December 09, 2017

Don't count your Brexit chickens....

I can’t believe they’re celebrating – as if Brexit was a done deal.
I wish it was.

And as if prime minister Theresa May has been rehabilitated.
Not worth it.

What’s to celebrate about agreeing to pay a ‘divorce bill’ of £40bn which was never lawfully due and was simply a surrender to EU blackmail?

This isn’t even as bad as ‘peace in our time’.

If this was the EU’s entry price to trade talks, the worst is yet to come.

The EU is the most dishonest, undemocratic and corrupt institution ever to amass such power in the history of the world. It needs to show its members what a leaver looks like: bloodied, battered and beaten. It aims - and desperately needs - to serve up Britain in exactly that state to deter the likes of Greece, Portugal, Spain and Italy from even thinking of leaving next.

In the words of Hotel California: 
You can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave”.

But there’s another line too:
We are all just prisoners here, of our own device”.

Let’s hope we are free very soon.

Labels:

December 08, 2017

Pearl Harbour & Vayeshev


This week was the anniversary of Japan’s dastardly attack on Pearl Harbour which brought America into the Second World War. Germany was quick to blame American Jews and used it to heap ever more cruelty on their brothers and sisters in Nazi-occupied Europe. One such place was the Slovakian town of Pressburg where my grandfather Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Unsdorfer zt’l would prepare his weekly sermon in longhand, often with a diary note of current events. Rabbi Shlomo Zalman was murdered in Auschwitz but some of his manuscripts were salvaged by his son Simcha, my father, after his liberation from the extermination camp. 

Here is the extract for this week's sermon וישב  in 1941 …


תש"ב, פה פרעסבורג,  אור ליום עש"ק לפ 'וישב,
 בעת צרה ר"ל
שנתהוו מלחמה במדינת הים
 בין יאפן  לאמריקה

Here, Pressburg 1941 , Erev Shabbat Vayeshev
A time of trouble, G-d help us
When there has been war between Japan and America


Rashi’s opening statement on the parsha is:
"ביקש יעקב לישב בשלוה, קפץ עליו רוגזו של יוסף.."
Literally: Jacob wanted to dwell in peace, but the rage of Joseph jumped on him.
Why the strange term ‘jump’ – why did Rashi not just say the anger of Joseph came over him.

The Midrash says of Vayeshev - לא שלותי ולא שקטתי Jacob is saying: I had no peace from Esau, no quiet from Laban and no rest from Dinah. But then came the rage of Joseph.

Perhaps the events we are now going through here in Pressburg will explain Rashi’s strange wording.
In ordinary times the only thing that changes in our daily lives is the Torah story we read on shabbat. But these days we are truly living our very lives with a different story  every week. We went through Lech Lecha, having to leave our homes, Sarah being taken to the house of Pharaoh as with our young daughters, the sacrifice of Isaac- so very real for us now, the fire and brimstone of Sodom being rained down in air wars, Esau's hatred of Jacob being played out in our streets, and then Laban and the lies and scheming which seek to undermine us in every way.
And so we arrive this week at Vayeshev – the Jew looks for a little peace and quiet - and suddeny rage literally jumps on his head.

We all take precautions in our daily lives to keep us and our families safe. But sometimes something happens which we never anticipated. Jacob always knew Esau was trouble – all the way back to their struggles in his mother’s womb. So he always gave him a wide berth and avoided confrontations. And so when Esau threatened to kill him, it came as no surprise. Similarly with Laban – Jacob knew he was not to be trusted and made sure he would not swindle him a second time with Rachel. So, again, it came as no surprise when he pursued Jacob even after leaving. And so with Dinah – every parent knows the importance of guarding a young daughter from bad company and influence. But bad things do happen and even the rape of Dinah became a sad fact of life for Jacob.
And so, as the Midrash tells it: Jacob knew no peace from Esau, no quiet from Laban and no rest from Dinah.

