web analytics
October 2, 2014 / 8 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘American Jews’

One-Third of Plane of ‘Olim’ to Enlist in IDF

Monday, August 11th, 2014

The next batch of new immigrants – “olim”- from the United States is scheduled to land at Ben Gurion Airport Tuesday morning, and 108 of the 338 newbies are planning to enlist directly into the IDF.

The charter flight by the Nefesh B’Nefesh group will fly 37 families, including 107 children, all of whom will be greeted by Israel’s new President, Reuven Rivlin, Jewish Agency chairman Natan Sharansky, among other officials.

Aliyah form the United States and Canada is co-sponsored by the Jewish Agency and the Ministry of Aliyah, the Jewish national Fund (JNF) and the “Tzofim garin Tsabar” movement that oversees the enlistment of olim ready to start out their lives in Israel as soldiers.

New York Yankees president Randy Levine treated 40 of the prospective new soldiers to a baseball game as a going-away present.

Israel Guilty of Disproportionate Attacks by not Wiping Out Hamas

Monday, July 14th, 2014

International condemnation of Israel is beginning to mount for its supposed “disproportionate response” to Hamas’ latest and escalated missile and rocket war on Israel, but Western leaders do not state what exactly is a “proportionate” response.

The United States, United Nations and the European Union constantly take the lead in pleading for Israel to show “restraint” and not to “escalate” violence after Palestinian Authority attacks, whether from Judea and Samaria, controlled by Mahmoud Abbas, or from Gaza.

What really ruffles the feathers of the Western bleeding hearts is that Israel kills more terrorists and civilian shields in Gaza than the number of Israeli citizens and soldiers who are killed by rocket and missile fire from Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other “unity government” allies.

“The rising death toll has sparked international concern over the proportionality of Israel’s response to rocket fire from Gaza,” The LA Times reported Sunday. “The rockets have struck deeper into Israel than in past conflicts, but have caused only one serious civilian injury. There have been no Israeli deaths as a direct result of a rocket strike.”

It simply is not a fair fight, according to the media establishment and the bleeding heart lefties. Hamas fires inaccurate missiles while Israel uses pinpoint aerial bombing raids to eliminate terrorists.

According to that logic, when Hamas fires rockets that land in open areas in Israel, Israel should fire at open areas in Gaza.

Hamas got “lucky” on Sunday when shrapnel from a rocket seriously injured a 16-year-old boy in Ashkelon. Presumably, Israel should have responded by seriously injuring an innocent 16-year-old Arab.

When Hamas terrorists kidnapped three Israeli yeshiva teenagers a month ago in the Hebron area, Israel promptly clamped a curfew on dozens of Palestinian Authority villages in a search for the boys, who more than two weeks later were found murdered.

Before their bodies were discovered. Israel was vilified for inflicting supposed  “collective punishment” on the Palestinian Authority by looking for the murderers. Days after the bodies were found, Jewish hoodlums barbarically kidnapped and burned to death a 16-year-old Arab from Jerusalem.

The depraved crime was a wrenching punch in Israel’s collective gut, but according to Western logic, the Israeli government itself should have carried out the unthinkable act of kidnapping three Arabs and killing them.

No one would suggest such a horrid thought.

And no one should anyone suggest that Israel react to every missile and rocket attack on its citizens by responding with the same number of rockets and the same results.

A proportionate response to the intention to kill is to kill before the intention is fulfilled.

Why don’t police in American cities, or in any other civilized place in the world, shoot and kill someone trying to kill them? Shouldn’t they wait until the killer “succeeds” before responding?

Of course, then it is too late, but that is a small detail that would ruin the principle of a “proportionate response.”

The real reason that “proportionate response” applies primarily to Israel is the world cannot stand seeing Jews have the upper hand.

Some of the worst condemnations come from American Jews, for whom Israel is supposed to be a nice doggie that woofs when his master, not God but the American liberal Jewish community, says, “Sit.”

They can’t stand Israel being anything that is not an expression of their own attempt at being good Americans by encouraging a State of Israel that doesn’t upset the apple cart of the “loyal American Jew” who needs to be trusted by his non-Jewish government. Israel must not do anything that jeopardizes American Jews’ standing as good loyal Americans. Israel is supposed to be nothing but a safe haven for other Jews who suffer from anti-Semitism in Russia and France, among other countries.

Israel must not be too religious, lest it make it difficult for the top-heavy non-Orthodox American Jewish community to identify with it and according to the American Constitution.

Israel as a nice doggie makes the liberal Jewish American establishment feel safe from anti-Semitism.

A disproportionate response by Israel would make Israel too strong for any American administration, whether headed by Obama , Reagan, Clinton, Bush or whoever is next, to call the shots in the Middle East.

