Hanukkah Night 1–San Diego Bound

The Tygrrrr Express is pulling out of the Los Angeles station and is San Diego bound for the first night of Hanukkah.

This morning I speak to the Fallbrook Republican Women’s Federated, and tonight I have Hanukkah on the beach at Pacific Beach in San Diego.

So how does one blog and cover the news while on the road? The same way as always…badly and cavalierly.

So while I may detest environmentalists, and want Prius drivers to become an endangered species, I do believe in recycling when it comes to my columns.

So celebrate the festival of lights, where the second coming of Judah Maccabee is Paul Wolfowitz. You see, we recycled that joke from yesterday.

My friend pointed out that since Mccabee means “hammer,” we can now call the brightest man on Earth Sir Charles of KrautMaccabee, or as mere mortals know him in English, Sir Charles of Krauthammer.

Having said that…

Happy Chaka Khan!

What can I say? For those who do not celebrate this lovely holiday, “I feel for you.” For those who truly want good things in life, the world truly does need “higher love.”

As the Hebrews get ready to celebrate the festival of lights, I shall use the next 8 days to either expand or drive away my audience, depending on any number of factors.

Both spellings of the holiday have 8 letters, so if you add a C, you subtract a K. It is Chanukah or Hanukkah.

First, let’s dispel some myths. People like to pass on beautiful stories of miracles. People hear that the Jewish fighters only had enough oil for one day, and miracle of miracles, the oil magically lasted for 8 days. For those of you with small children, have them leave the room so some hard truths can be discussed.

Santa Claus is not real, Palestinians are an invented fictional people, the secret formula for Coca Cola is (redacted), and the person who shot JFK was (redacted). Oh, and this oil lasting for 8 days is a bunch of mularkey.

So what is Hanukkah? Folks, Hanukkah is my favorite holiday because it is the Jewish version of July 4th. It is a Neocon’s fantasy. As a Neocon, I never get tired of the true story of Hanukkah. We fought some Greeks in battle, and b*tchslapped them. That’s it. People think of the Jewish people as constantly suffering and weak. Actually, our history has been our military strength. I have nothing against the Greek people of today, but back then they were the bad guys. They destroyed the first Holy Temple, but we took care of them. Gorgias? Get out of here! Nicanor? Knock it off!

We royally smacked them around, and they have not been a power since. We are still here. For those that are troubled by this…deal with it.

Yet the actual celebration of Hanukkah is a tad bittersweet for those that are educated about this holiday. We as Jews won the battle but lost the war.

What I mean by this is that there was a major difference between how the Jews and the Greeks celebrated their holidays. Greeks celebrated holidays created in the wake of their military victories, which were many. Jewish tradition was to not name holidays after military successes. We did not glorify blood triumphs.

The Greeks wanted Jews to assimilate, or they would kill us. Thankfully we never had to face that threat again. Just kidding. Jews were fighting for the right to remain independently Jewish, without forced assimilation into Greek culture. So after Judah Maccabbee and his brothers helped the people of Israel crush the Greeks in battle, the first thing they did was hoist a flag of victory and declare this military victory a Jewish holiday. So after fighting for the right to prevent assimilation, we adopted a Greek tradition we were against. To this day, some would argue that what Hitler failed to do to the Jews, we do to ourselves through a 52% intermarriage rate.

Cynical people would say that we broke the war rule because we were so used to losing that even we were shocked to have won, and were concerned we may never win anything again. These people can (x-rated, redacted) themselves. Others say that we needed to adopt different traditions to give us flexibility in the future so that we would face less internal conflict when Jewish teenagers needed a historical justification for skirt-hiking and balling Roman Catholic teenage girls. Actually, only I say that, but I am right.

The bottom line is Hanukkah, while my favorite holiday, is the least important holiday in the Jewish calendar. It is an excuse to party for 8 days, or 14 days if you count pre and post Hanukkah parties. The only reason Hanukkah gets any attention is because it occurs around the same time as Christmas.

Briefly returning to the Neocon aspect of this holiday, the true lesson of Hanukkah is a political one that the 70-80% of Jews that like to sing Kumbaya with those that hate our guts would do well to heed. The lesson of Hanukkah is simple. Force works. There is no dialogue or negotiation with those that refuse to recognize your right to exist. Survival is not pretty. It often involves spilling large amount of blood. When your enemy is on their knees with their face bleeding, negotiation is possible.

