By the time we arrived, cars were parked all along the highway, long before the turnoff to the parade grounds where the swearing-in ceremony for new recruits was to be held.
I took out the chocolate cake I’d baked that morning, carefully balancing it in my arms; my husband hauled the plastic bag holding the drinks and paper cups. I felt virtuous. Here I was, a practiced Israeli, who knew that these events required food. But as I looked around at the people traipsing with us up the hill, I realized that once again I’d never …
…continue reading The Swearing-In Ceremony for New Recruits
It happened in March, on our silliest, most joyous holiday, Purim. Two Palestinian terrorists walked into the Jewish enclave in Hebron, took out knives and stabbed a soldier. One terrorist was killed; the second lay on the ground twitching until an Israeli soldier, initially referred to as Sergeant A and later identified as Elor Azaria, calmly shot him in the head. The controversial NGO B’Tselem, well known for its fostering of anti-Israel propaganda, filmed the incident, then uploaded it to the Internet.
It made ugly viewing.
Unsurprisingly, Israel’s critics had a field day. Based on the …
…continue reading The Shot Heard Round the World
We never met, but yesterday, you saved my life, and the lives of so many others who live in Jerusalem. You save our lives, and gave your own young life with all its promise and all the joys of life still ahead of you, all 101 years of potential. You sacrificed that.
You were only 19. In America, you’d be in your sophomore year in some happy, academic playground.
Instead, you were in Jerusalem, in the IDF, on patrol in the Border Guard unit that stands between terrorists and the residents of the holy city of …
…continue reading My Dear Hadar
Now, this is interesting. I’m going to pick ten movies I’m betting you haven’t seen yet, because there is a long list of great movies available from Netflix that I’m sure you have seen already such as: About a Boy, Black Hawk Down, There’s Something About Kevin, In the Bedroom, The Station Agent, Like Water for Chocolate, Room with a View, Rain Man, The Shining, Sophie’s Choice, Leap Year, Silver Linings Playbook, Notting Hill etc. If you haven’t seen the aforementioned, by all means, start with them, but I’m guessing you have.
Now let me convince …
…continue reading Ten Best Netflix Movies – February 2016
I was watching another one of Pat Condell’s marvelous rants on YouTube when by chance I came across this stunning video created by an ex-Muslim who grew up in the Middle East and attended Islamic schools. Her explanation of Islam left me in shock and awe. So clear. So unequivocal. It cuts through all the insane chatter, the talking heads, the politically-correct, dim-witted speech.
You HAVE TO listen to her. Only then will you truly understand what is going on in the world, the “refugees”, ISIS, Islamic faith, etc. etc. …
To see this brave …
…continue reading An Ex-Muslim’s Short and Brilliant Explanation of Islam
Some of you might have heard about the cult pretending to be devout Jews called “Lev Tahor,” wanted all over the world for child abuse and forcing young underage girls into marriages with much older men.
The prestigious magazine Foreign Policy has published an eye-opening article about the cult that reads like my latest novel, Devil in Jerusalem, which is also about a dangerous cult pretending to be super-devout Jews.
You can read the article here (no subscription required).
Those seeking holiness, beware!
It was one of those encounters that had happened to me so many times on book tour in America: the car ride back to my hotel from the Jewish Community Center after a few hours of lecturing, answering questions and signing books. Usually, the drivers in these short rides were enthusiastic volunteers who were fans and /or members of the book committee that had invited me in the first place.
This ride was no different. Slim, pretty, with expensive diamond rings, driving the latest hybrid, my driver spoke to me knowledgeably about my books and about …
…continue reading Israeli and American Jews: The Grand Canyon
With Swedish girls being raped regularly by Muslims who are taking over her country, and the Swedish government doing its best to hide the fact, Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström is hard at work … condemning Israel.
If it had only been the fact that Sweden recognized a non-existent Palestinian State, I would say: “Enough.”
If it had only been Wallström’s outrageous statement that it was Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians that was responsible for the radicalization of “peaceful” Muslims, I would shout: “Enough!”
But now she’s gone one step further. Ignoring the Palestinian murder rampage …
…continue reading Swedish Complicity in Islamic Terror
A trip to France reveals how its citizens are learning to live in the shadow of terrorism.
“So, you’re probably not coming…” my daughter said with a mixture of fear and resignation.
We were on the phone, I in Jerusalem, she in Paris, the day after the massive terrorist attacks in the heart of the City of Light. My French grandson’s greatly anticipated bar mitzvah was only three weeks away. For the first time in years, the entire family in Jerusalem—my other three children and six of seven grandchildren—had tickets to join their sister, aunt and …
…continue reading An Israeli in Paris
In my forty-six years in Jerusalem, I have known two seasons: summer and winter. Summer comes gradually, the skies clearing of clouds, dyed in cerulean blue, the color of Arab doors and the Caribbean sea. The sun grows larger, moving closer, its light bleaching the vivid red Italian tiles of rooftops and the deep green of old pine trees like water dripping into a palette of watercolors. The air bakes, moisture-less, until the sun leaves, then dances, unburdened, its cool breezes whipping through open windows like a sigh of relief.
And then, without warning, the clouds …
…continue reading Seasons of Jerusalem
For years, Israel has been demonized, held responsible for every terrorist atrocity from blowing up Holocaust survivors at a Passover Seder to the mutilation and murder of her Olympic athletes. It was all Israel’s fault, because she had mistreated the poor Palestinians.
The French welcomed thousands of Muslims to France. They made them citizens, gave them access to everything the Western world has to offer. The French sided openly with the Palestinians, and had a hands-off policy towards Muslims, making their neighborhoods no-go zones for the police.
Their reward? Mass killings in supermarkets, magazine offices, restaurants, …
…continue reading You Can Never Be “Nice” Enough to the Muslims
“Let’s take a walk,” my husband suggested. And I agreed. It was not yet dark and the air was crisp and cold. Something was happening on Emek Refaim Street, some kind of festival for children. There was a Punch and Judy show, a man dressed like a dinosaur. The kids were crowding the streets, laughing.
We smiled at them as we passed them by.
When we got to the end of the street we decided to turn left and walk past Liberty Bell Park, and then onward towards the lively shopping street of Mamilla. The stretch …
…continue reading Living with Terror
It was in the middle of Sukkot, that loveliest of holidays in Israel, set aside for family time, when even the most devout and serious yeshiva men can be seen with their entire families visiting the zoo or traipsing through nature trails in Galilee. We had woken up that Friday morning to the shocking news that, the night before, young parents had been murdered in their car on their way home from a festive reunion, shot in cold blood by Palestinian terrorists as their four terrified little boys sat watching from the back seat.
It is …
…continue reading Terror in Israel – The Merry-Go-Round
Dear Friends, You are all cordially invited to join me for a book reception at 10:30 AM on Sunday on 8 November 2015 at Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun at 125 E 85th Street in Manhattan. The event will take place under the auspices of the highly respected synagogue as well as the Institute of Jewish Ideas and Ideals, headed by my dear friend and mentor, Rabbi Marc Angel.
I will be speaking about my new novel (my tenth!) The Devil In Jerusalem, which will be published this coming Tuesday, 13 October. …
…continue reading My New Book and Lecture Tour
Bar Rafaeli, Israel’s golden girl, was married last night. So I want to wish her and her husband, Adi Ezra, every happiness. I want to thank her for being such a beautiful and positive spokeswoman for Israel, for always standing up against pressure and for showing the world what beautiful people Israelis are.
I’m happy she decided to come home to marry a local, Jewish man even though I’m sure she had her pick of gentiles who were very, very rich and very, very famous. I’m happy for her parents and siblings that they will have …
…continue reading Mazal Tov to Bar
What happens when rabbis prey on people’s need for holiness?
The wave broke slowly. First, one woman from a close-knit National Religious community in Safed approached the town’s chief rabbi, Shmuel Eliyahu, son of Israel’s former Sephardic chief rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu, describing how the charismatic rabbinical head of her community, a man credited with “magical powers,” had raped her. Over the next month, more than ten women came forward. Their stories were shockingly similar: When they sought rabbinical counseling on marital and fertility issues, their rabbi/counselor advised them to submit to sexual acts with him.
…continue reading An Abuse of Sacred Trust