But, when it came to Joseph, who could possibly have imagined that hatred among brothers – the leaders of G-d's tribes – could bring them to gang up on their own flesh and blood, to kill him, to throw him into a pit of scorpions or to sell him into slavery? There was nothing that could prepare a father for such a thing, no precaution that Yaakov could possibly have anticipated – it simply jumped upon him out of a clear blue sky.

And so it is in these terrible times with the Nazis. We know to stay out of their way, we try not to provoke them, we wear our yellow stars and live within their curfews – always trying to anticipate and avoid their next move against us. And yet, despite all of these precautions who could have dreamt that an attack that takes place on the other side of the globe between two far-off nations, America and Japan, could possibly affect us here? Moreover that we would be blamed for it and lose the relative quietude we’ve experienced in recent weeks  .... 
 בשלוהביקש יעקב לישב


The Midrash on Vayigash says: כל מה שאירה ליוסף אירה לציון   that what happened to Joseph will happen to Zion.  That our destiny will follow the story of Yosef. The world mocks us saying: “Look who comes here – it’s the dreamer! You claim to be the chosen people? We will see what becomes of your dreams.”  

And, just as Joseph was thrown into a pit, they shut us into ghettos. And if that’s not enough, "let’s sell him" – they send us to labour camps [or so my grandfather then thought]. They try to break us and our spirit. 

And all of this because they know that G-d has chosen us from among all nations and lifted us above all languages. And in the end, like the dreams of Joseph the righteous, a heavenly voice will proclaim: ונראה מה יהיו חלומותיו
we shall see what becomes of those dreams. We shall indeed see that the Nazis will be utterly destroyed and the nation of Israel will survive and thrive for eternity. And we shall also realise that the pain and suffering we are now enduring will all end up for the betterment of our people.

Our parsha begins and ends with dreams. Whatever laws may have been passed against us, they have not yet ruled that we cannot dream.
And in our dreams we see the future …. נצבה וגם אלומתי והנה קמה 
That we will ultimately prevail, and this should be our true consolation in these terrible times.


Labels: , , ,

December 07, 2017

Trump's Truth to Power on Jerusalem

My Statement re Trump's declaration on Jerusalem

Likud-Herut UK applauds United States President Donald J Trump for his statement yesterday, recognising Jerusalem as the capital of the state of Israel.

Jerusalem has been the Jewish capital for 3,000 years and the seat of Israel’s government since 1949.

In making his bold and brave statement, President Trump spoke ‘truth to power’ in a very real sense. The truth being what is enshrined in the bible that unites the world’s three main faiths. The power being what has until now held that truth as a hostage to terror and oil interests.

We call upon our prime minister Theresa May to follow the US president’s lead and speak the same truth to the power of her own Foreign Office here in London, which has such an abysmal record on anything that concerns the Jewish state. Truth to the power of her Labour opposition, whose party has disgraced itself in the UK Jewish community and whose leader has referred to the likes of Hamas as friends.

In truth Britain owes Israel far more than just a recognition of its Jerusalem capital. It owes Israel the Kingdom of Jordan which was stolen out of its League of Nations mandate. Britain is therefore the very last nation in a position to complain about Jewish ‘occupation’ of the West Bank of the Jordan river.

So, we urge Prime Minister May to follow President Trump’s lead. To atone for that historic betrayal. To show that Britain will not be cowed by threats of terrorism – either conventional or economic. To show real daylight on this issue between her party and that of Jeremy Corbyn. And to take her Foreign Office in a new direction which might finally facilitate the very long-outstanding royal visit to the region’s only democracy – the state of Israel.


Finally we lament any death or injury caused in the rioting which has been fomented by Palestinian groups over this announcement. It is a great pity such outrage could not have been mobilised over the loss of 500,000 lives in Syria.


Zalmi Unsdorfer
Chairman - LHUK


Labels: , , , , ,

November 26, 2017

How we empower Hezbollah & Hamas

On Friday Islamic terrorists attacked a mosque during Friday prayers in northern Sinai. After first bombing its children’s creche, the mosque was surrounded by some 20 gunmen reportedly carrying ISIS insignia. They left over 300 dead, some 30 of them, tragically, children.