And what would happen if Israel played nice doggie and refrained from killing those who try to kill Israelis?

The Israeli Air Force has eliminated thousands of rockets in Gaza. If they were still in the terrorists’ stockpile, it is more probable, and still is possible, that one or two would kill Israelis. Lots of us.

And you know what the international response would be?

Gee, you see what happens when you don’t sit down and make peace with Hamas.

Arf, arf.

(In the CNN clip below from 2009, during Operation Cast Lead, then-New York Mayor Bloomberg said at 1:00 in the video, “There is no such thing as a proportionate response to terrorism.”)

Arab Media Salivate Over Jewish Squabbles About Israel

Monday, June 9th, 2014

Israel’s internal politics have finally become delicious gossip of the day for the Arab media.

‘Once a unifying cause for generations of American Jews, Israel is now bitterly dividing Jewish communities,” the Associated Press reported this morning (Monday) on the Al Arabiya website.

The report was one of the site’s top stories of the day. Worse, it happens to be true.

American college campuses are described as “ideological battle zones over Israeli policy in the Palestinian territories.” The “Open Hillel” movement of Jewish students is challenging speaker guidelines developed by the decades-old Hillel movement, according to the report, and planning its first national conference in October. Even the scuffle between J Street and the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations is covered.

Isn’t it lovely? All of the House of Israel’s dirty laundry out there for public review in living technicolor, to be examined minutely by all of her enemies one by one.

To be fair, the same article reported – albeit in the very last line – that a Pew Research Center survey found that only 12 percent of U.S. Jews believe Palestinian Authority leaders are making a sincere effort to resolve the conflict between the PA and Israel; 38 percent said the Israeli government is actively pursuing peace.

But more to the point, what is abundantly clear is that Jewish actions are news wherever we are, and Jewish news is of interest to Arabs, wherever they are. It’s an important point to remember; one hopes that Israel’s politicians bear it in mind when formulating policy and opening their mouths.

MK Danon Goes to US Jews to Make Case against Freeing Terrorists

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon, and increasingly popular Likud Knesset Member, went to the American Jewish audience Tuesday to repeat his threat that he will resign his post if Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu pushes through a vote to free more Palestinian Authority terrorists, including Arabs who are car-carrying Israeli citizens.

Danon is in a win-win situation. If it happens, Danon will have pulled out the rug from under Netanyahu because a growing number of Israelis and Americans are sick and tired of Israel’s freeing terrorists for no reason other than to pacify U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and the Palestinian Authority. If it doesn’t happen, Danon will have scored points by taking a stand long before Netanyahu has showed his cards. The Likud’s old guard doesn’t like Danon for one reason – they are afraid he is getting too popular, but they would be smarter if they understood why.

He wrote the following article that JTA featured on Tuesday as an op-ed:

It is no secret that when Israel’s government announced this past September that we would be returning to the table to negotiate with the Palestinians, I was not optimistic about the prospects of this latest round of talks.
I knew that as much as we desire peace and normalcy for this region, our Palestinian counterparts have never tired in making demands without any corresponding willingness to offer concessions and prove themselves as real negotiating partners. While many Israelis viewed these talks as a harmless diversion to placate some of our allies abroad, I warned my colleagues of the dire implications these talks would have on our security.
Though I was extremely concerned that our government might concede strategically important territory or relinquish parts of our historic homeland, what angered me most was the Palestinian demand as a precursor to even coming to the table that we release more than a hundred of their prisoners — men and women with blood on their hands. In essence, the demand was that we set murderers free for the privilege of negotiating peace.
Last week, I made the difficult but necessary decision that if the final round of the prisoner release goes ahead as planned on March 29, I will resign my position as Israel’s deputy defense minister.
It was not a simple matter for me to vocalize my opposition to these prisoner releases when they were first agreed to. Both Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon fully endorsed the release, claiming that it would enhance our geopolitical standing.
While I respect my government colleagues, I could not remain silent amid the calls of mothers and fathers of victims of terror who were horrified by the notion of their loved ones’ killers being set free. I also knew that the release of convicted murders to the Palestinian cities and villages of Judea and Samaria would only encourage terrorists to increase their attacks on innocent Israelis.
Despite my strong protests last fall, the Cabinet voted to support the prime minister’s initiative. The murderers’ prison doors swung open while Israelis looked on in disgust at this injustice.
Flash forward nine months.
Despite our constant desire to find a peaceful solution, it is now apparent to everyone that these negotiations have failed. As much as our American friends wanted to make the impossible possible, the Palestinian leadership predictably held true to its demands for full Israeli withdrawal to the 1967 lines while maintaining its historic refusal to recognize our legitimate right to exist as a Jewish state in our ancient homeland.
If this were simply a matter of watching with proven skepticism as this charade of diplomacy was allowed to unravel, I too would likely have been ambivalent, but I wouldn’t necessarily have been angry. The ultimate disgrace, though, was that after a complete and utter failure, where the two sides are clearly no closer to the resolution of the conflict than we were a year ago, we are again being asked to release Palestinian prisoners.
This is a farce that I am not willing to accept.
I have done my utmost to serve in my role as deputy defense minister with pride and distinction, and I had looked forward to continuing to do so for the duration of the current government. At the same time, I have come to the conclusion that I cannot, and will not, represent a government that ignores the will of its people and kowtows to international opinion even when we know that doing so is harmful to our interests. If it comes to it, I will respectfully inform the prime minister of my resignation at the very moment that first prison door is unlocked, continuing to serve my nation instead as a dedicated member of Knesset.
The prime minister and the relevant parties still have the time and opportunity to recognize the danger of this planned release, and I hope that they will make the necessary decision to protect our national interest.
But if they do not, I will not stand idly by as the State of Israel further denigrates itself and harms the security of its people.

