support that there is life outside the earth

Shoftim (05:23)Curse Meroz!” said the angel of GOD.“Bitterly curse its inhabitants,

Moed Katan (15a) Meroz is the name of a star   

the reference is to a star and not a human being, and that it did not aid the Jewish people in their battle, as it is stated: “The stars fought from heaven; in their courses they fought against Sisera,” (Judges 5:20). This star, which did not help the Jewish people, was cursed. 

Rashi (Moed Katan 15a) Curse Meroz! One opinion is that this was a star. According to others, this was a distinguished person who was near the battle field but failed to appear.

Why does gemora record this?

 Sukkah (56b) It happened that Miriam the daughter of Bilgah apostatized and married an officer of the Greek kings. When the Greeks entered the Sanctuary, she stamped with her sandal upon the altar, crying out, Wolf! Wolf! How long wilt thou consume Israel's money! And yet thou dost not stand by them in the time of oppression! And when the Sages heard of the incident, they made her ring immovable and blocked up her alcove.

Tosefta (Sukkos 04:13) Bilgah's ring is for ever fixed and his window closed, because Miriam, the daughter of Bilgah, apostatized and married an officer of the kings of Greece, and when the Greeks entered the Temple, Miriam came and struck the top of the altar, saying to it, “Wolf, wolf, you have destroyed the wealth of Israel, and have not helped them in the time of their distress!” There are some who say that because he delayed to take up his watch, and Jeshebeab his brother came and took his place, that he is excluded for ever and Jeshebeab included for ever. Those who are neighbors to evil men receive no reward, save Jeshebeab, the neighbor of Bilgah, who received a reward. 

Avos DeRabbi Nosson (01:06)“Do not bring the foot of the arrogant upon me”: This is Titus the wicked, whose bones would grind in the grave because he would raise his hands and then strike the altar with them, and say: Locus! Locus! [Latin for “the Place,” i.e., “the Omnipresent God.”] You are a King, and I am a king! Come and make war with me! How many bulls have been slaughtered for You? How many birds’ necks have been snapped for You? How much wine has been poured out for You? How much incense has been burnt for You? And yet, You are the one who destroys the whole world! As it says (Isaiah 291–2), “Oh Ariel, Ariel, the city where David camped! Through year after year, and the cycle of festivals [I will assault Ariel, and there will be groaning and sighing].”

Friday, May 24, 2024

How Trump used his own court filing to claim an ‘assassination’ attempt

The original citation was in a three-month-old filing by Trump’s lawyers — a filing that misleadingly quoted from standard FBI language in search-warrant instructions. As is typical in social media frenzies, quotes were taken out of context without due diligence or actual reporting. Then Trump used the outrage to gin up a fundraising appeal.

Ironically, Trump in his effort to win immunity for his actions as president has suggested that ordering the killing of a rival would not be subject to criminal prosecution. Whether he’s successful will depend on the Supreme Court.

In the court of facts, the former president and his supporters earn Four Pinocchios.

Rabbinical court imposes million-shekel divorce payment on husband, citing ketubah

The 34-year marriage came to an end after years of harassment and surveillance by the man who apparently suspected that his wife, identified by Hebrew media on Tuesday only by her first Hebrew initial “Aleph,” was cheating on him.

The suspicion, which the court found to be groundless, came despite Aleph having taken care of the man over many years while he suffered from health problems, including cancer, even donating a kidney to save her husband’s life.

The court, in response to the husband’s “unprecedented ingratitude,” ordered him to pay his wife the full sum specified in their ketubah: one million shekels, to be paid immediately.

Thursday, May 23, 2024

Jimmy Kimmel Rips MTG for ‘Dangerous’ Assassination Claims

Kimmel finished off the topic by accusing Trump’s “hysterical, dishonest scrooges” for presenting the news in an inflammatory, hypocritical way, while downplaying any story that reflects poorly on Trump himself.

“They’re so dramatic,” Kimmel joked. “The temperature in the courtroom is a ‘freezing icebox,’ recovering stolen documents is ‘an assassination attempt,’ but this?” He showed some brief clips of Trump supporters storming the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. “That’s just tourism.”

The Israelis Prove Biden Wrong on Rafah

Remember Rafah? For months, the Biden Administration bitterly opposed an Israeli invasion of Hamas’s last stronghold in Gaza. The mantra was that Israel had “no credible plan” to evacuate the city’s 1.3 million civilians. Yet the Israelis went ahead anyway, and two weeks later they have safely evacuated an estimated 950,000 people.

Colombia to open embassy in Ramallah after cutting ties with Israel

Colombian President Gustavo Petro has ordered the opening of an embassy in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Foreign Minister Luis Gilberto Murillo told journalists on Wednesday.

“President Petro has given the order that we open the Colombian embassy in Ramallah, the representation of Colombia in Ramallah, that is the next step we are going to take,” Murillo said.

At the beginning of this month, Petro, who had already recalled the Colombian ambassador from Tel Aviv, said he would break diplomatic relations with Israel over its prosecution of the war against Hamas in Gaza. The embassy was closed on May 3.

Regular use of fish oil supplements linked to increased heart disease risk in healthy individuals

Regular use of fish oil supplements might increase, rather than lessen, the risk of first time heart disease and stroke among those in good cardiovascular health, but may slow progression of existing poor cardiovascular health and lower the risk of death, suggest the results of a large long term study, published in the open access journal BMJ Medicine.

Trump Claims the FBI Wanted to Kill Him. Fox News Ran Wild With It.

Trump set MAGA world ablaze on Tuesday afternoon when he took to his failing Truth Social platform to blare in all-caps that Biden’s Department of Justice had “AUTHORIZED THE FBI TO USE DEADLY (LETHAL) FORCE. NOW WE KNOW, FOR SURE, THAT JOE BIDEN IS A SERIOUS THREAT TO DEMOCRACY.”

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

How Trumpworld convinced itself that the feds aimed to take out Trump

The right-wing blog Federalist wrote a story about it. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) shared Kelly’s allegation, asking if the FBI was “going to shoot SS then Pres Trump, Melania, and Barron too???” When Trump himself posted the allegation on Truth Social, Greene took credit for tipping him off that the “Biden DOJ and FBI were planning to assassinate Pres Trump and gave the green light.”

Moscow Eats Up Marjorie Taylor Greene’s Nutso Trump ‘Assassination’ Claim

Marjorie Taylor Greene’s baseless claim that the feds planned to “assassinate” Donald Trump in 2022 may not have been taken seriously by most of the American public, but Moscow’s propaganda machine is reporting it as fact.

“The FBI planned to kill Donald Trump: details revealed in the USA,” one popular Kremlin-friendly newspaper blared, citing the “popular” Republican congresswoman.

German occupation of Norway

Acceptance and collaboration

Of the Norwegians who supported the Nasjonal Samling party, relatively few were active collaborators. Most notorious among these was Henry Rinnan, the leader of the Sonderabteilung Lola (locally known as Rinnanbanden or "the Rinnan gang"), a group of informants who infiltrated the Norwegian resistance, hence managing to capture and murder many of its members.

Other collaborators were Statspolitiet (STAPO), a police force that operated independently of the regular police. Statspolitiet was closely related to the Quisling regime and took also orders directly from the German Sicherheitspolizei.

Hirden was a fascist paramilitary force with party members subordinate to the ruling party. Hirden had a broad mandate that included the use of violence.

Furthermore, about 15,000 Norwegians volunteered for combat duty on the Nazi side; of the 6,000 sent into action as part of the Germanic SS, most were sent to the Eastern front.

Hamas leader and Neturei Karta members pay respects to Butcher of Tehran

Among those present at the funeral were senior members of Iranian-backed terror groups including senior members of Hamas and Hezbollah.

In addition, several members of the extremist anti-Zionist Jewish sect Neturei Karta came to pay their respects.

Israel Rages as Ireland, Spain, and Norway Move to Recognize Palestinian State

Although the majority of countries in the world already recognize a sovereign state of Palestine, most in Western Europe, along with the U.S., do not. The news of the latest additions—whose formal recognition will begin Tuesday—was welcomed by Palestinian officials as a highly symbolic victory for their people and derided by the government of Israel, which wasted no time in excoriating the decision.