This latest terror attack underlines the need – in Donald Trump’s words - to eradicate radical Islamic terrorism from the face of the earth. How refreshing that statement is after 8 years of Obama not even identifying the RIT enemy that has tormented the West since 9-11.
But it also underlines the glaring truth about the so- called ‘Middle East Peace Process’.
In the 40 years since the peace agreement with Sadat, every piece of territory that Israel vacated has been turned into a terror base.

In May 2000, when the IDF vacated South Lebanon, Hezbollah guerrillas ran gleefully to the Israeli border where they have remained ever since. It is now one of the biggest rocket bases on the planet with a stockpile of over 100,000 missiles ready to be launched from a network of bunkers and tunnels which have been created as part of Hezbollah’s one-billion-dollar military budget financed mainly by Iran.

Until 2000 Hezbollah was just another Arab terrorist group, attacking airplanes and embassies, and the AMIA Jewish community centre in Buenos Aires. But it was Israel’s Lebanon retreat which launched Hezbollah into the big league. Now they are part of the Lebanese parliament, holding 57 of the 128 seats. And yet America continues to supply massive military assistance to Lebanon’s armed forces, effectively arming the same Hezbollah which truck-bombed 241 US marines in 1983.
In 2005, Israel vacated the Gaza strip only to see it taken over by Iran’s other proxy, Hamas. With its own stockpile of rockets and tunnels, Hamas has tormented southern Israel for 12 years, drawing it into two ugly wars and evoking anti-Semitic demonstrations in capitals and campuses across the world.

And now we see the wages of our Sinai sin. Another Israeli vacuum filled with terror. The Sharm-el-Sheikh I used to drive to in the 1970’s is now a ghost town, desperate for the tourists scared away by aircraft downed by ISIS missiles. Northern Sinai now a terrorist enclave which the Egyptian military government struggles to control.

This latest terror attack, beyond its toll on human life and the suffering of hundreds of bereft families, poses a real and present danger to Israel. With each attack, Egypt’s military rulers request ever more reinforcements to be brought into what was supposed to be a demilitarised Sinai. The agreement with Sadat was that Sinai would be a demilitarised buffer zone, so that there could be no surprise attacks like Yom Kippur 1973. But by now, Netanyahu’s repeated concessions to President Al-Sisi – for armoured forces to combat ISIS - has worn down that treaty. 

The danger is that, if Sisi is overthrown, a Muslim Brotherhood government will have easy mobilisation of an attack force against Israel.

So, the lesson in all of this is to ensure that Judea and Samaria, on the West Bank of the Jordan river, do not become the next vacuum for an Iranian proxy to fill. The very idea of this is national suicide.

Ironic that Friday’s heinous attack is attributed to the Islamic terror group Ansar Beit Al Maqdis.

Translated this means:  “Supporters of the Beit Mikdash

We all know what that means.
It was always ours.

Let’s keep it that way.

Every inch.

Labels: , , , , ,

October 22, 2017

On those Haredi draft dodgers.....


On these Haredi draft dodgers.....

And so, it came to pass that Rabbis Gad, Reuben and (half-sized) Rabbi Manasseh approached  Moses and said unto him: “We would like to stay in our ghettos outside the camp of Israel, we will not go to the army, but would still like to receive our welfare payments, housing subsidies and free healthcare”.

Moses replied: “Do you expect your brothers and their sons to fight for the land whilst you live off the fat of the land?   Is it not commanded by G-d that every male from 20 years and above must go out into the army of Israel?

We do not agree with G-d. Just give us what we are entitled to. If not, we will block your streets and your chariots shall not pass.

Labels: , ,

September 11, 2017

'Bashert' is Yiddish for: it was meant to be.

In 1960 my father wrote a book about his time in Auschwitz and Buchenwald and of the murder of his parents and most members of his family during the Holocaust.
‘The Yellow Star’ was recently republished after 50 years.
This is the story of how it got to be republished.
It appears as the afterword to the new book.

It’s sad to see how so much of the world seems to have descended into a new epoch of Jew hatred. However much they try to disguise themselves as anti-Israel or anti-Zionist, these are anti-Semites just like the duck analogy walks and talks and looks.