Government Says Aliyah Stats from US Better than Previously Stated

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

Official statistics on aliyah to Israel from the United States have been corrected to show that there was only a tiny change for the worse in the past year from the number of new immigrants in 2012.

The Ministry of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption and the Jewish Agency issued a report in late December that aliyah from the United States and Canada was 11 percent less than in the previous year. Figures for the United States include new immigrants from Mexico as well as Canada.

“Empirical data actually shows that the aliyah figures from North America in 2013 remained almost the same as 2012,” according to an official statement.

There were 3,504 immigrants to Israel from North America in 2013, 53 less than in 2012.

Avigdor Lieberman Warns US Jews ‘You Are Facing a Catastrophe’

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

American Jews are facing nothing less than a demographic catastrophe, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman asserted on Tuesday in a speech at the Jerusalem meeting of the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations.

He quoted recent surveys that show that there are 6.1 million Jews in Israel and slightly less than 5.5 million in the United States, not including those who claim affiliation or identity with Judaism.

Lieberman emphasized that no Jew – whether in the Diaspora or in Israel and whether Reform Conservative or Orthodox – “is illegitimate and should be placed outside of the tent,” but he added. “There is a significant rise in those who have little or no Jewish content in their lives, marry outside the faith and are not raising their children Jewish.”

He pointed out, “The intermarriage rate has reached a high of 58% for all Jews, and 71% for non-Orthodox Jews, a huge change from before 1970 when only 17% of Jews intermarried.”

Attachment to Israel is markedly higher among older Jews, with only 32% of respondents under the age of 30 sharing the idea that “caring about Israel as an essential part of what being Jewish means to them.”

Lieberman then put the cards on the table and categorically stated they are stacked against the Diaspora.

“For many years, Israeli officials have called on our brothers and sisters in the Diaspora, like many of you gathered here tonight, to donate your time, energies and funds to Israel,” he said. “However, I turn to you today and say that, while we are enormously and forever grateful for your assistance, we believe it is now time to concentrate on the challenges facing your own communities, especially those emanating from the dangerous trends in the Jewish community demonstrated in the recent survey.”

Lieberman was being kind. He could just as easily have said, “You American Jews sit as armchair generals for Israel, undermine our government’s struggle by deciding how we should deal with the Palestinian Authority and the Arab world while you don’t see that the ground in the Diaspora is crumbling under your feet.”

In more diplomatic language, he said, “Above all discussions on Iran and the Palestinians, your discussions with the Israeli Government and the Jewish Agency should be focused on saving future generations.”

Lieberman stated that education is the key to fighting “assimilation, intermarriage and disengagement” but that “Jewish children are being kept from the Jewish classrooms because of the exorbitant and prohibitive costs of Jewish education in the United States.”

“On my last visit to New York, I met with a Russian Jewish family in Brooklyn,” Lieberman told his audience. “They told me that for their three children to attend good Jewish schools it would cost them around $100,000. They simply could not endure such costs. They are not alone. This situation is being replicated across the Jewish world, whether in the United States, Russia, France, Argentina, or elsewhere. If this situation persists, we will lose another six million Jews in a generation or two.”

He said that most Israeli diplomats abroad shun local Jewish schools and instead send their children to learn at international schools because the standard is higher.

“Sadly this is also reflective of the general Jewish population in places like the United States, where only around 12% of Jewish children attend Jewish schools, and when the Orthodox children are removed from the equation; it drops down to no more than a few per cent,” he added.

Lieberman proposed the creation of a global network of Jewish schools with a superior standard, and he committed the Israeli government to budget $365 million a year in matching funds for the project.

