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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Dec. 1, 2006 / 10 Kislev, 5767

These terror busters mix motorcycles and swagger

By Ned Warwick


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"No one messes with Yasam, especially the ones on the bikes," says an East Jerusalem Arab


JewishWorldReview.com | (MCT)

WERUSALEM — What looms suddenly in your rearview mirror and is past you in a streak on the stone slip of a darkened street is crime-fighting Israeli-style: two men, dressed in black, bent low on a dark motorcycle, the one behind with his automatic rifle angled off his back, the bike darting quick as a bat.


A moment later up ahead, near the Ben Yehuda shopping area in the center of Jerusalem, a man is up against a wall, dressed in clothes that resemble what a Hasidic Jew would wear, but in a faintly raffish way that doesn't quite square with the sober probity of Hasidism. The backseat rider from the motorcycle is frisking him; the driver, still atop his bike, is reaching for the man's identification.


The man is eventually let go but not before he is closely questioned. He has just had his first, and he hopes his last, brush with the motorcycle unit of Yasam, an elite police unit.


In a city that has experienced war, terrorism, and its share of crime, the sight of these fast-moving patrols elicits little reaction. But for newcomers, the first impression is of something straight from a thriller or a gritty science-fiction tale.


Their low-slung KLE 550 motorcycles are powerful and highly maneuverable, the right specs for threading the clogged and narrow streets of this edgy city at high speed.


And speed was of the essence one night in the summer of 2002, when, at the height of the intifada, a Palestinian militant started firing automatic weapons at pedestrians on busy Jaffa Street. A two-man Yasam team, blocks away, heard the gunfire and raced to the scene.


Jumping off their bike, the officers confronted the gunman. Shots were exchanged as pedestrians flattened on the sidewalk; the gunman was killed.


Tzvika Hassia, the superintendent of the Jerusalem Yasam force, said 24 members of his 80-person unit "ride and fight from motorbikes and are meant to answer (to) special criminal or terrorist acts quickly, getting to where cars can't go." Israel is divided into six police districts, and each has a Yasam unit.


To even be considered for the Yasam unit, applicants must have served in one of Israel's military combat units and been highly rated. Given that Israel has had precious few days without conflict, that means nearly all have seen action.


Their dark clothes, their no-nonsense bikes, and a certain common swagger make them stand out in a country where many people wear uniforms and carry guns.


"In my opinion, they are awesome," said Ya'akov Brod, 24, a security guard for the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf coffeehouse on Jaffa Street near Zion Square. "They are like the best of the best. Although they are police - if you ask me - they are part of the army."


On the narrow, twisting streets of hilly Jerusalem, accidents on the bikes are unavoidable.


"At the speeds we go, there is no way to avoid them," said Alon Weinstein, 31, who joined Yasam 2 years ago after serving in an army reconnaissance unit.


"You have to like motorcycles. You live your life on them," he said, grinning and cradling his M-16. "But this is the best place to be."


The men on each team rotate as the driver and the firepower on the back. They carry M-16s and 9mm handguns. While the units were created - beginning in Jerusalem - during the 1990s to deal with terrorism and then the intifada and the upsurge in suicide bombers, they are no less busy since the intifada gave out and the suicide attacks became rare, a police spokesman said.


While declining to give statistics, spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said, the units are still stopping militant Palestinians trying to commit terrorist acts. Much of the units' activity on that front takes place without publicity, he said.


In Arab East Jerusalem, feelings toward the Yasam unit are not as warm as those held elsewhere. In fact, none of the shopkeepers interviewed along Salah Eddin Street had a good word for the unit, calling it anti-Arab.


"No one messes with Yasam, especially the ones on the bikes," said Amr Sandouka, 25, who works in the family business selling electronics equipment. "They are rude, violent, and have a license to kill."


"It is shocking to hear those words," Rosenfeld said. "Yasam is the most advanced operational unit in the police that has stopped tens of terrorist attacks and hundreds of criminal acts."

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© 2006, The Philadelphia Inquirer Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services