Tzadikim control Nature

 Sefer HaIkkarim (01:21) Belief in G-d and in His Torah brings man to eternal happiness and causes his soul to cleave to the spiritual substance. This is proved by experience, as we know from continuous tradition. We know of no instance of a philosopher or other investigator attaining to the degree of the prophet, which means the union of the divine spirit with the human intellect. We do find that the devotees of the Torah came into such close intellectual union with G-d that they were able to change the laws of nature, cause the latter to do their bidding and perform miracles against the laws of nature…

Sefer HaIkkarim (01:21) Pious men, even if they are not prophets, can change the laws of nature by prayer. Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah were cast into the fire and were not burned. Rabbi Hanina the son of Dosa and Rabbi Phinehas the son of Yair made certain temporary changes in the nature and conduct of the world. This shows that one who believes in G-d and in His Torah is above nature and not subject to natural law. On the contrary, the laws of nature are subject to him, and he can change them as he pleases. This is strong and convincing proof that the Torah is divinely revealed, since God shelters, protects and shields those who trust in Him and who observe His covenant and commandments. 

Sefer HaIkkarim (02:11) The intellect acquired through the Torah will be a separate intellect existing independently, permanently and controlling all material things, as the prophets and pious men produced signs and miracles by means of the intellect which they acquired through the Torah. This intellect is, as it were, a separate intellect, produced by the Active Intellect or by the sefirah called Sabbath.

Sefer HaIkkarim (03:30) There are cases in which the degree that a person attains by the doing of many commandments with the right motives is such that he is the subject of divine providence in this world and is delivered from all accidents, like many of the pious men of Israel, who were able to change the laws of nature by their will, as for example, Rabbi Hanina ben Dosa, Nahum of Gamzo, Rabbi Phinehas ben Yair, and others.


 Sefer HaIkkarim (04:19) My opinion therefore is that the blessings are not declarations of the future at all. A blessing is a prayer plus the bestowal upon the recipient of the capacity to receive the divine influence. Celestial influences descend upon the recipients through a chain of intermediate agents and in varying degrees, provided, however, that the recipients are worthy, and occupy a certain definite relation and order, and are in addition prepared to receive the influence in question. And if the transmission is interrupted in any of the intermediate agents, or the relation or order is changed, or the recipient is not prepared, the influence or relation gets confused, and the divine influence does not rest upon the person if the order is changed. For this reason there must be in the recipient the proper preparation to enable him to receive the influence in question. But if the recipient is not himself prepared to receive the divine influence, he may be prepared by a prophet or a righteous or pious man, and thus the one who bestows the blessing becomes an intermediate agent in causing the influence in question to descend. This is the reason for the laying on of hands by those who gave the blessings upon those who received them. The purpose was to confer upon the recipient of the blessing the capacity or preparation to receive the influence or good in question. Thus the pious or righteous man who conferred the blessing was a sort of channel conducting the divine influence. 

Sefer HaIkkarim (04:19) The same purpose is intended in the priestly benediction. The priests blessed the people in order that they (the priests) might be the intermediate agents to cause the divine influence to rest upon the recipients of the blessing in accordance with each one’s preparation. The lifting of their hands at the time of the blessing was a sort of laying on of hands. The priests blessed all Israel, or the congregation, because the many collectively are more prepared to receive divine influence than an individual. For it is impossible that there should not be among them some one who has preparation for receiving some measure of divine influence through the mediation of the priests. Of similar nature are the blessings which the righteous or the pious confer upon their recipients. The purpose is that the divine influence may rest upon the recipient through their mediation.

Sefer HaIkkarim (04:19) The question may be asked, how can the righteous or the pious man be an instrument through which a blessing may come upon a person when the pious man himself is poor and dependent upon the bounty of others. The answer is given by the Rabbis, who say that the merits of the righteous avail others, but do not avail the righteous man himself. 

Sefer HaIkkarim (04:19) After the influence is transmitted to the recipient of the blessing through the instrumentality of the blesser and in accordance with the amount of preparation of the recipient, the blesser has no power to stop the influence and prevent it from descending upon the recipient. For it descends of its own accord, the blesser being merely an instrument for the blessing to reach the recipient. Therefore though the instrument be removed, the blessing does not depart. It is the same as if a person drew by means of an aqueduct the water of a spring to a garden in order to promote the growth of the plants. The author of the conduit might cease to exist, but the stream made by the channel would not cease to water the garden. 

Spain, Norway and Ireland will recognize a Palestinian state

Palestinian statehood has been recognized by more than 130 out of 193 member states of the United Nations, according to the Palestine Liberation Organization.

US Allies Recognize 'Palestine as a State'

Ireland, Spain and Norway announced plans to recognize a Palestinian state on Wednesday.

It comes as the mounting death toll in Gaza from Israel's seven-month war has prompted global calls for a ceasefire and lasting solution for peace.

Leaders of the counties said on Wednesday that a two-state solution is essential for peace in the region.

Israel's foreign minister Israel Katz responded to the moves, posting on X, formerly Twitter: "Today's decision sends a message to the Palestinians and the world: Terrorism pays."

Tzadikim should avoid Danger

 Zohar (Shemos 36a) When punishment impends over a place a man should not go out into the open, since, once the Destroyer is given leave, he does harm indiscriminately, and makes no distinction between the righteous and the unrighteous; therefore the people of G-d should hide themselves lest they be consumed in that vengeance which is the due of the Destroyer.

Israel recalls envoys over Palestinian statehood, ‘We won’t stand silent’

Israel recalled its ambassadors from Ireland and Norway to protest the declarations by both countries that they recognize Palestine as a state.

“I have instructed the immediate recall of Israel’s ambassadors to Ireland and Norway for consultations in light of these countries' decisions to recognize a Palestinian state,” Foreign Minister Israel Katz said in a message he posted on X.

Wicked are important

 Zohar (Shemos 20b) As thorns are scattered among the lilies, so does G-d permit in His world the wicked to be found among the righteous, for, as without the thorns the lilies could not exist, so would the righteous go unrecognized in the world were it not for the wicked, as R. Judah said: “How are the righteous recognized? By contrast with the wicked I If it were not for the one, the other would not be known.


Friedman - Get Deeper Into ... by Esser Agaroth

Wicked have righteous sons

 Zohar (Shemos 12b) There are many wicked parents who beget more good sons than righteous parents, and that a good son born of wicked parents is of special excellence, being pure out of impure, light out of darkness, wisdom out of folly. 

Death of Tzadikkim

 Zohar (Shemos 10b) We have been taught that the righteous are removed from this world before their time for one of two reasons: one for the sins of their generation, for when there is much sin in the world the righteous are penalized for its guilt; the second is that when the Holy One, blessed be He, is aware that they would commit a sin if they lived longer, He removes them before their time.

Stefanik files ethics complaint against Judge Merchan

Stefanik, a close Trump ally and one of his most vocal defenders in Congress, has filed five formal complaints against judges and prosecutors involved in cases against Trump.

Anti-Israel activists blame Israel for Raisi helicopter crash 

French TV channel mistakenly reports Mossad agent ‘Eli Copter’ behind Iran president crash

During a live segment updating on the crash, Haik quoted a Telegram channel saying: “The pilot was a Mossad agent with the name ‘Eli Copter’, it’s not currently clear whether this is true or not, but that’s the rumour going around.” 

Haik was ridiculed for not recognising the joke, which also works in French as the word for helicopter is the same as in English.

The Eli Copter joke, which is thought to have originated on Twitter/x and was spread on Israeli Whatsapp groups, last night and later reported as fact on Hamas channels on Telegram.

Russian Propagandist Sounds Alarm Over Mossad Agent ‘Eli Copter’

Citing “a French channel,” Solovyov aired a clip from a French-language segment of an Israeli TV network in which the anchor told viewers that Hamas “claims the helicopter pilot was a Mossad agent” named “Eli Copter.” The anchor, Daniel Haik, has already been widely mocked for taking the internet joke at face value and reciting it on-air.

Learning Gemara in English: The Steinsaltz Talmud Translation

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Netanyahu’s Main Challenger Loses His Edge

Support for the leader of the National Unity Party soared after the Oct. 7 attack, when public anger with Netanyahu was at its height. Previously a member of the opposition, Gantz joined Netanyahu’s coalition as part of an emergency government, a move that gave him a seat on the powerful three-member war cabinet. 

But as the war drags on, support for Gantz has slid while Netanyahu’s has stabilized. Many voters think Gantz has stayed in the emergency government for too long and he is now perceived as being part of the failures of the war instead of someone who can change its course.