He also is looking forward to massive aliyah “The creation of an international network of Jewish schools is only the first part of my vision,” Lieberman declared. “In addition, my goal is to bring an additional 3.5 million Jews from the Diaspora in the next ten years so that the Jewish population in Israel will exceed 10 million.”

Jews are undoubtedly a major influence in American life, but the number of Jews who are Jewish “in name only” spells a dismal future for the Diaspora.

One of the most self-serving ways to deny the future is to accept the definition of a Jew as anyone who considers himself Jewish. That kind of identity is temporary, at best.

Jewish institutions and organizations maybe boasting larger numbers, but the meaning of Jewish is becoming emptier.

What Lieberman essentially told the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem Tuesday was, “Wake up. It’s later than you think.”

MK Who Excluded Reform Jews from Judaism Was ‘Misunderstood’

Thursday, February 6th, 2014

Reform Jews really are not another religion after all, says Likuid-Beiteinu Knesset Member David Rotem, who claimed on Thursday that his reported remark to the contrary was “misunderstood.

There is no video available to see and hear what MK Rotem, an Orthodox Jew, really said at the Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee that he heads.

He was quoted on Wednesday as having stated, ““The Reform movement is not Jewish … they are another religion,” during a discussion on a bill concerning adoption.

Such comments are par for the course in Israel, where the remark was duly noted as another moment of entertainment for the Israel public between soccer games. The Reform Movement in Israel, of course, was furious, but most secular Israelis have too much respect for Jewish tradition than to consider the Reform idea anything more than a curiosity, if not one of those strange concoctions that could succeed only in the United States and , lest we forget, pre-Nazi Germany.

“I have never said belonging to the Reform Movement makes anyone less Jewish,” Rotem wrote on Facebook Thursday. “While as an Orthodox Jew, I have theological differences with the Reform Movement’s perspective, I maintain the greatest respect for all Jews, regardless of their denomination and background. I apologize for any misunderstanding and all offense generated by the content of my comments yesterday.”

His quick apology was smart, much smarter than his faux pas. Many if not most  Reform Jews indeed are Jews by any definition of the term. But a disturbing number of Reform Jews are far from Jewish under Jewish law, and some of them are even “rabbis.”

The whole question of whether a Reform Jew, or any other person, is  a Jew or not brings into focus the entire problem with the reform Movement, parts of whose theology often appear to be not a stream of Judaism but a stream apart from Judaism.

Like the Biblical Korach, it has decided that their leaders whom they call rabbis can decide just as well as Orthodox Jews who is a Jew and what is Jewish law. It is somewhat like a natural health therapist calling himself a doctor. Why study medicine for six years, and why study Torah for many more years,” when you can take a shortcut through McDonald’s, eat a cheeseburger on the way to Yom Kippur prayers, and call the congregants Jewish because they like being called that?

Regardless of the theological problems with Reform Judaism, Rotem made a big mistake by saying that fellow Jews belong to another religion just because they are Reform.

“I hope that this clarification can generate the necessary debate on how to further unify the Jewish People, both in Israel and the Diaspora, around our shared vital interests and concerns, rather than limiting it to the differences that exist among us,” Rotem added on Facebook.

Israeli politicians like Rotem who are Israeli from top to bottom have no knowledge of the Diaspora. They don’t realize that Jews outside the country, especially in the United States, may be armchair Zionists  if not armchair Jews, but that doesn’t mean they should be shunned as “non-Jews.

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) called Rotem’s comments, although he later said they were misunderstood, “inappropriate, offensive and unjustified.”

Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, wrote MK Rotem, “We are deeply disturbed by reports of comments attributed to you about the Reform movement ‘not being Jewish.’ Such views are inappropriate, offensive and unjustified. The suggestion that Jews throughout the world who identify with the Reform movement are somehow not a part of the Jewish people is an unacceptable characterization of a proud, highly engaged and committed group of Jews.

“Among many U.S. non-Orthodox Jews, rejectionist rhetoric of this kind fosters divisiveness and feelings of alienation towards elements of Israeli society. As someone who has long been engaged in the issue of Jewish identify, we are surprised and saddened that you expressed these views. For the sake of Jewish unity and in the spirit of the pluralistic ideals of our beloved Israel, we call on you to retract your comments and issue a quick and unequivocal apology for your statements.”

Rotem has apologized, and whether he actually said what was reported makes no difference. The damage was done on two fronts.

He wrongly wrote tens of thousands of Jews out of the pale and he also missed an opportunity to characterize the Reform Movement as one whose roots in the United States are strongly pro-American and blatantly anti-Zionist and which claims an increasingly larger following by redefining the term “Jew.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/mk-who-excluded-reform-jews-from-judaism-was-misunderstood/2014/02/06/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: