Friday, March 29, 2013

The Council Has Spoken!! This Week's Watcher's Council Results


Alea iacta est...the Council has spoken, the votes have been cast, and we have the results  for this week's Watcher's Council match up.

This is an important week for a lot of reasons.

 It was the week of the Pessah, the Passover, the time when Jews the world over fulfill the mitzva of retelling the story of the Exodus and their delivery from the house of bondage,  a time to celelbrate as free men and women  their G-d-given freedom and to eat the unleavened bread, matzoh, to commemorate their ancestor's journey  and deliverance from bondage and slavery and the giving of the Torah at Har Sinai. It is a time, according to the Mishnah, when every Jew should  conduct himself as though he personally was redeemed from bondage by G-d's own hand.

This is also Holy week, culminating in  Easter Sunday, the day Christians celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus. That too is a festival of freedom...freedom from sin, freedom of the soul and a promise of eternal life.

No, the rolling away of the stone does not only refer to a physical object.

 Both holidays change their dates on our calender from year to year..Passover because it is based on the centuries old Hebrew lunar calender, and Easter because the early Church fathers determined that Easter is always celebrated on the Sunday immediately following the Paschal Full Moon date of the year, which always occurs after Passover. But they always come close together.

It is fitting and appropriate that the two holidays should be linked in this way. Jesus had come to Jerusalem for the Passover ceremonies and the famous Last Supper was a Passover seder. The bread Jesus spoke of as recorded in the Gospels was none other than the humble matzoh, the unleavened bread the Hebrew made because they were 'in haste to depart' from Egypt and had no time for it to rise.

At this time, when  freedom is under attack in ways and in  places where we never supposed it ever would be, it is important to reflect on the message of Passover and Easter, and how that message can freee of from bondage...especially the chains we forge ourselves.

I and my fellow  Council members wish you and yours Chag Pessah Sameach and a blessed Easter.

Speaking of the Holy Land, after 4 years of a fairly hostile and contentious relationship, President Obama finally saw fit to visit Israel as president.

This week's winning piece, Narcissus In The Promised Land Redux: Obama Learns You Can't Fool All Of The People All Of The Time over at Joshuapundit was my reaction to the president's trip and what occurred. Here's a slice:

I could almost pity President Obama for having his nose rubbed in the truth of Abraham Lincoln's famous statement if the mess wasn't so thoroughly of his own making.

President Obama got a friendly, if skeptical reception in Israel, because most Israelis are in fact pro-American.But Israelis, particularly sabras are noted for looking at deeds rather than words and schmooze.

While they appreciated President Obama's fine words on America's commitment to Israel as an ally, they also remember his previous hostility, his repudiation of agreements made with Israel by President Bush and his call for them to re-divide Jerusalem and retreat to indefensible borders.

And they notice that he chose to land in Tel Aviv rather than Israel's capitol Jerusalem, that he chose not address Israel's Knesset, that he was 'too busy' to meet personally with victims of Palestinian terrorism even if they hold American citizenship, that he refused to invite students at Ariel University to his speech to Israeli students...simply because their university is located in Judea ( AKA The West Bank), even though it's on land Jews purchased legally before Israel was even a state.

And many of them also noticed this map of Israel put out by Obama's State Department in spokesman Ben Rhodes' offical statement..that shows a map of Israel on the pre '67 lines, without the Golan, Judea and Samaria or East Jerusalem:


In the president's speech to Israeli students, he somehow forgot that over half a million Israelis (including a lot of the students he was speaking to) live in what he still refers to as 'settlements', saying that "Israelis must recognize that continued settlement activity is counterproductive to the cause of peace, and that an independent Palestine must be viable, that real borders will have to be drawn," and warning that Israel "must reverse an undertow of isolation".  

 In other words, Israel building homes and infrastructure for it's people - bad, hurts chances for peace. The Palestinian Authority's constant incitement against Jews, funneling donor aid to Hamas and using it to pay salaries to convicted killers in Israeli jails,  holding up the murderers of Israeli civilians as role models and heroes? The actions of a peace partner!

Yes, that's the looking glass world our Narcissus lives in, where his warped perceptions become 'what everyone knows'.

Trying as usual to have it both ways, the president also said it was time for the Arab world to "take steps toward normalizing relations" with Israel and that "Palestinians must recognize that Israel will be a Jewish state, and that Israelis have the right to insist upon their security".

How that's going to be accomplished with the borders he proposes the president did not elaborate on.And that's especially telling in view of the reception the president got in Ramallah from the Palestinians before he spoke to the students.

In our non-Council category, the winner was Sultan Knish with Night Falls on Civilization submitted by The Noisy Room. All I can say is read it for yourself.

OK,  here are this week’s full results. Gay Patriot and Rhymes With Right were unable to vote this week, but neither was subject to the mandatory 2/3 penalty

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week! Because of Easter Sunday, this week's Forum will not appear, but don't forget to tune in a week from this Monday AM for the Watcher's Forum, as the Council and their invited special guests take apart one of the provocative issues of the day with short takes and weigh in...don't you dare miss it. And don't forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.....'cause we're cool like that!

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