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The Syrian King Antiochus wasn’t such a bad guy: he robbed the Temple and tried to modernize the Jews a little so they would live like the rest of the world rather than cling to their ultra-Orthodox beliefs. But even Antiochus did not imagine he could  take Jerusalem from us. Enter Obama.

The Hussein sent the Jews ludicrous Hanukkah greetings. He called Hanukkah, a victory of ultra-Orthodox Jews in a brutal civil war against liberals, a festival “for people of all faiths,” though the Maccabeans gladly exterminated those faiths in the Land of Israel.

Without realizing it, Obama gave good advice to real Jews: “May Hanukkah’s lessons inspire us.” Wonderful advice, indeed, for those who know their history.

Lebanese president Suleiman, a close ally of Hezbollah, arrived in Washington for talks with Obama. The topics of these talks will include additional aid to the Lebanese army, which recently received over $400 million in assistance from the US.

The Lebanese government has declared that in wartime Hezbollah will be integrated into the Lebanese army—or rather, it will be allowed to subsume the army it infiltrated long ago.

The Lebanese army’s only target is Israel.

The two rogue regimes signed a mutual defense treaty against their “common enemies.” The only common enemy for those two is Israel. The treaty means that Assad Jr is now obligated to attack Israel with Syria’s arsenal of mid-range missiles when Israel attacks Iran.

Assad is very fond of the ayatollahs, and there is a high probability that he will allow his country to be dragged into the war against his better judgment.

A war with Syria might greatly benefit Israel by ending negotiations over the Golan Heights. But if Syrian rocket strikes were overwhelming, leftists would use it to convince the Israeli public to sign a peace treaty with Syria.

Five Arabs beat a 45-year-old taxi driver in Haifa for refusing to drive them home from a pub because he had been on call duty.

Authoritative rabbis, including Haim Kanevsky and Shalom Elyashiv, co-signed a halachic rule forbidding ultra-Orthodox Jews to visit any Web sites at all. Previously only non-Orthodox religious sites were banned.

Like any closed society, the ultra-Orthodox community can only remain unquestioningly loyal to its leaders if foreign opinions are blocked. Communists, too, relied on a total blockade of information.

Liberalization in the ultra-Orthodox community resembles the processes which took place in Jewish communities in general two hundred years ago.

December 2009
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