Iran postpones execution of Jewish man who killed a Muslim

Arvin Nathaniel Ghahremani, a 20-year-old Iranian Jew, was convicted of killing a Muslim man two years ago and was supposed to be put to death on Monday. On Sunday, the Jewish community in Iran was informed that the execution has been postponed until next month,

Just How Big of a Threat Is RFK Jr.?

Polling is a tricky indicator. History shows that third party candidates tend to poll higher than they perform on Election Day.

“Third party candidates tend to do a bit better when you’re further out because it's, in some ways, a measure of dissatisfaction with the current candidates,” Wagner says. “And I think it's fair to say that there is a fair amount of dissatisfaction with the current candidates.”

Polls should be examined with caution, she adds, as “we're six months out from election, so polls are not very accurate or indicative of what the results will be come November at this juncture in the election.”

Republicans are starting to worry about RFK Jr.

Republicans are waking up to the reality that Robert F. Kennedy Jr. could sink their standard-bearer just as easily as he could hurt President Joe Biden, after a pair of new polls showed the presence of third-party candidates on the ballot might not necessarily benefit former President Donald Trump.

Even Trump is acknowledging his potential problem.

But recent polling broadly shows Kennedy drawing evenly from both of the major party candidates’ 2020 supporters. And Kennedy’s significantly higher favorable ratings among Republican voters suggests he has more room to eat into Trump’s vote share than Biden’s.

Tucker Carlson Launches Show On Russian State TV

Conservative TV host Tucker Carlson has launched his own show on a Russian state television channel.

The former Fox News anchor is presenting the program Tucker on the rolling news channel Russia 24, with the first episode now available online, Russian state newspaper Rossiskya Gazyeta reported.

Message from Joseph Stalin to President Harry S. Truman expressing condolences on the death of Franklin D. Roosevelt

In the name of the Soviet government and myself personally, I would like to extend heartfelt condolences to the government of the United States of America on the death of President Roosevelt. The American people and the United Nations have lost a great international politician and an advocate of the postwar organization of peace and security.

U.S. ‘Condolences’ for Raisi Reflect a Delicate Diplomatic Ritual,Minister%20of%20the%20Soviet%20Union.”

More often there is complicated nuance, even in the cases of infamous tyrants. Upon the March 1953 death following a stroke of the Soviet leader, Joseph Stalin, it was left to President Dwight D. Eisenhower to issue a response.

President Eisenhower sent condolences to Russia when Stalin died

When the butcher of Russia aka Stalin died while still in power President Eisenhower sent condolences to Russia. 

Making excuses for dictators is nothing new: "Mr. Republican" and the Nazis

In 1940, the Wall Street Journal asserted that "our job today is not to stop Hitler," the dictator whom the editorial claimed had "already determined the broad lines of our national life at least for another generation." Note that the Journal, then as now the flagship of "respectable" conservatism, not only consigned Europe to Hitler's domination, but America as well, and for the following 30 years. The title of the editorial, "A Plea for Realism," is a reminder that in some quarters, "realism" means abandoning democracy and submitting to force.  

Trump’s social media account shares video referencing ‘unified reich’

Donald Trump’s social media account on Monday shared a video referencing a “unified reich” in a post about how the country will change if he becomes president again.

His campaign said a staffer did not see the word “reich” before it was posted — an explanation President Joe Biden’s team blasted on Monday night.

Trump’s social media account shares video referencing ‘unified reich’

A video shared by a social-media account of Donald Trump referenced imaginary headlines and a “unified Reich” in the context of him winning the election in November.

Fulfilling the Vision: Rabbi Steinsaltz’s Writings and Teachings are Accessible Online

Rabbi Even Israel shares that one of the first to give his approbation for the Steinsaltz Talmud was American posek hador Rabbi Moshe Feinstein. “He said that the pictures and notes make it very useful for the layman, but especially so for Torah scholars.”

Trump Hilariously Claims He ‘Doesn’t Freeze!’ in Viral Gaffe Pushback

Footage of Trump’s performance—in which he stopped speaking for around 35 seconds while music played—was shared on X by the Biden-Harris campaign. The post accused the former president of playing “QAnon music during his bizarre slur-filled NRA speech,” but did not mention him freezing. Others did, however, including one from an account named “Biden’s Wins” which said Trump “just glitched out and froze at his rally tonight” and accused him of being “unfit for office” and “senile.”

