He may be on to something. A week ago, most observers believed that
there was little chance that an agreement could be achieved any time
soon. But in the last 3 days, the US has made massive concessions to the
Iranians on inspections, sanctions relief, and Iran’s past nuclear
activities. These were all Iranian “redlines” that Tehran was refusing
to back down on.
No worries. It was the west doing the backing down.
Three major sticking points obstructing world powers and
Iran from making an historic nuclear deal appear to have been resolved
by their technical experts over the weekend.
The US, Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany reportedly have
agreed with Iran on a mechanism that would allow sanctions to snap back
into place should Tehran violate any final nuclear agreement. The six
world powers are negotiating with Iran to cap, restrict, monitor and
partially roll back its nuclear program for a finite period in exchange
for sanctions relief.
Instead of restarting automatically, a committee made up of
representatives from each nation would vote on whether sanctions should
be reimposed in the event of “significant noncompliance.”
Good luck with that. In a few months, no one is going to want
sanctions to “snap back” — especially Russia and China, who would veto
any UN attempt to reimpose sanctions on Iran.
A majority would decide the vote.
US Secretary of State John Kerry and his delegation remained largely
silent at the Imperial Hotel in Vienna through another tense day of
negotiations on Saturday, just blocks away from the Palais Coburg where
the main negotiations are taking place. Kerry and US Secretary of Energy
Earnest Moniz met with their Iranian counterparts over the weekend.
A second hurdle challenging world powers has been Iran’s reluctance
to cooperate with the UN’s nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic
Energy Agency, on its investigation into the possible military
dimensions (PMD) of its nuclear program. Negotiations first began in
2013, in no small part to resolve these concerns, and the IAEA’s reports
provided a basis for sanctions resolutions out of the United Nations
IAEA director-general Yukiya Amano visited Tehran last week for talks
on the matter, as well as to negotiate the access it needs to verify
Iran’s compliance to any future deal.
His initial statement out of that meeting suggested substantial gaps
remain between his understanding of the IAEA’s needs and that of Iranian
President Hassan Rouhani.
However, Amano said on Saturday that his agency’s full PMD report may be ready by the end of the year.
“With cooperation from Iran, I think we can issue a report by the end
of the year on the assessment of the clarification of the issues
related to the possible military dimensions,” Amano said.
Iran has refused to answer virtually all of the IAEA’s questions
since 2006 when it suspended its participation with the organization’s
As for sanctions relief, here’s what Iran is saying about it in their semi-official news organ:
“On the day of the agreement, all economic and financial
sanctions by the EU, the US, and the Security Council will be removed
and we will take measures to meet commitments,” the top Iranian
negotiator said during a live program from Vienna broadcast by IRIB on
Both sides are trying to meet the July 7 deadline, but Iran is not
bound by the date, Araqchi said, adding that Tehran will not accept a
bad deal and is looking for an agreement that respects its red lines and
the Iranian nation’s rights.
Hillary Clinton is privately signaling to wealthy Jewish donors that — no matter the result of the Iranian nuclear negotiations — she will be a better friend to Israel than President Barack Obama.
even as donors increasingly push Clinton on the subject in private,
they have emerged with sometimes widely varying interpretations about
whether she would support a prospective deal, according to interviews
with more than 10 influential donors and fundraising operatives.
Clinton’s private responses in some ways resemble a foreign
policy Rorschach test; donors who see a deal as important to world peace
have come away thinking that Clinton shares their perspective, but so,
too, do donors who oppose any prospective agreement as compromising
Part of the problem is that Clinton doesn't really think Obama is so bad for Israel.
And, at a Manhattan fundraiser last week featuring a largely Jewish
group of donors, Clinton defended Obama against charges he had weakened
the U.S.-Israel relationship, asserting that such criticism stemmed from
a “perception” problem, according to a donor who was present. But she
also suggested that if she were elected president she could correct that
problem and bring the two nations closer.
“Diplomacy is all
about personal relationships, and I’ve got my own relationships,” she
said, referencing her two-decade association with Israeli Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu, an ardent opponent of the Iran deal and,
occasionally, of Obama. Clinton even cited her rapport with former
Israeli ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren, who last week published a
book that was brutally critical of the Obama administration and was
timed for release to try to stymie the Iran deal. “I know Michael well, but I haven’t read the book,” she said.
a fundraiser last month at the Long Island home of Democratic donor Jay
Jacobs, Clinton was asked by an Orthodox rabbi about threats to
Israel’s security. “She did stress in no uncertain terms her full and
fervent support of the state of Israel and the defense of the state of
Israel,” recalled Jacobs. “And the people in the audience who heard it
seemed to be comfortable with her answer.”
Likewise, donors at a
different New York fundraiser seemed to fully accept her answer to a
slightly different question about the U.S. interest in the deal, said
billionaire hedge fund manager Marc Lasry, a leading Clinton donor. “She
said ‘I’m going to do what’s in the best interest of the U.S.,’ and
that was the end of it,” Lasry said.
Where are the UN 'peacekeepers' when you need them? Hiding out as usual. A rocket from the Sinai was fired into Israel after the Sabbath started.
Egypt's Sinai peninsula fired a rocket into southern Israel on Friday in
an incident that appeared linked to fighting between Islamist
insurgents and Egyptian security forces, an Israeli military source
"Yes, the rocket was
fired from Sinai," the source said, confirming an Israeli Army Radio
report that the missile was launched from the desert region bordering
Israel and Gaza.
Israeli police said they had found rocket remnants in an open area. No damage or casualties resulted.
It was possible the launch was linked to the fighting in Sinai, the military source said.
Or maybe it wasn't an accident. And maybe we have another source of rocket fire into Israel. What could go wrong?
Taken together, the catalog of capitulations is breathtaking: spot
inspections, disclosure of previous nuclear activity, gradual sanctions
relief, retention of nonnuclear sanctions.
What’s left? A
surrender document of the kind offered by defeated nations suing for
peace. Consider: The strongest military and economic power on earth,
backed by the five other major powers, armed with what had been a
crushing sanctions regime, is about to sign the worst international
agreement in U.S. diplomatic history.
How did it come to this? With every concession, Obama and Kerry made clear they were desperate for a deal.
And they will get it. Obama will get his “legacy.” Kerry will get his Nobel. And Iran will get the bomb.
Yet to think of ISIS and Hamas as being in a state of war may be to
overestimate their hostility and underrate their grasp of political
reality. Hamas doesn’t so much fear ISIS as it does worry about a wild
card group making decisions for them about war with Israel at a moment
when they might prefer to continue the truce with the Jewish state.
Similarly, ISIS has enough on its plate fighting in Syria and Iraq
against forces that would like to see it destroyed without opening up a
new front in Gaza at a moment when its strength there is minuscule
compared to the enormous military that Hamas can deploy against Israel.
But despite animosity and distrust, it is more than obvious that both
Hamas and ISIS share a common enemy in Egypt. The Sisi government in
Cairo is dedicated to the eradication of the Muslim Brotherhood and
regards Hamas, which was founded by Brotherhood supporters and whose
help to the group during the unrest in Egypt was included in the charges
against former President Mohammed Morsi, as a hostile entity. Egypt is
even more determined to isolate Gaza than Israel. In that sense, the
Hamas-ISIS connection is a natural alliance.
That’s why Hamas has a vested interest in creating more chaos in
Sinai than exists along its border with Israel. No matter what their
opinion of each other might be, Hamas understands that the Egyptian
government is a far more dangerous threat to its continued survival than
is Israel. Under the circumstances it doesn’t take much of a leap of
imagination to believe that Israel’s intelligence about
Hamas’s involvement in ISIS activities in Sinai has the ring of truth.
This realization ought to do more than cause concern in both Cairo
and Jerusalem. The Sinai had already been transformed into something of a
Wild West for terror in the years since a bloody Hamas coup allowed the
group to seize control of the independent Palestinian state (in all but
name) that currently exists in Gaza. But with ISIS moving into the void
of security that the Sinai has become, a low level conflict with
terrorists may be about to turn into something far more serious.
More to the point, this tacit alliance between otherwise rival
Islamist terror groups ought to cause some foreign policy experts
who have regarded Western acquiescence toward Hamas’s continued grip on
Gaza as a given to rethink that assumption. If Gaza is no longer merely a
launching pad for rockets and tunnels aimed at terrorizing Israelis but
is also a base for terror aimed at toppling moderate Arab governments,
continued tolerance of its sovereignty in Gaza is not only morally
wrong; it is a suicidal proposition for the West.
Just as the Israelis have refrained from toppling Hamas in Gaza lest
they be stuck governing the dysfunctional strip, so too do Western
nations have a distaste for regime change in the strip. But perhaps it
is time that those who were so quick to criticize Israel for launching a
counter-attack against Gaza-based terrorism last summer realize that
the perpetuation of Hamas rule there is a threat to more than the Jewish
state. So long as an Islamist terror group has a secure base next to
both Egypt and Israel and is getting aid from Iran, it is reasonable to
assume that it will be undermining the security of both of those states
as well as the rest of the region.
While I cannot prove it empirically, there are many scholars who believe that had Adolph Hitler and the Nazis (may their name and memory be obliterated) not been so obsessed with murdering Jews, the outcome of World War II might have been different and we might all be speaking German now. Will the West (particularly Europe and the Democratic party in the US) allow its all-consuming hatred of Israel and/or Jews to overlook the storm that is brewing in Gaza?
Israel has "clear information that Hamas is supporting the Wilayat
Sinai, which belongs to Daesh," Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai, the
coordinator of government activities in the territories, claimed,
referring to the Islamic State group in one of its acronyms.
He added that Hamas provided the Islamist group
weapons and logistical support, and even smuggled wounded militants for
treatment in the Gaza Strip. "I am confident in this [information] and I
have proof," he said.
The IDF has decided that this entire story is too close for comfort: Route 12 near the Egyptian border will be closed from 5:00 am Friday Israel time.
The decision was made by Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon with the
recommendation of IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot. The closing
of the road was defined by the military as temporary.
One of the attacks was carried out only four
kilometers from the border with Israel, an officer in the IDF Southern
Command said on Thursday. In response, the Israeli military has
intensified its intelligence gathering efforts in the area.
Temporary until what? Until ISIS is defeated? Until Hamas stops supporting them? Doesn't sound like much of a plan, does it?
The Kerem Shalom border crossing between Israel and Egypt reopened on
Thursday after it was closed for 24 hours due to the battles raging in
Sinai. However, the Nitzana crossing remained closed.
The real question is whether the Gaza crossings are open - and if yes, why?
Heart-rending video: Father of terror victim sings song of faith at his son's funeral
26-year old Malachi Rosenfeld HY"D (May God Avenge his blood) died on Tuesday of wounds suffered in a drive-by shooting terror attack on his car on Monday evening (via Jihad Watch). Two 'Palestinian' terror organizations have taken 'credit' for the attack. Malachi and three friends were on their way back from... a basketball tournament.
Malachi's funeral was held on Wednesday. Here is his father singing about God being present even in the most concealed moments.
Get some tissues out and let's go to the videotape.
And for those who aren't familiar with the song....
"Even in the most concealed of concealed moments"' sang the
bereaved father "certainly G-d, blessed be He, is also found there."
Amid sobs from other mourners, he urged his tearful audience to sing
with him as he reached the words: "Even behind the most difficult things
that happen to you, He (still) stands, He stands - and we will stand,
we will stand with G-d."
Speaking to his dead son he ended: "My sweet, my sweet... come back to visit us."
Malachi's parents are among the founders of Kochav Hashachar, a village north of Jerusalem in Samaria where he lives.
May God Comfort the family among all mourners for Zion and Jerusalem, and may they know of no more sorrow.
The US State Department had no comment. They couldn't give a damn.
Yet there is little if any trust in Obama in Israel, even among those
who self-identify as center-left or left. That’s my observation after
traveling for two weeks in Israel in late May and early June.
My wife and I traveled from the Lebanese to Gaza borders,
and much of what was in between. We visited with a survivor of a school
bus bombing, the families of terror victims, Israeli Bedouins, faculty
and staff at Israeli universities, physicians treating Syrian war
wounded, the security manager in Sderot along the Gaza border, and
For whatever the reason, almost all of the people with whom we
interacted self-identified as center-left or left. In Israeli terms,
that means these are people who did not support Benjamin Netanyahu’s
Likud party, or any of the religious-based parties, in last March’s
There was no shortage of criticism of Netanyahu from this crowd: He’s
egotistical, he doesn’t keep his tough promises, he is only interested
in his own political survival, he’s a liar, his pre-election comment
about Arab voting was shameful, and so on.
Yet with only a couple of exceptions, the negative comments always were followed with a big BUT.