The other lesson that comes from the Jews during this time is the idea of mercy. We did not rape the Greek women, chop heads and limbs off, enslave their people, or indiscriminately engage in deliberate cruelty. We defended ourselves. In keeping with the values that unite Jews and Americans to this day, both remain a people that use their power for noble and good purposes. America through its economic and military power, and American Jews through their sense of justice, help feed, clothe, protect, and defend others all around the word, many of whom are neither Jewish nor American.

Hanukkah is a celebration of serious life saving accomplishments, but it is also a lighthearted holiday filled with food, alcohol, and candle lighting ceremonies around the world. Life for the Hebrew people has had much darkness, but for the next 8 nights there is only light.

So as I light candles and hope that a certain young Republican Hebrew brunette will show up at my door wearing a blue and white Hanukkah bow…and only a Hanukkah bow (negotiations are ongoing)…I look forward to the next 8 nights.

Happy Hanukkah everybody! Shalom!


8 Responses to “Hanukkah Night 1–San Diego Bound”

  1. America, and Israel for that matter, has most certainly NOT always used it’s power for “good and noble” purposes and anyone who disagrees with that is quite simply completely ignorant of history. Sure, we have done many a great and noble thing, but we’ve also done some of the sleaziest things imaginable. Heck, there wouldn’t even be an Israel today wre it not for American anti-semitism! The refugees, after the war, would have been more than happy to come here, as opposed to moving into that disaster area in the Middle East. The world would be a much better place today if we’d just taken them in: no making Israel a scapegoat by the sleazy oil-igarchs (who we prop up, yet another example of America behaving badly and ignobly), no impetus for the oil-garchs (who the neocons so happily enrich with their oil profiteering) to keep the Palestinians in a constant state of disarray and war, maybe even no 9/11! But moot is moot.

    If force worked, there’d be peace there today. there isn’t. Unless you guys are willing top admit that you are proposing some kind of ‘final solution’ to the problems in the Middle East, perhaps it’s time to grow up and start looking at things more like an adult than a schoolyard bully with a stick.


  2. Micky 2 says:

    “If force worked, there’d be peace there today. there isn’t. Unless you guys are willing top admit that you are proposing some kind of ‘final solution’ to the problems in the Middle East, perhaps it’s time to grow up and start looking at things more like an adult than a schoolyard bully with a stick.”

    Once again Jersy McJones rambles off the same ole same ole.
    For some who claims everyone who disagrees with him is always “ignorant of history” he sure is an amazing one to forget even the most recent history when I’ve reminded repeatedly that his suggestions for peace are simply old regurgitated old failed methods of the past.
    Retardation is whats been used. Retardation is not force as much as it is just a means to ward something of. Its more of a presence like the flame retardant on his pajamas or the collection of his constituents, or the spew of a shunk that wards off its enemies.
    If real force were ever to be allowed in the middle east there would be peace. And not just Iraeli force on Palestinian butt, but force on the rest of the miscreants inhabiting the region is what would cut everything short to a finish.
    Eventually this is whats going to happen because things are only festering to head as everyone sits around with the idealistic proposition that a little more ass kissing and piss process will get us there one day.

  3. Micky, I’ve never seen Israel make any serious effort to pull out back to the old 67 borders. The only reason they pulled that handful of troublemaking settlers out of Gaza is because it was completely unteneble to keep them safe. So, no, my way hasn’t been tried – at least not in recent history. Back in the 70’s, of course, Israel DID try things my way, and it worked! And to this day, because Israel gave back Sinai, there has been peace between Israel and Egypt, proving once again that my way works and the conservative way NEVER works. But conservatism is the very definition of insane – doing the same thing over and over and over again and yet somehow expecting different results.


  4. thepoliticaltipster says:

    Jersey, while I think Israel should do more to effect a withdrawal from the post 1967 territories, she has tried at several points in her history to negotiate a deal with the Palastineans, only to see any agreements thrown back and reneged upon. When Ariel Sharon rightly started to withdraw from Gaza I remeber left-liberal newspapers like The Guardian blasting him for “acting unilaterally”. It should also be remebered that the UN resolution calling on Israel to withdraw was contingent on an end to terrorism.

    In any case the bigger problem is not over the West Bank or Gaza but the possibility that a nuclear Iran could carry out its threat to directly destroy Israel, or “merely” use it as cover to ramp up the terrorism that it sponsors to unimaginable levels. Given that sanctions aren’t going to work and Obama won’t bomb Iran (indeed both Pertraeus and McChrystal want to involve Iran in Afghanistan so we can’t – and shouldn’t asusme that they can bounce Obama into action as they did over Afghanistan), the only option is an Israeli pre-emptive conventional strike.

    Therefore, the priority must be in making sure that Israel knows that any attempts by Obama to punish Israeli self-defence (for instance by cutting off funding) will be overruled by Congress.

  5. Tipster, I really don’t think Israel can, nor should, negotiate anything with the Palestinians. I think, to a point, Sharon got it right: Israel must unilaterally act to force the creation of a viable Palestinian state. Unfortunately, Sharon’s concept of vaibility was obviously not realistic. For Palestine to be viable, they’ll need a more logistically and geographically sound space in which to actually form a functional state. What they have now is completely unrealistic.

    Because of MAD, Iran is not a serious existential threat to Israel. You have to learn the difference between rhetoric and reality. Sure, Iran talks a great game, but when you think about it, they have no reasonable impetus to destroy Israel and every dissuasion not to. The states that most fear a rising Iran are the Sunni Arab states, especially the Oil-igarchies. There’s a lot of hostility there. But again, I think Iran wants nuclear arms more for deterent and to project power than to actually use them. Iran wants to be the Super Power of the Middle East, securing its Theocracy and imposing it’s interests on the Oil States for profit. They’re not as irrational as you think. Heck, no one is.

    I have no idea what you’re talking about when it comes to your allegation that Obama may try to cut aide to Israel. I don’t even know where you get that from. That sounds like BS rightwingnut propaganda.


  6. thepoliticaltipster says:


    1. MAD only works if both countries are unwilling to risk the costs associated with nuclear war AND both countries have second-strike capability (i.e. the ability to retaliate after an initial nuclear strike). Iran’s leaders are willing to jeopardise the stability of the regime to take a hardline position on nuclear weapons so it is fair to assume that they might be crazy enough to attempt to wipe out Israel in one go. Also, Israel does not have a second strike capability (and the US is unwilling to give it one). Thirdly, Iran’s size and population mean that it could survive a nuclear war far better than Israel could.

    2. Even if Iran was unwilling to destroy Israel there is a risk that they could give the bomb to AQ, who could then explode a bomb in Tel Aviv (or Washington DC) giving Iran plausible deniability, while still causing genocide. More plausibly, Iran could ramp up its attempts to destabilise Iraq, Afghanistan and Israel secure in the knowledge that a nuclear capability meant that the US couldn’t take any action.

    3. There are no indications that the Obama administration is threatening to cut off US aid to Israel (although some organisations like J-Street have called for such a move). However, it could be using the threat of such action in the future to deter Israel from defending itself – which is essentially what happened in 1956. In a wargame recently carried out by policymakers and academics at Harvard the US used moral suasion and threats to stop an Israeli strike – and given that these are the people advising Obama we should assume that he feels the same way.



  7. Dav Lev says:

    I was approached several months ago, by a band of religious zealots
    who tried their darndest to convert me to their faith. They had “The word”, and “The Flesh”, I had neither according to them. I did try to say that
    I had the Torah..but they didn’t appreciate it.

    They roam around Southern California, looking for desparate people
    who need faith, THEIR faith, to thrive and survive the terrible
    problems associated with THEIR lives.

    A couple who I was talking to at the time, who, upon later reflection realized
    were in cahoots with this group, told them I was a Hebrew.

    Now, there is nothing per se about me which reveals my religion.
    I don’t wear the garb hat 10% of USA Jews wear customarily..the hat
    to show respect for G-d, the black suits and hat which depicts the
    destruction of the temple 2,000 years ago, and the prayer shawl (
    underneath the outer garments).

    I try to be kosher…but am not alway successful I never mix milk
    and meat..caus my bible forbids it, not out of health reasons,
    but simply to make us understand that killing the mother, eating her
    meat (steak) along with her dairy (milk,cream) is not permissable.

    This law (one of 613 given by Moses to his people), requires a lot
    of discipline…thus 90% do not adhere to it religiously.

    It has nothing whatsoever to do with health, mad cow disease,
    hoof and mouth disease, etc.

    Additionally, the requirement to NOT eat certain types of fish
    and animals..has nothing to do with health. It’s just simply
    discipline..G-d commanded it, and there is not justification for
    disobeying. It’s a matter of faith.

    Chanukah is NOT my favorite holiday..or most important.
    The holidays in September and October are.

    But Christmas does make we wonder why we have no similar
    celebration..trees, lights, songs, the overall holiday cheer?
    Since my religion is one of charity..why we don’t play it up for
    all it’s worth, Bernie Madoff notwithstanding.

    We have made Chanukah a sort of Christmas..to show our
    children (and ourselves) that we too have a religion.

    Personally I don’t care much about giving presents..or Santa Claus,
    but I understand the whys.

    I walk around supermarkets and department stores, and other than
    cards, see little or nothing to represent my Christmas, Yom kippur
    or the day Moses came down with the “Law”.

    I want a Chanukah bush in every home..not around Christmas
    but the major holidays, when the world was created, we became
    responsible for our actions and our actions are judged.

    But there is a problem with Chanukah, we have forgotten why
    we have the holiday to begin with? Whether it is a myth, or
    fact, it doesn’t matter. Santa Claus is a myth..but do the
    children receiving presents much care? It’s the gift guys.
    I hear White Christmas being sung all the time…and wonder
    sometimes? Even Barbara Steisand’s great voice makes we
    sometimes quiver!

    Our President received an award which was premature., it’s called
    the Nobel Peace Prize. He accepted it with qualifications….
    He should NOT have accepted it guys.

    If I were on that committee, I would have given it to Bibi Netanyahu,
    who, has done more for peace in the world, that Obama EVER WILL!

    Bibi presented the Palestinian Arabs with a formula for peace, his
    red lines. He also is pushing a referenDum to his people before any
    land can be given to the Palestinians per some deal.

    Syria has already blasted the plan..which means it must be good
    for the Jews. They want a pressured Israeli govt to have the final
    decision, NOT the people who will be affected. So, if a timid government
    someday is forced by Obamamania to relinqish the W. Bank, w/o
    reciprocity..it is they who will have to fight the onslaught.

    Bibi’s red lines are: no division of Jerusalem, holy sites administered
    by the religious faiths, a demilitarized W. Bk, a dismantled Hamas (
    Gaza Strip) by the new Palestinian government, expanded trade
    and commerce between the two sides, no treaties with Israel’s enemies,
    and NO RIGHT OF RETURN (4m Muslims who desire, moving to Israel

    In other words, that conflict can end tomorrow, if only…..

    Soooooo, my choice for the peace prize, is not the US President
    who shakes hands with Chavez, makes nonsensical demands which are fruiltless on
    No. Korea, is engaging with people who want to destroy US, won’t
    push trade with South America, flip flops on Honduras, goes back
    on his campaign about trading with Mexico and Canada, and gives
    inspirational speeches before a Europe which is against our fight
    in Iraq, Afganistan, and Pakistan…not to exclude equating
    the Jewish Holocaust with the suffering of the British Mandate
    Western Palestinian Arabs (thanks Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Yemen, Saudi
    Arabia, the Sudan, Lebanon and Iran).

    Eric is right on..sometimes force, or at least an attempt to defend
    oneself, is appropriate, love notwithstanding.

  8. Tipster,

    1. I don’t buy it. I don’t think Iran would behave that irrationally and fatalistically. For whatever you or I think of Iran, I’ve never seen them do anything that wasn’t logical, even if I don’t care for the logic.

    2. There is NO risk Iran would give ANYTHING to Al Qaeda. The two entities despise each other. Iran is a Shiite theocracy. Al Qaeda is a Sunni terrorist organization. I have no idea what makes you think the two would be in any way involved with anything together. Even following your logic, Iran would be taking the chance of AQ using the weapon to destabilize Iraq, Iran’s newest best friend, or further destabilizing Afghanistan, and Iran is quite happy with the status quo over there. Heck, AQ could turn around and use it one Iran! Remember, Tipster, the only “winner” of those two wars thus far has been Iran. They wouldn’t want to blow that, let alone get themselves blown up. You don’t seem to be a true believer in the basis of captialism – that people act in their own self-interest. Ironic, for a “conservative.”

    3. Obama will not even subtely confer the remote possibility of cutting off aide to Israel. Guaranteed.

    Look, there’s an 800 lb gorilla in this room that you just seem utterly oblivious to: Iran NEEDS Israel. Just like Republicans NEED abortion. Or neocons NEED terrorism. It’s there raison d’etre. Why do you think that even after 6 years of almost absolute power, the GOP did NOTHING WHATSOEVER about prayer in school, or abortion, or flag burning, public icon displays, or any of those other stupid “issues?” Because they NEED those issues out there to divide people and get people to vote for them. You can’t be a majority party on the singular platform of “We only exist to help rich people get richer.” They need these issues to get morons to vote for them. Well, Iran and the rest of the Oil-igarchies need Israel to keep their peoples’ eyes off the prize too, to keep them concerned with something that has nothing to do with the real conditions of their lives and the real culprits who set those conditions – the despots, juntas, aristocrats and theocrats of the Middle East. If you don’t understand this very clear political reality, then you don’t even have the eyes to see the situation at all.


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