Prosecuting Netanyahu Has Risks for International Criminal Court

On Monday, Graham and Coons joined President Biden in condemning Khan’s move against Netanyahu and his defense chief, Yoav Gallant, who the prosecutor alleges committed war crimes and crimes against humanity by using starvation as a tactic against civilians in Gaza. The charges don’t include genocide, although South Africa has made that allegation against Israel in a separate proceeding before a United Nations tribunal, the International Court of Justice. 

US offers condolences over Iran chopper crash, blasts Raisi’s human rights record

Explaining the decision to offer official condolences in a subsequent briefing, Miller said the US does not want to see anyone die under such circumstances.

However, he stressed that Raisi was a “brutal participant in the repression of the Iranian people for nearly four decades.”

“Some of the worst human rights abuses occurred during his tenure as president,” Miller added.

Monday, May 20, 2024

RFK Jr. suggests COVID-19 was ‘ethnically targeted’ to avoid Ashkenazi Jews

During a dinner with journalists, Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. floated a conspiracy that the COVID-19 virus was “ethnically targeted” to mostly spare Ashkenazi Jews and Chinese people, according to video released Saturday.

“COVID-19. There is an argument that it is ethnically targeted. COVID-19 attacks certain races disproportionately,” Kennedy said at the event Thursday in New York City, footage of which was published by the New York Post. “COVID-19 is targeted to attack Caucasians and black people. The people who are most immune are Ashkenazi Jews and Chinese.”

“We don’t know whether it was deliberately targeted or not but there are papers out there that show the racial or ethnic differential and impact,” he suggested.

RFK Jr. on people to blame for COVID: ‘We know who they were and they weren’t Jewish’

Kennedy, the anti-vaccine conspiracy theorist and Democratic presidential candidate, was responding to mounting backlash against his claim that COVID-19 was “ethnically targeted” to avoid Jews and Chinese people. That remark, made without evidence at a campaign event earlier this month on the Upper East Side, led to criticism from a range of figures including Jewish leaders and Democrats in Congress. He has denied that it was antisemitic.

Biden has fought a pandemic before. It did not go smoothly.

It was April 2009 and the 3-month-old Obama administration was desperately grappling with the worst economic collapse since the Great Depression when homeland security adviser John Brennan arrived at the Oval Office to warn the president and Vice President Joe Biden of a new crisis: H1N1, the swine flu virus, was showing signs of rapid spread in Mexico, while cases were popping up in California and Texas.

Brennan pointed out that the Spanish flu — the deadliest pandemic in U.S. history — was an H1N1 strain. “It made their eyebrows go up,” Brennan says now, recalling Biden’s reaction in particular.

Body of President Raisi to be moved to city of Mashhad on Tuesday

The body of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and the other victims of Sunday's helicopter crash will be transferred on Tuesday from Tabriz to the northeastern city of Mashhad, where Raisi was born, according to Fars news. 

A large public ceremony is scheduled to take place at a prayer hall in Tabriz at 4 p.m. local time on Monday, Fars news reported. 

Therapeutic nihilism,of%20their%20ills%20through%20treatment.

Perer Watson (Modern Mind) writes that one of Freud's radical ideas was that treating disease was beneficial.

A less familiar aspect of Viennese intellectual life that helped shape Freud’s theories was the doctrine of ‘therapeutic nihilism.’ According to this, the diseases of society defied curing. Although adapted widely in relation to philosophy and social theory (Otto Weininger and Ludwig Wittgenstein were both advocates), this concept actually started life as a scientific notion in the medical faculty at Vienna , where from the early nineteenth century on there was a fascination with disease, an acceptance that it be allowed to run its course, a profound compassion for patients, and a corresponding neglect of therapy. This tradition still prevailed when Freud was training, but he reacted against it. 13 To us, Freud’s attempt at treatment seems only humane, but at the time it was an added reason why his ideas were regarded as out of the ordinary. Freud rightly considered

Stefanik Rages at Fox News Host For Bringing Up Her Past Trump Hatred

Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) attacked Fox News Sunday host Shannon Bream on Sunday after Bream brought up a December 2022 New York Times article that chronicled Stefanik’s transformation from a moderate Republican to a Donald Trump acolyte—one that cited Stefanik’s own public comments attacking Trump.

Iran's President Raisi killed in helicopter crash

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi was killed in a helicopter crash in the country's northwest on Sunday, Iranian state media agencies and government officials reported on Monday morning.