And just as in Germany the Nazis emerged from a highly cultured and educated society, the main sources of this resurgent Jew-hatred are in academia, the arts and cultured classes where anti-Semitic parlour chatter is rife and almost trendy.  Israeli scientists with ground-breaking medical cures are boycotted whilst artists who immortalise Palestinian suicide bombers are lauded and awarded. Most people agree that being supportive of Israel is ‘the kiss of death’ in media and academia; no advancement, no promotion, no prospects.

I am therefore always amazed when any non-Jewish personality actually stands up for Israel. ‘Why do they do it?’ I wonder. ‘What bad dream did this person have that compelled them to risk ridicule and eternal peer-abuse by standing up for the Jewish state?’

Such a question came to me on October 16th 2009 when a British army officer and commander of forces in Ireland, Bosnia and Afghanistan stood up at the UN in Geneva and delivered this speech:

“I am the former commander of the British forces in Afghanistan. I served with NATO and the United Nations; commanded troops in Northern Ireland, Bosnia and Macedonia; and participated in the Gulf War. I spent considerable time in Iraq since the 2003 invasion, and worked on international terrorism for the UK Government’s Joint Intelligence Committee.

Mr. President, based on my knowledge and experience, I can say this: During Operation Cast Lead, the Israeli Defence Forces did more to safeguard the rights of civilians in a combat zone than any other army in the history of warfare.

Israel did so while facing an enemy that deliberately positioned its military capability behind the human shield of the civilian population.
Hamas, like Hizballah, are expert at driving the media agenda. Both will always have people ready to give interviews condemning Israeli forces for war crimes. They are adept at staging and distorting incidents.

The IDF faces a challenge that we British do not have to face to the same extent. It is the automatic, Pavlovian presumption by many in the international media, and international human rights groups, that the IDF are in the wrong, that they are abusing human rights.

The truth is that the IDF took extraordinary measures to give Gaza civilians notice of targeted areas, dropping over 2 million leaflets, and making over 100,000 phone calls. Many missions that could have taken out Hamas military capability were aborted to prevent civilian casualties. During the conflict, the IDF allowed huge amounts of humanitarian aid into Gaza. To deliver aid virtually into your enemy's hands is, to the military tactician, normally quite unthinkable. But the IDF took on those risks.

Despite all of this, of course innocent civilians were killed. War is chaos and full of mistakes. There have been mistakes by the British, American and other forces in Afghanistan and in Iraq, many of which can be put down to human error. But mistakes are not war crimes.

More than anything, the civilian casualties were a consequence of Hamas’ way of fighting. Hamas deliberately tried to sacrifice its own own civilians.

Mr. President, Israel had no choice apart from defending its people, to stop Hamas from attacking them with rockets.

And I say this again: the IDF did more to safeguard the rights of civilians in a combat zone than any other army in the history of warfare.

Thank you, Mr. President.”

I was brimming with admiration, but yet still wondering: why?

I got the answer two years later on a plane out of Tel Aviv where I spotted the officer, Colonel Richard Kemp, in the opposite aisle seat. 
I said I wanted to shake his hand and thank him for his courageous defence of my people. We exchanged cards and deplaned in London.

Later that evening I got the following email from him : 

“Many years ago I read a book called The Yellow Star by somebody who was I believe called S B Unsdorfer. Any relation?”  

I replied: “Wow .. what a coincidence. That was my father's book. Long out of print.”

He replied: “A remarkable coincidence. I never expected to have the honour to meet the author of The Yellow Star, or indeed his son. I read the book when I was about 14 or 15. A phenomenal work. Without question, of the many books I have read in my life, your father's made by far the greatest impression on me. I read a battered paperback copy that belonged to my aunt, and I still have it.”

Well – this time I got my answer to my eternal question about what makes such a person speak out for Israel.

I decided there and then to republish and digitize The Yellow Star with thanks to Richard for his inspiration and for agreeing to write a personal foreword.