But Netanyahu is the only Israeli politician who has the stature to
handle the world pressure; but I don’t envy the position he is in with
so many forces against us; but opposition leader Yitzhak “Bougie” Herzog
is weak and no one will fear him; and so on.
These big BUTS were consistent with the polling and the election
results in March. A majority of Israelis voted for a political party
other than Netanyahu’s Likud, but as a whole the electorate viewed
Netanyahu as the only Israeli politician capable of standing up for
Israel in a hostile world.
Dislike of Netanyahu, however, did not seem to translate into support for Obama on the Iran deal.
I met with Professor Jacobson (and not for the first time). I am not Center-Left. I didn't vote in the last election because I was traveling on business (no absentee ballots in Israel), but if I had, I would have voted for Likud or a religious party. His depiction of Israelis' views of Obama is accurate... to a point.
What Professor Jacobson left out is that many of us feel that it's not just that Obama is a delusional optimist. Shimon Peres is a delusional optimist. But no Israeli (or very few Israelis) would accuse Shimon Peres of deliberately setting out to destroy the State of Israel. Many Israelis - yours truly included - believe that President Obama's goal is to destroy the State of Israel or to leave it so emasculated at the end of his term that it will remain for the Islamists to pick up the pieces.
Yes, I believe that President Obama would like to see the State of Israel destroyed (so does Michael Oren). I believe that he's an anti-Semite - as simple as that. And I believe that once he is out of office, his hostility to Jews and to Israel will come out into the open, just like Jimmy Carter's did nearly 40 years ago. As Victor Davis Hanson said in a Foreign Policy interview:
(2) Israel--democratic, capitalist, Western, pro-American--is emblematic
of all the things that Obama in the past has been skeptical about,
since Israel appreciates our values, history, and what we stand for.
Again, this is passé for Obama--as if one in a Columbia University
seminar on post-imperialism were to raise his hand and declare, "Isn't
it great that Israel is a beacon of democracy and Western values in the
Imagine the reaction of the professor and students to
that poor fellow, and, presto, there is what bothers Obama about Israel.
In domestic policy terms, Israel is like the present health care
system, Wall Street, the 5% who need their taxes raised, "they" who
raised the bar, the insurance companies, etc., the Palestinians more
like the victimized, poor American middle and under classes.
We Israelis got Obama's hostility to Israel in 2008, we got it as soon as he came into office in 2009, and we continue to get it. I know that I told Professor Jacobson this outright. I wonder whether others did.
The Mossad is the secret intelligence agency of the State of Israel,
recognized globally as the most advanced in the world. With an extensive
network of agents located throughout the world – in every country
except Micronesia and Peru, the Mossad’s information-gathering capacity
For many years now, we have trained our agents to find every secret,
gather all details, and know what is happening not only in the local
government where our agents are assigned, but also on a global scale.
We are always looking to expand our secret base locations. For now, here are some of our bases…
ISIS - the Islamic State terror organization - has announced that first it will destroy Hamas rule in Gaza due to Hamas' eschewing global jihad, and then it will destroy (God Forbid) the 'Jewish state' (yes, they called it that).
The video statement, issued from an Islamic State stronghold in
Syria, was a rare public challenge to Hamas, which has been cracking
down on jihadis in Gaza who oppose its truces with Israel and
reconciliation with the U.S.-backed rival Palestinian faction Fatah. "We
will uproot the state of the Jews (Israel) and you and Fatah, and all
of the secularists are nothing and you will be over-run by our creeping
multitudes," said a masked Islamic State member in the message addressed
to the "tyrants of Hamas". "The rule of shariah (Islamic law) will be
implemented in Gaza, in spite of you. We swear that what is happening in
the Levant today, and in particular the Yarmouk camp, will happen in
Gaza," he said, referring to Islamic State advances in Syria, including
in a Damascus district founded by Palestinian refugees.
Islamic State, also known as ISIS and ISIL, has also
taken over swathes of Iraq and has claimed attacks in Egypt, Libya,
Tunisia and Yemen. Hamas is an Islamist movement that shares the
jihadis' hostility to Israel but not their quest for a global religious
war, defining itself more within the framework of Palestinian
nationalism. Deemed a terrorist group by Israel, the United States and
the European Union, and viewed by neighbouring Arab power Egypt as a
regional security threat, Hamas's struggle against ISIS-linked jihadis
has not won sympathy abroad.
Israel's intelligence minister, Israel Katz, accused
Hamas on Tuesday of partnering with Islamic State affiliates in the
Egyptian Sinai - a charge long denied by the Palestinian group. "There
is cooperation between them in the realm of weapons smuggling and
terrorist attacks. The Egyptians know this, and the Saudis," Katz told a
Tel Aviv conference organised by the Israel Defense journal. "At the
same time, within Gaza, ISIS has been flouting Hamas. But they have common cause against the Jews, in Israel or abroad."
It's all about tribalism folks. At the end of the day, these people have no loyalties outside their own families and clans. They will murder everyone else without a second thought.
The Prime Minister's office has released an animated video comparing the Islamic State of Iran to the Islamic State terror organization.
Let's go to the videotape.
I'm not quite sure what they're trying to accomplish here. While I get the 'sound bites' bit, I'm afraid that this is only going to influence those who are already predisposed to Israel's position. It would be far more effective to expose what's actually going on in Vienna now and how the West is caving - information that Israel undoubtedly has.
Let raise an idea about how you could present the arrangement on settlements that you are seeking with Israel as
I understand it, i.e. a moratorium coupled with allowances to complete a number of housing units. There are
1. To describe it as an agreement, explaining why the US has accepted an Israeli completion of a
handful of units whose construction already has begun. This raises some concerns. It would
represent U.S. legitimization of some (however small) Israeli activity in the West Bank and it
would trigger Arab and Palestinian complaints that we had compromised, sowing doubts about
The alternative would be for the administration to say:
a. We have come a very long way, as Israel has made unprecedented commitments to the U.S. in terms of a
settlements freeze. This is a very welcome development.
b. We did not achieve all that we had hoped as Israel intends to complete a number of
housing units. We have differences with the Israeli government on this matter which we
have expressed to them..
That said, we are convinced that substantial progress has been made that warrants
an immediate resumption of peace talks as well as Arab steps toward Israel that will help
promote a two-state solution.
This latter option retains our credibility, does not compromise our oft-stated position and allows us to move
Israel gives a 'settlement freeze' for which Hillary Clinton and Sandy 'I stuffed the top secret material in my socks' Berger make sure it gets not credit.
No, this administration is different than previous administrations. Previous administrations (with the exception of Carter) may have referred to Jewish settlement of Judea and Samaria as 'unwise' and may have called it 'illegitimate.' But only the Obama and Carter administrations have called it 'illegal.' (Which it's not). And the Bush administration did support some Israeli 'settlement' and did issue a letter saying that it expected that some of those 'settlements' would be made apart of Israel as part of a final agreement with the 'Palestinians.' But then came the Obama administration and disavowed the letter.
More importantly, every administration until the Obama administration has said that peace between Israel and the 'Palestinians' must come about as a result of a negotiated solution. Only the Obama administration - in a mad rush for a 'Palestinian state' that would immediately be consumed by terrorists - has attempted to impose a solution on Israel. Only the Obama administration has forced Israel to release terrorist murderers from its jail. And only the Obama administration has forced a 'settlement freeze' on Israel.
No, this is not the same as every other US administration.
The U.S. State Department on Tuesday punched a big hole in Israel-led
efforts to induce the Obama administration to regard boycotts of
settlements as identical to boycott
of Israel proper. In doing so, it provided the Israeli government and
the pro-Israel lobby with yet another painful lesson in the pitfalls of
being too clever by half and biting off more than one should chew.
A special statement issued by the State Department
Press Office on Tuesday afternoon made clear that while the
administration “strongly opposes” any boycott, divestment or sanctions
against the State of Israel, it does not extend the same protection to
“Israel-controlled territories.” Rather than weakening efforts to
boycott Jewish settlements in the occupied territories, as Israel
supporters had planned, the State Department was actually granting them
The statement came in the wake of President Obama’s
signing of the Trade Promotion Authority bill, which grants him the
authority he had sought to conclude the Trans-Pacific Partnership
accord. But as the bill deals with free trade agreements in general, a
clause was inserted in the Senate by Democratic Senator Ben Cardin and
Republican Senator Rob Portman and by Representative Peter Roskam in the
House of Representative that instructs American diplomats to include
opposition to any boycott of Israel - or of persons from “territories
controlled by Israel” - in their free trade negotiations with the
The State Department statement, however, makes clear
that the bill will not change U.S. policy towards the settlements. “The
U.S. government has never defended or supported Israeli settlements or
activity associated with them, and, by extension, does not pursue
policies or activities that would legitimize them,” it said. It went on
to note: “Administrations of both parties have long recognized that
settlement activity and efforts to change facts on the ground undermine
the goal of a two-state solution.”
This anti-Israel administration cannot end soon enough. 'Most pro-Israel administration evah' my tuches.
Over his 30-year political career, Kerry has long been knocked for
delivering more talk than results. Achieving a nuclear deal he first
began pursuing even before he became secretary of state could redefine
his place in history.
And that, Republican critics, foreign officials, and even
some ex-administration officials say, is a big problem. Kerry’s
eagerness for a deal, they argue, risks that the Iranians will seduce
him into a bad one.
“I don’t know how anyone who has
observed Kerry over the past two years would think differently,” says a
former administration official who worked on Iran issues.
The concern is that, in search of a historic accomplishment with his
name on it, Kerry might succumb to wishful thinking. As a senator, Kerry
was dogged by the critique that he authored few major bills over his
30-year career. He won the Democratic nomination in 2004 but lost his
bid for the presidency. And since arriving at Foggy Bottom he has been
frustrated in his efforts to contain Vladimir Putin in Ukraine and,
above all, in his so-far fruitless quest for Middle East peace.
say the conventional wisdom sells short his Senate and Foggy Bottom
record, including his recent role brokering a peaceful resolution to
Afghanistan’s disputed presidential election amid fears of a civil war.
Of course, many critics of the talks fret that Obama faces much the
same pressure as Kerry for a legacy-making achievement, especially in
the realm of foreign policy, where Obama has faced an unrelenting string
of crises in recent months. A new article in the conservative Weekly Standard
attacking Obama’s “capitulation” to Iran notes that Deputy National
Security Adviser Ben Rhodes has likened an Iran deal to Obamacare in its
importance to the administration.
Obama challenged the idea that he is overeager for a nuclear deal in an interview last month with The Atlantic’s
Jeffrey Goldberg. “Twenty years from now … [if] Iran has a nuclear
weapon, it’s my name on this,” Obama said, adding: “I have a personal
interest in locking this down.”
Kerry’s own investment is also huge. He has pursued a nuclear deal since
he was a senator, well before the administration’s direct diplomacy got
underway: As chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Kerry
secretly flew to Muscat in November 2011, where he asked the Sultan of
Oman to help broker talks between Washington and Tehran. That set the
stage for the administration’s first direct contacts with Iranian
officials on the nuclear question.
Striking a deal
in Vienna this summer will require persuading Iran’s supreme leader to
backtrack on his own stated red lines, including on the pace of
sanctions relief and access of inspectors to Iranian military sites and
It's unlikely that Iran will back down on any or all of those points - it's far more likely that the US will cave on them. And 20 years from now, Obama will be happily retired at US government expense and Kerry will likely have gone on to greener pastures (or to a much hotter place). They won't care about their 'legacy.'
Dennis Ross got it right:
Dennis Ross, another former senior Middle East aide under Obama with
long experience in diplomatic negotiations said the key to effective
deal making is “being able to show you have a genuine interest in a deal
but can live without one.”
“We should show little
interest in a deadline and focus exclusively on our essential needs,”
Ross added. If Iran won’t meet those needs, Ross said, then Kerry should
“suggest a pause — but with the proviso that we will also reassess
where we are, with the understanding that our positions are likely to
This administration doesn't know how to ignore deadlines. It's just one of the many things they don't get about the Middle East bazaar. They have the same problems in 'negotiations' about a 'Palestinian state.'
I am an Orthodox Jew - some would even call me 'ultra-Orthodox.' Born in Boston, I was a corporate and securities attorney in New York City for seven years before making aliya to Israel in 1991 (I don't look it but I really am that old :-). I have been happily married to the same woman for thirty-three years, and we have eight children (bli ayin hara) ranging in age from 10 to 31 years and seven grandchildren. Three of our children are married! Before I started blogging I was a heavy contributor on a number of email lists and ran an email list called the Matzav from 2000-2004. You can contact me at: IsraelMatzav at gmail dot com