Raisi's death was reported along with the deaths of Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, among others. According to Mehr, all passengers on board were killed.

The other officials who were killed include Seyyed Mohammad Ali Ale-Hashem, the Islamic Republic's representative to the East Azerbaijan province, and Malek Rahmati, the province's governor. The aircraft's pilot and co-pilot were also killed.

Sunday, May 19, 2024

Helicopter carrying Iran’s president suffers ‘hard landing’

A helicopter carrying Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi suffered a “hard landing” on Sunday, Iranian state media reported, without elaborating. Some began urging the public to pray for Raisi and the others on board as rescue crews sped through a misty, rural forest where his helicopter was believed to be.

The likely crash comes as Iran under Raisi and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei launched an unprecedented drone-and-missile attack on Israel just last month and has enriched uranium closer than ever to weapons-grade levels. Meanwhile, Iran has faced years of mass protests against its Shiite theocracy over an ailing economy and women’s rights — making the moment that much more sensitive for Tehran and the future of the country as the Israel-Hamas war inflames the wider Middle East.

Aircraft carrying Iranian President Raisi crashes, state media says

Rescuers have not reached the crash site of a helicopter carrying Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, and have no update on their status, according to Iran government spokesperson Ali Bahadori Jahromi. 

Netanyahu rival Benny Gantz says he’ll quit Israel’s war Cabinet on June 8 unless new Gaza plan devise

Benny Gantz, a member of Israel’s three-man war Cabinet, has threatened to resign from the government if it doesn’t adopt a new plan for the war in Gaza, a move that would leave Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu more reliant on his far-right allies.

His announcement on Saturday escalates a divide within Israel’s leadership more than seven months into a war in which it has yet to accomplish its stated goals of dismantling Hamas and returning scores of hostages abducted in the Oct. 7 attack.

Gantz spelled out a six-point plan that includes the return of scores of hostages, ending Hamas’ rule, demilitarizing the strip and establishing an international administration of civilian affairs. It also supports efforts to normalize relations with Saudi Arabia.

Left-wing organization to compensate farmer

The Beit Shemesh Magistrate's Court ordered the left-wing organization 'Kerem Navot' to compensate Tzvi Bar-Yosef, an owner of an agricultural farm near Neve Tzuf, after claiming that he is a "violent person".

In the verdict, it was determined that there is no evidence that Bar Yosef acted in physical violence himself, and it was even hinted that the international sanctions imposed on him were based on 'hearsay evidence' received from Israeli left-wing activists.

Saturday, May 18, 2024

Gantz's ultimatum for the Prime Minister

Minister Benny Gantz made a statement to the press Saturday evening in Kfar Maccabiah.

"The unity brought great achievements, we gave our soldiers on the front a sense of partnership in our fate, but recently something went wrong. Vital decisions were not made. Leadership actions required to ensure victory were not taken," he said.

"A small minority took control of the ship that is Israel and is sailing it towards the rocks. I am here today to tell the truth. And the truth is hard: while Israeli soldiers exhibit supreme bravery on the front - some of the people who sent them to battle act in cowardice and irresponsibility."

Iran’s regime slated to execute innocent young Jew on Monday


The Islamic Republic of Iran’s opaque judicial system is expected to execute a young Iranian Jew on Monday for an altercation involving his self-defense that led to the death of a Muslim man, the Jerusalem Post has confirmed.

Gantz to Netanyahu: If you don't change course by June 8 we will withdraw from the government

Minister-without-portfolio Benny Gantz gave Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a deadline until June 8 to come up with a more clear war program or Gantz will withdraw from the government.

Gantz listed six objectives that Netanyahu must adopt or face his withdrawal from government:

Benjamin Netanyahu Confronted With Ultimatum and Deadline

Benny Gantz, a member of Israel's war cabinet, threatened to resign his centrist party from the government if Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu does not give him a plan on how to deal with the conflict in Gaza by June 8.

Friday, May 17, 2024

A mystery illness stole their kids’ personalities. These moms fought for answers.

But because people with Down syndrome have an extra chromosome 21, they have extra copies of these immune genes — which appear to dysregulate and ramp up the immune system’s response. The result, Espinosa said, is a body that acts like it’s “constantly trying to fight a virus that is not there.”