We are now good friends and I continue to follow Richard's outstanding advocacy for Israel and her armed forces in forums all over the world, and his support of all those brave souls, in and out of uniform, who are fighting the just war against radical Islamist terrorism and the forces of jihad.





The Yellow Star is available at Amazon and other online vendors.

See Richard Kemp's blog here.
Watch his UN speech here

Labels: , , , , , , ,

June 19, 2017

Don’t turn the IDF into grasshoppers

The death of Hadas Malka was a tragedy. She died at the hands of Palestinian youths of between 18 and 19 years old.   

A new generation of Arabs who no longer respect, much less fear, the IDF uniform.
Why?

Because (a) they know that the soldier will hesitate to use lethal force, lest he/she is indicted like Sgt. Elor Azariya. (b) They also know that, short of 72 virgins, they are assured of excellent jail conditions while their families are paid handsomely by Abbas’s prisoner fund. And (c) these are the same soldiers they grew up learning to walk right up to at flashpoints like Beit Zafafa and spitting in their faces with impunity.

The same goes for residents of Judea and Samaria who are constantly at risk from surrounding Arabs who know full well that the government denies most settlers gun licences and those who carry guns have every reason to fear prosecution if they are used.
Last Shabbat’s Torah portion was about the spies sent by Moses to scout out the land of Canaan. They famously reported of the Canaanites:  “We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.”

In past generations, there was zero tolerance of disobedience and Jews in uniform commanded respect and fear in the Arab street. It was Yitzchak Rabin who called for “breaking bones” – not some far right leader.

Outside times of war, the youth of the Palestinian street seem to look upon the IDF and Israel’s border guards as grasshoppers. This will only encourage more opportunistic attacks where beautiful lives like Hadas will be lost to our people.

Israel must reassert its army’s deterrence on the Arab street.
This means starting at the very basic level of rules of street engagement, whereby any protestor who comes within ‘spitting distance’ of a soldier is hauled away by police and sent to the cooler.

Significantly last week’s Haftara reading was the story of Joshua’s spies who were told by the Canaanite innkeeper Rahab: “Our people know that G-d has given this land to you and the fear of your people has fallen upon them.” 
That’s where we need to get to.

As the good book says:   תִּפֹּל עֲלֵיהֶם אֵימָתָה וָפַחַד 

Labels: , , ,

May 24, 2017

Islamist Terrorism - this says it all....

This was published anonymously in the wake of the Manchester bombing, but seems to orginate from October 2016. 



Labels:

May 22, 2017

Trump in 3-D

Victims of antisemitism are always welcome in Israel. It’s where a Jew can proudly observe all religious requirements, rites and customs as an equal citizen and without discrimination.

Natan Sharansky came up with a simple test to expose legitimate criticism of Israel as being the same old Jew-hatred.

He called it the 3-D test. 

This stood for Demonization, De-legitimisation and Double-Standards. If Israel was being demonized – like being compared to Nazis, if its fundamental right to exist was being de-legitimized – as a nation born in sin; and if it was being held out to a different standard to all other nations – like not being entitled to shoot back under fire from hundreds of missiles … well, that meant it was just the same old antisemitism.

I believe few people understand this better than Donald Trump – and not because of his Jewish family ties.

From the earliest days of his campaign Trump was demonized in all sorts of ways and this has continued to this day. He has also been delegitimized as not honestly elected or worthy of the office of president. And finally, perhaps more than anything else, he has constantly been held to a higher standard than the Obama-Clinton administration which obstructed justice, lied about paying ransom to Iran in pallets of used dollar bills and which sold America’s uranium production to the Russians under the most dubious circumstances. 

These are just a few examples but leave me in no doubt that Trump knows what it’s truly like to be a Jew.

Welcome to Israel Mr President.

Our people understand you.

Labels: ,

May 07, 2017

Bravely Debunking Palestine at Berkeley

Bravo to Melanie Phillips for speaking the hard truths about Palestine and the fantasy of a Two State Solution from the cradle of First Amendment Fascism.

June 04, 2016

Killing Britain - for a few dollars more...

