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Archive for March 24th, 2009

The End of the Global War on Terror?

Posted by avideditor on March 24, 2009

It is now official the pentagon has lost its mind. The jihadis want to destroy all the liberty in the world. The pentagon is no longer on our side. It is a sad day.

The end of the Global War on Terror — or at least the use of that phrase — has been codified at the Pentagon. Reports that the phrase was being retired have been circulating for some time amongst senior administration officials, and this morning speechwriters and other staff were notified via this e-mail to use “Overseas Contingency Operation” instead. 

Posted in America, jihad, jihadi propiganda | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

IDF Brutality in Gaza?

Posted by Glezele Vayne on March 24, 2009

BS”D

This article is re-published here with the permission of author, Yaacov Lozowick. — Ellie Katz

First posted at Yaacov Lozowick’s Ruminations

March 22nd, 2009

Two months after the IDF operation in Gaza, an internal Israeli conversation taking place in Hebrew is being splashed over media outlets the world over, from the New York Times to the Zevener Zeitung, the local newspaper of a townlet west of Hamburg no-one has ever heard of: yet it carried an item about the Israeli discussion. Unremarkably, the reportage, whether measured and calm, breathless and excited, or antagonistic and gleeful at uncovering Israel’s crimes, is uninformed and silly. That the reporters can’t follow the original discussion because of lingual and cultural barriers is obvious; sadly, they seem not to have read the English translation very carefully, either.

The facts of the operation are partially clear. Following a century of strife over contradictory claims to a very small land, Israel unilaterally disengaged from the Gaza strip in 2005. In the months leading to this disengagement the Palestinians had sensibly refrained from provoking Israeli ire and had carefully held their fire; as soon as the IDF left Gaza, however, the shooting of kassam rockets at Israeli civilians was renewed. Six months later the Palestinians democratically elected Hamas, a party whose fundamental documents and standard rhetoric are deeply antisemitic and genocidal, calling for the death of all Jews. Wisely or not, Israel, Europe and the United States boycotted Hamas, while Israel and Egypt partially blockaded the Gaza strip, especially after a bloody little civil war in 2007 in which Hamas ousted its Fatah rivals and took sole control. Throughout this period the rocketing of Israeli towns and villages continued, with thousands of projectiles hitting Israeli territory between 2005 and 2008. In December 2008 the IDF invaded Gaza in an attempt to put a stop to the shooting. In the ensuing operation 1,300-1,400 Palestinians were killed. According to the Palestinians, 960 of the dead were civilians; the Israelis admit that some 400 civilians were killed, and claim to know the names of at least 580 dead fighters.

The truth may never be known, and is unlikely ever to be agreed upon. (Related article here). Yet no matter which version we prefer, it is clear that in three weeks of battle in a densely populated area, indeed, much of it urban, fewer than a thousand civilians died, perhaps fewer than half. Seen against the backdrop of every urban battle in history, such a number must reflect a high degree of restraint and efforts not to harm civilians. Had Israel wished indiscriminately to kill Palestinians, the numbers would have been vastly greater; even had the IDF been merely callously indifferent to Palestinian lives, the numbers would have been dramatically different. Yet this cannot be a source of sanctimonious satisfaction, since even the Israeli numbers tell of hundreds of dead civilians. It is important for Israel, irrespective of the uninformed world listing in to the discussion, to figure out what happened.

*****

In the summer of 1967, as the IDF reserve soldiers came home from the battlefields of the Six Day War, a group of kibbutz members inspired by the charismatic Holocaust survivor, partisan, and poet Aba Kovner, gathered together to talk about the war. While most of their compatriots were still reeling euphorically from the swift transformation of facing extinction in May 1967 to brilliant victory in June, these thoughtful young men reflected upon the gray zones. Their discussions were published as a book: Siach Lochamim, or Discussions of Warriors. It was important, widely read and quoted; an English version was published in 1971 as “The Seventh Day: Soldier Talk about the Six Day War“. Was it an influential book? Probably not. In post-modern jargon, it was an expression of the hegemonic elite of Israeli society, a few short years before the end of the hegemony and the onset of the present multi-cultural society. Still, it serves as a model some Israelis wistfully look back at.

Danny Zamir, head of the Oranim Academic College, is one of them. Yet there’s an ironic twist to his position. These academic colleges (“Mechinot”) are the invention of a rival group, the Zionist Orthodox,the political home of the Settlers. Twenty years ago some of them felt the need to insert a year of reflection and personal growth between high school and service in the IDF, feeling educated and mature 19-year-olds would better serve their country than less mature 18-year-olds. Zamir has copied their successful model.

This is important, because he and his student-soldiers are not a cross section of Israeli society. On the contrary. They are mostly members of a once illustrious group of Ashkenazi, secular, educated and left-leaning Israelis. One should not belittle them; while they no longer dominate Israeli society, they remain an honorable, creative and important section of it. Yet they are afflicted with a misconception shared by their political relatives in many Western societies: that they are somehow better than the others, more intelligent, more compassionate; that they are right, while everyone else is wrong, and boneheaded for not seeing their light. As in other countries so also in Israel, the rest of society returns the compliment with its own set of prejudices; the Querdenker in me loves them all, and takes none of their conceits all that seriously.

Zamir and his warrior-students have all read Siach Lochamim, and their discussion after the Gaza operation was consciously, carefully modeled on it, with Zamir usurping Kovner’s role, and the young men following their grandfathers – only the social terrain has changed. They are no longer the elite who command the nation’s attention and respect; rather, in their minds, they’re an embattled minority surrounded by a churning mass of inferiors. Read the description of their discussion carefully, and you can’t miss the arrogance.

This is really frustrating, to see that they understand that inside Gaza you are allowed to do anything you want, to break down doors of houses for no reason other than it’s cool.

“You do not get the impression from the officers that there is any logic to it, but they won’t say anything. To write ‘death to the Arabs’ on the walls, to take family pictures and spit on them, just because you can. I think this is the main thing in understanding how much the IDF has fallen in the realm of ethics, really. It’s what I’ll remember the most.”

Here’s the code: When this young sergeant talks about trying to explain to his soldiers that civilians must be protected, he’s casting himself as their moral superior, which is what he feels. He understands, they don’t. When he’s arguing with his religious comrades, however, and especially with the rabbis, he’s facing ideological foes who are his intellectual and social equals, so his criticism becomes sharper:

“What I do remember in particular at the beginning is the feeling of almost a religious mission. My sergeant is a student at a hesder yeshiva [a program that combines religious study and military service]. Before we went in, he assembled the whole platoon and led the prayer for those going into battle. A brigade rabbi was there, who afterward came into Gaza and went around patting us on the shoulder and encouraging us, and praying with people. And also when we were inside they sent in those booklets, full of Psalms, a ton of Psalms. I think that at least in the house I was in for a week, we could have filled a room with the Psalms they sent us, and other booklets like that.

“There was a huge gap between what the Education Corps sent out and what the IDF rabbinate sent out. The Education Corps published a pamphlet for commanders – something about the history of Israel’s fighting in Gaza from 1948 to the present. The rabbinate brought in a lot of booklets and articles, and … their message was very clear: We are the Jewish people, we came to this land by a miracle, God brought us back to this land and now we need to fight to expel the gentiles who are interfering with our conquest of this holy land. This was the main message, and the whole sense many soldiers had in this operation was of a religious war. From my position as a commander and ‘explainer,’ I attempted to talk about the politics – the streams in Palestinian society, about how not everyone who is in Gaza is Hamas, and not every inhabitant wants to vanquish us. I wanted to explain to the soldiers that this war is not a war for the sanctification of the holy name, but rather one to stop the Qassams.”

I’m not certain this comes across in the English translation; in the original Hebrew it’s crystal clear, and no Israeli will miss the lingual codes. Some may agree with them, others be affronted by them, but everyone sees them. This is crucial, because most of the report is not about the Palestinians at all, and it doesn’t describe things that happened, rather it focuses on a subjective interpretation. Read carefully, and you’ll see that actually, the soldiers didn’t generally behave with the wanton rage the descriptions would have you expect; on the contrary:

Yossie: “I am a platoon sergeant in an operations company of the Paratroops Brigade. We were in a house and discovered a family inside that wasn’t supposed to be there. We assembled them all in the basement, posted two guards at all times and made sure they didn’t make any trouble. Gradually, the emotional distance between us broke down – we had cigarettes with them, we drank coffee with them, we talked about the meaning of life and the fighting in Gaza. After very many conversations the owner of the house, a man of 70-plus, was saying it’s good we are in Gaza and it’s good that the IDF is doing what it is doing.

“The next day we sent the owner of the house and his son, a man of 40 or 50, for questioning. The day after that, we received an answer: We found out that both are political activists in Hamas. That was a little annoying – that they tell you how fine it is that you’re here and good for you and blah-blah-blah, and then you find out that they were lying to your face the whole time.

Yossie, being a platoon sergeant, didn’t lay down policy. If the troops behaved reasonably, it wasn’t because he’d convinced them, it was because their own cultural baggage dictated so.

Aviv describes agonizing as, near the end of the operation, it seemed likely his unit would penetrate a part of the city of Gaza which had not been evacuated of civilians. Ultimately this didn’t happen, but his thought process is fascinating:

“At first the specified action was to go into a house. We were supposed to go in with an armored personnel carrier called an Achzarit [literally, Cruel] to burst through the lower door, to start shooting inside and then … I call this murder … in effect, we were supposed to go up floor by floor, and any person we identified – we were supposed to shoot. I initially asked myself: Where is the logic in this?

“From above they said it was permissible, because anyone who remained in the sector and inside Gaza City was in effect condemned, a terrorist, because they hadn’t fled. I didn’t really understand: On the one hand they don’t really have anywhere to flee to, but on the other hand they’re telling us they hadn’t fled so it’s their fault … This also scared me a bit. I tried to exert some influence, insofar as is possible from within my subordinate position, to change this. In the end the specification involved going into a house, operating megaphones and telling [the tenants]: ‘Come on, everyone get out, you have five minutes, leave the house, anyone who doesn’t get out gets killed.’

He’s a sergeant, yet he argues up the military chain; later the orders are changed, certainly not because he argued, but then again, perhaps because he and many others all did: we can’t know; even he doesn’t know. In any case, it’s a thinking army, trying to fashion the proper way of battle, while at battle.

The deliberations were not only about life and death matters; they also covered more mundane topics. Back to Yossie, billeted in the home of Hamas activists:

“What annoyed me was that in the end, after we understood that the members of this family weren’t exactly our good friends and they pretty much deserved to be forcibly ejected from there, my platoon commander suggested that when we left the house, we should clean up all the stuff, pick up and collect all the garbage in bags, sweep and wash the floor, fold up the blankets we used, make a pile of the mattresses and put them back on the beds.”

Zamir: “What do you mean? Didn’t every IDF unit that left a house do that?”

Yossi: “No. Not at all. On the contrary: In most of the houses graffiti was left behind and things like that.”

Zamir: “That’s simply behaving like animals.”

Yossi: “There was one day when a Katyusha, a Grad, landed in Be’er Sheva and a mother and her baby were moderately to seriously injured. They were neighbors of one of my soldiers. We heard the whole story on the radio, and he didn’t take it lightly – that his neighbors were seriously hurt. So the guy was a bit antsy, and you can understand him. To tell a person like that, ‘Come on, let’s wash the floor of the house of a political activist in Hamas, who has just fired a Katyusha at your neighbors that has amputated one of their legs’ – this isn’t easy to do, especially if you don’t agree with it at all. When my platoon commander said, ‘Okay, tell everyone to fold up blankets and pile up mattresses,’ it wasn’t easy for me to take. There was lot of shouting. In the end I was convinced and realized it really was the right thing to do. Today I appreciate and even admire him, the platoon commander, for what happened there. In the end I don’t think that any army, the Syrian army, the Afghani army, would wash the floor of its enemy’s houses, and it certainly wouldn’t fold blankets and put them back in the closets.”

Fascinating, isn’t it. Yossie and his comrades have a common moral code. They’re stationed in a Palestinian home, and soon they’re having quasi-normal relations with them, talking, sharing cigarettes and so on. There have been Israelis in Arab captivity in some wars (not to mention Gilad Shalit right now), and I’ve never heard the parallel story. At the end, feeling a bit betrayed that the Palestinians had been lying, the soldiers don’t feel like cleaning up; Zamir, however, from the perch of his stricter moral code, or is it arrogance, makes it clear this is bestial (that’s what the original Hebrew word says). In essence, Zamir admonishes his student, you have also become bestial if you’re like all those others.

I agree with Zamir that they should have cleaned up. Yet in the annals of war this is hardly obvious, nor the norm. Leaving a mess is impolite; it’s not bestial. This is exactly where the internal Israeli conversation, happening in Hebrew, turns into something radically different in the malicious hands of unknowing outsiders.

The killing of civilians is of course a different subject altogether. Yet in spite of the world-wide excitement about these testimonies, which if you believe the reports contain Israeli confirmations of wanton brutality and destructiveness, they contain descriptions of only four civilian deaths; here’s the case of three:

Ram: “I serve in an operations company in the Givati Brigade. After we’d gone into the first houses, there was a house with a family inside. Entry was relatively calm. We didn’t open fire, we just yelled at everyone to come down. We put them in a room and then left the house and entered it from a different lot. A few days after we went in, there was an order to release the family. They had set up positions upstairs. There was a sharpshooters’ position on the roof. The platoon commander let the family go and told them to go to the right. One mother and her two children didn’t understand and went to the left, but they forgot to tell the sharpshooter on the roof they had let them go, and it was was okay and he should hold his fire and he … he did what he was supposed to, like he was following his orders.”

Question from the audience: “At what range was this?”

Ram: “Between 100 and 200 meters, something like that. They had also came out of the house that he was on the roof of, they had advanced a bit and suddenly he saw then, people moving around in an area where they were forbidden to move around. I don’t think he felt too bad about it, because after all, as far as he was concerned, he did his job according to the orders he was given. And the atmosphere in general, from what I understood from most of my men who I talked to … I don’t know how to describe it …. The lives of Palestinians, let’s say, is something very, very less important than the lives of our soldiers. So as far as they are concerned they can justify it that way.”

According to a radio broadcast two days ago, Ram has since admitted he wasn’t an eyewitness to any of this, it’s only hearsay. Or to be accurate: the tragic death of that woman and her two children happened; the talk about “the atmosphere in general” and so on, that’s hearsay. Ram assumes the shooter would have said he was merely following orders – a loaded statement if there ever was one – but he doesn’t know this. He implies that had he been stationed on the roof, he would have known better – and perhaps he might have. Then again, perhaps not. The devil – not figuratively – is in the details: was it daylight or nighttime? Were the children toddlers, or teenagers? Did their killer recognize them for who they were, or could he have easily been convinced they were something else? These specific questions make all the difference between the confusion of war and a malicious killing. They need to be clarified by professional investigators, not by a kangaroo court.

War is one of the worst occupations men can engage in – though genocide and some large scale injustices are worse, and their prevention justifies war. There is no such thing as a pretty war. The decision to be in war entails, always, the decision to do things that would be totally unacceptable in any other context. For this reason, the decision must be made with care, including detailed planning, meticulous training, permanent self reflection even under fire, and calm examination of everything afterwords so that mistakes not be repeated. Israel is currently examining itself, in a public, communal discussion. I cannot think of any other society which does this in such a frank and open manner; certainly never any of our enemies, but not any of our friends, either. The decision of our critics to cast this in a very different light tells mostly who they are, not who we are.

Hat tip: Neukoelln Botschaft

From Schmoozing with Elya & Ellie Katz

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Hamas Admits It Uses Human Shields

Posted by Glezele Vayne on March 24, 2009

BS”D

From Schmoozing with Elya & Ellie Katz

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Stop the Lefty Jihadi alliance

Posted by avideditor on March 24, 2009

What should we do? Do the leftist know they will be one of the first to go if the jihadis take over?

20090321answer03

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THIS DAY March 24

Posted by Shiva on March 24, 2009

Today’s khutbah (Islamic sermon)

Al-Maidah 5.59-60

[59]
Say: “O People of the Book! do ye disapprove of us for no other reason than that we believe in Allah, and the revelation that hath come to us and that which came before (us), and (perhaps) that most of you are rebellious and disobedient?”

[60]
Say: “Shall I point out to you something much worse than this, (as judged) by the treatment it received from Allah? Those who incurred the curse of Allah and His wrath, those of whom some He transformed into apes and swine, those who worshipped Evil, these are (many times) worse in rank, and far more astray from the even Path!”

WELL SOME JEWS WHERE AFFECTED BY ALLAH,S CURSE



Neturei Karta (Aramaic: נטורי קרתא “Guardians of the City”) is a tiny group of Haredi (Ultra-Orthodox) Jews who reject all forms of Zionism and actively oppose the existence of the State of Israel.

While many in Neturei Karta chose to simply ignore the State of Israel, this became more difficult. Some took proactive steps to condemn Israel and bring about its eventual dismantling until the coming of the Messiah. Chief among these is Rabbi Moshe Hirsch, Neturei Karta’s self-proclaimed “Foreign Minister”, author of its prayer book Siddur Vilna, who served in Yasser Arafats cabinet as Minister for Jewish Affairs.
Rabbi Hirsch and his followers maintain that a community of (Haredi) Orthodox Jews can and should be a viable minority in an Arab-controlled Palestinian state. Their main synagogue is the beis midrash ‘Ohel Sarah’ in the center of Meah Shearim.
Rabbi Hirsch claims that there is a striking accord between the views of Neturei Karta and those of Fatah, which was the dominant party in the Palestinian Authority until the 2006 Palestinian election: both favour a secular and non-sectarian government in Palestine.
In October 2005, Neturei Karta leader Rabbi Yisroel Dovid Weiss issued a statement criticizing Jewish attacks on Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Weiss wrote that Ahmadinejad’s statements were not “indicative of anti-Jewish sentiments”, but rather, “a yearning for a better, more peaceful world”, and “re-stating the beliefs and statements of Ayatollah Khomeini, who always emphasized and practiced the respect and protection of Jews and Judaism.”
In the UK, Rabbi Yosef Goldstein testified on behalf of Abu Hamza al-Masri of the Finsbury Park Mosque, who in recordings has called for the murder of Jews and infidels. Rabbi Goldstein testified that he and Abu Hamza had a “friendly and cordial relationship.”
In March 2006, several Neturei Karta members visited Iran where they met with Iranian statesmen, including the Vice-President, and praised Ahmadinejad for calling for the State of Israel to be “wiped from the pages of history.”
The spokesmen commented that they shared Ahmadinejad’s aspiration for “a disintegration of the Israeli government”. When asked by reporters, the group also mentioned that they were not bothered by Ahmadinejad’s Holocaust denial. In an interview with Iranian television reporters, Rabbi Weiss remarked, “The Zionists use the Holocaust issue to their benefit.
We, Jews who perished in the Holocaust, do not use it to advance our interests. We stress that there are hundreds of thousands Jews around the world who identify with our opposition to the Zionist ideology and who feel that Zionism is not Jewish, but a political agenda…What we want is not a withdrawal to the ‘67 borders, but to everything included in it, so the country can go back to the Palestinians and we could live with them…”

In December 2006, members of Neturei Karta, including Yisroel Dovid Weiss, attended the International Conference to Review the Global Vision of the Holocaust in Tehran, a controversial conference being held, Iran that has attracted a number of high-profile Holocaust-deniers.
Neturei Karta’s representative upheld the reality of the Holocaust during his speech to the assembly, although he went on to say, “Zionists have given much higher figures for how many people were killed.” They praised Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has called for the destruction of the Israeli state, and expressed solidarity with the Iranian position of anti-Zionism

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Homegrown Jihad: The Terrorist Camps Around The U.S. (35 Minute Version)

Posted by avideditor on March 24, 2009

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Homegrown Jihad: The Terrorist Camps …“, posted with vodpod

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Hatred

Posted by Glezele Vayne on March 24, 2009

BS”D

Si Frumkin wrote a riveting opinion piece on Arutz Sheva, published 23.3.09, entitled My Death Sentence.

The piece is an excellent read, but what really stuck with me was what one of the commentators (is that correct?? or commenter? commentor??) wrote under the piece.  Mr. Frumkin was lamenting that genocidal hatred against us has reared it’s ugly head once again. He ended with the words “I am worried.”

I can’t imagine the excruciating pain hearing “Jews to the gas” from live human beings — yet again — must do to a Holocaust survivor such as Mr. Frumkin.

Then commenter Yvonne wrote the following:

“Yes, Si…

…and well we should be . I was eleven in 1945. But the bursting out of the genocidal murderous defilement of spirit all over has just come to a mass of energy. Spirit is Energy, and this is evil Energy. What we do is and creates Energy. What we say and think is Energy. What we write is Energy. There is Energy that creates and there is Energy that destroys. The destructive and negative Energy against us is always there. It is there with anyone who strives to do G-d’s will. It is a matter, again of Spirit. I spoke in 1946 on het Weesperplein in Amsterdam to a few other children, boys, they were gypsies. They said to me that opposite forces attract and collide. Like Ying and Yang. That is why gypsies do not strive to be without fault. It is dangerous. They also do not recognize that anyone can own The Earth, or part of it. I am not a gypsy, I am a jew . But lessons come from everywhere.”

Later on, after a few more comments, Yvonne, who understands what real fear of genocidal hatred means, what loss means, what a burden vengeful hatred is for the victim to carry, and what forgiveness means writes…

hatred kills…

and murders. It kills the *object*, because that is what the hater makes *The Other*. But it also kills and murders the hater. It kills his soul and it kills his spirit. He dies long before he leaves this earth. He even offers up his child and his wife, so it kills not only him, but his offspring. If the Muslim states that jews celebrate life and they celebrate death, he states clearly Whose side he is on and Who drives him. It is the Enemy. That applies to everyone else with that perspective. Those who love death and the Destroyer do not own their own souls. They will not meet 72 virgins. They are in and descend further into a void.The Enemy does not speak Truth. The Enemy deceives. Black people in the U.S. have taught me the power of forgiveness. This power is for the self. Hatred is too great and deadly a burden to carry, they told me. It took me some time to understand that.”

Having said that, I do not forgive the Holocaust. I don’t have the right. I am not a victim. Only an individual victim can forgive their direct perpetrators. The Jewish people can’t forgive the national perpetrators of the Holocaust. That is not our right nor our jurisdiction. Only HKB”H can forgive the Holocaust. It is our duty to remember, always, for the sake of the next generation and the next and the next.

Another purpose I have in quoting Yvonne’s wise words, especially those words I’ve put in bold, about how hatred consumes the one who hates, is to caution all of us who are doing what we can to learn about and fight against global jihad, militant Islam, whatever label you prefer.

We must be very careful to remain vigilant, but not to hate people. Hate actions that opress, maim and kill. Hate ideologies that advocate oppressing, maiming and killing. But Muslim neighbors who have shown us that they want to live in peace are just as much at risk from global jihad as are the rest of us. We can’t afford to waste valuable energy hating innocent people. Spend that energy in love, informing all people — out of love.

There will be a day for vengeance, and HKB”H promises to deliver it better than we ever could. Justice, yes, that He has given for our courts to administer, but not vengeance. There is a huge difference. I advise us all to study it out and make sure we don’t cross the line from one to the other.

I once learned that if we take vengeance on those who oppress us, and again, I distinguish that from justice as meted out in a competent court of jurisdiction, then HKB”H will not punish, for He only punishes sinners once, either in this world or in the next, but not twice. I may not have that particular teaching exactly correct, but it’s good enough to get the idea across.

Don’t think for a minute that I’m recommending a passive stance towards our enemies. That is a very unJewish concept indeed. Passivity is not love of anyone, it is another form of hatred, a refusal to defend those we have a duty before HKB”H to defend. But, I think it’s a great thing for our Jewish soldiers to daven in the morning before battle, to keep their hearts focused on love of their families and country rather than hatred of any human being. That will keep their souls intact and their hands clean. We all need to guard against any sort of evil entering our souls, especially in battle when excuses to deviate from the Torah way dance all around us, tempting us to abandon what we know is true. Davening is the best vehicle to build that boundary.

Thanks Yvonne, for helping some of us refuse the destructiveness of hatred, even when it is richly deserved.

From Schmoozing the Elya & Ellie Katz

Posted in anti-semitism | 1 Comment »

 
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