How Far Trump Would Go 

What emerged in two interviews with Trump, and conversations with more than a dozen of his closest advisers and confidants, were the outlines of an imperial presidency that would reshape America and its role in the world. To carry out a deportation operation designed to remove more than 11 million people from the country, Trump told me, he would be willing to build migrant detention camps and deploy the U.S. military, both at the border and inland. He would let red states monitor women’s pregnancies and prosecute those who violate abortion bans. He would, at his personal discretion, withhold funds appropriated by Congress, according to top advisers. He would be willing to fire a U.S. Attorney who doesn’t carry out his order to prosecute someone, breaking with a tradition of independent law enforcement that dates from America’s founding. He is weighing pardons for every one of his supporters accused of attacking the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, more than 800 of whom have pleaded guilty or been convicted by a jury. He might not come to the aid of an attacked ally in Europe or Asia if he felt that country wasn’t paying enough for its own defense. He would gut the U.S. civil service, deploy the National Guard to American cities as he sees fit, close the White House pandemic-preparedness office, and staff his Administration with acolytes who back his false assertion that the 2020 election was stolen.

Another outrageous statement: UN chief equates October 7 and Gaza situation

In a post on social media, Guterres wrote, “Nothing can justify the 7 Oct terror attacks by Hamas” but then added, “Nothing can justify the collective punishment of the Palestinian people.”

He then added, “It’s high time for a humanitarian ceasefire, the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages and unimpeded humanitarian access throughout Gaza.”

Guterres has long been criticized for his attempts to create a moral equivalence between Israel and the Hamas terrorist organization.

What Would a U.S.-Iran War Look Like? One Word: Bloody.

Going to war against Iran would be no minor matter, and President Trump is irresponsible to act in such a flippant manner. Attacking Iran could trigger a prolonged, costly nightmare in both treasure and blood. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D‑HI), a Democratic presidential candidate, likely is prophetic that a war against Iran would make the Iraq War look like a cakewalk. Tehran certainly has a multitude of ways to retaliate for U.S. aggression and to escalate the bilateral confrontation. U.S. leaders would be wise not to venture farther down that perilous path.

Why Iran and Israel Stepped Back From the Brink

The diplomatic surge succeeded in keeping the crisis contained. It also made clear that the United States’ highest priority is to prevent the war in Gaza from igniting a regional conflagration and dragging the United States into another costly war in the Middle East. A fact working in Washington’s favor is that neither Iran nor Israel is keen on direct conflict, their recent show of force notwithstanding. Iran understands that Israel is a nuclear state with superior conventional capabilities and that war with Israel would ultimately mean war with the United States. Israel, for its part, knows that a larger conflict with Iran would compel Hezbollah to fire many more missiles at Israeli cities and military facilities. Still, if the tenuous truce between Iran and Israel is to hold, Washington must remain deeply engaged. It must work closely with Israel to address the country’s security concerns, and it should build on the diplomatic progress it has made with Iran in recent weeks.

‘Delusional’: Bolton blasts Trump for saying Iranian attacks wouldn’t have happened on his watch

Former President Donald Trump told supporters Saturday that Iran’s attack on Israel over the weekend “would not have happened if we were in office.” His former national security adviser says it was a ridiculous statement.

“I just think Trump is delusional on this point,” John Bolton said during an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday. “It’s a point that nobody can refute or confirm one way or the other. He doesn’t have any idea what to do in the Middle East in this situation.”

Trump’s rhetoric on thwarting Iran vs. his record

 But at least one Trump aide who was around in the months leading up to the early 2020 clash with Iran says Trump’s talking point is nonsense.

“I just think Trump is delusional on this point,” former Trump national security adviser John Bolton said Sunday on CNN. “It’s a point that nobody can refute or confirm one way or the other. He doesn’t have any idea what to do in the Middle East in this situation.”

Netanyahu urged Trump to attack Iran after he lost the presidency

“In the months after the election, with Trump seemingly willing to do anything to stay in power, the subject of Iran was repeatedly raised in White House meetings with the President, and Milley repeatedly argued against a strike,” the New Yorker piece reported. Milley “was worried that Trump might set in motion a full-scale conflict that was not justified. Trump had a circle of Iran hawks around him,” it said, and Netanyahu “was also urging the Administration to act against Iran after it was clear that Trump had lost the election.