“For Sale: 50% price reduction and 30-year interest-free mortgage on stunning 10-room Beverly Hills style villa, swimming pool, sauna, tennis court, wine cellar and double garage. Outstanding view of Three-Mile-Island nuclear power station, just 5 minutes away.”























Would you even consider living there for ANY money?

Or tripling your salary to take a job in an asbestos factory?

What’s the point of being well-off if it’s killing you?

This is the part I just don’t get on the UK referendum about staying in the European Union.
The ‘Leave’ campaign’s mantra is that the EU’s open borders are killing Britain; killing its national identity and its sovereignty, overloading schools, hospitals and social services to breaking point and threatening a backlash of social strife which will bring rioting to the streets. Not a pretty sight.

The ‘Remain’ campaign’s mantra is about prosperity. Brexit, they insist, will reduce trade and lower national incomes across the board.

But isn’t that like getting a pay rise and promotion from an employer about to go bust?

Realists can clearly see that - the way things are going - England will be unrecognizable in 30 years from now. So, isn’t maintaining the British way of life worth making a few sacrifices for? Or is all this short-term confetti-money just too much to resist?

From this side of the English Channel we watch the European ship sinking under waves of uncontrolled immigration, mortally holed by multiple financial crises and its decks already seething with mutinous groups of the extreme Left and far Right.

Every instinct tells us to uncouple and save ourselves before it’s too late.
But to stay tied for a few dollars more?  That makes no sense at all.

What’s truly frightening are our own people who were so keen on Israel joining the European Union not so long ago. One of those proponents was the new defense minister, Avigdor Lieberman.
Just imagine an Israel with open borders, its surviving Jewish remnant shot through with the pellets of multiculturalism and its laws dictated from Brussels.

Fortunately, Israel has a Father Protector who saves His people from the consequences of their own hubris and stupidity.

“Behold - the keeper of Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps” (Tehillim 121:4) 

Labels:

March 27, 2016

This freedom thing will be the death of us

I don’t know where the next terrorist attack on Europe will take place.
But I do know who will be carrying it out.

Apart from the obvious – it being an incited Islamist – it will almost certainly be someone who the police know about and was on their ‘watch list’.
This has been a common theme all the way back to 9-11.

In almost every Islamist terror outrage since then it’s always been someone already ‘on the radar’ of the security services.

How many more innocent civilians have to lose their lives and how many more parents and spouses need to see their lives destroyed before this lunacy stops?

I speak not of the lunacy of Islamist terrorism. But the lunacy of our ascribinghuman rights to inhuman terrorists.

The most important defence against terrorism is ‘humint’ – knowing what is going in in the streets and what is being talked about in extremist groups: human intelligence. We rely on our security services to use their ‘nouse’ – Britspeak for gut instinct – to identify a baddie or something bad that is about to go down.

How many detective stories have you read or watched which have that essential turning point based on the cop’s ‘hunch’. That is trained intuition – the most important resource in the crime-fighting arena.
And yet this most powerful tool that we depend upon for life or death has been taken away or stunted in the interests of political correctness. 

In Britain it’s called ‘stop & search’ – otherwise known as ‘suss’.
Because of complaints from ‘ethnic minorities’ British police have had their suss freedoms curtailed. Stop & search numbers fell last year by a straggering 40 percent in just 12 months.
Does this make sense?  Should a police officer fear to follow his or her hunches?

Imagine a doctor, with decades of medical training and internships at major hospitals not being allowed to follow his educated guesses on symptoms that present themselves? Especially in a time-critical and life-or-death scenario. It would be absurd. And yet the police are not free to do the same thing, because it might offend the ethnic minorities.

What kind of freedom puts the sensitivities of ethnic minorities above the prime directive of all governments: to protect and defend citizens?

The governments of Europe should ask their security services to print out their watch-lists and quarantine everyone that’s on them until they are totally sanitized. Radical Islam is at war with us and war powers should override the niceties of political correctness.

If we fail to do this, such freedoms will be the death of us.

Labels: ,

Add to Technorati Favorites Tweets by @ZalmiU