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August 31, 2014 / 5 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Avigdor Lieberman’

Poll: Netanyahu and Bennett Benefit from War at the Expense of Lapid

Thursday, August 14th, 2014

The Likud and Jewish Home parties would come out smelling like roses if elections were held today, according to a new poll released by the Knesset Channel.

Their gains primarily came at the expense of Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid. The popularity of Yisrael Beitenu , Tzipi Livni’s Tnuah party and the Haredi Shas and United Torah Judaism parties dropped slightly. Labor remained static, and the left-wing Meretz party attracted more followers, with 10 projected seats in the Knesset compared with the current six.

Likud would have 28 Knesset Members if elections were held today, according to the poll, compared with 19 in the current session. Jewish Home’s representation would soar from 12 to 19, giving Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Naftali Bennett’s parties a combined strength of 47 seats., 14 less of a majority.

Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beitenu party was ranked with nine mandates, two less than it now has in the Knesset, while Shas lost four seats from its current 11. UTJ, now with seven Knesset Members, dropped one.

Livni’s party won enough support for four seats, two less that it now has.

As in previous polls, Kadima, headed by Shaul Mofaz, would disappear from the political map.

Foreign Minister Lieberman Thanks Kerry for US Support

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman thanks  U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry Wednesday night thanked the United States’ “unequivocal support for Israel” during the discussion held yesterday at the United Nations General Assembly.

“Thanks to the concerted effort, the adoption of a binding anti-Israeli resolution was prevented,” Lieberman said in a statement from the Foreign Ministry.

He also told Kerry that Israel is prepared for any resumption of war by Hamas in light of the terrorist organization’s statement that it is not committed to the continuation of the ceasefire.

Lieberman also Israel purposely has restrained form reacting harshly to recent rabidly anti-Semitic comments by Recep Tayyip Erdogan because “Israel is not interested in an escalation with Turkey.” He reasoned that the hyperbole may be related to the upcoming election in Turkey on Sunday and that it the verbal attacks do not die down afterwards, “Israel will respond.”

FM Liberman added that Israel has so far refrained from responding to the harsh statements and accusations by Prime Minister Erdogan against Israel, and hopes that after the Turkish elections next Sunday these attacks will cease. If not, Israel will respond.”

Modern King David Fighting the USA Campus Goliath

Sunday, April 13th, 2014

On Shabbat I read a disturbing open letter in the Jerusalem Post and decided to blog about it. Unfortunately, it’s not one of the op-eds on their site. After a mercifully quick Google search, I found it someplace else.

An open letter to the FM By Justin Hayet

Dear Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman and the entire Netanyahu government,

I asked you, Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, a question this Sunday at the Jerusalem Post’s Annual Conference in New York. My question, I thought, was simple; “What is the Foreign Ministry of Israel doing to stand with college students, like myself, to fight BDS [Boycott, Divest, Sanction] on campus?”

Your response was nothing but loaded rhetoric downplaying the existential BDS threat and downplaying the attacks against me on my campus for being a Zionist. Perhaps worst of all, you downplayed the anti-Semitic attacks on students across the United States, Europe and soon the world. These attacks exist because we are proud Zionists.

You should have responded with a big fat “nothing,” because the Foreign Ministry of Israel has decided to focus its attention elsewhere. Though it may be more practical to allocate time and resources elsewhere, in doing so, Israel is taking a risk it cannot afford to take. By focusing all of its energy on its adversaries, many of whom will never recognize Israel either on a map or as a Jewish state with a right to exist, Israel is putting the passion of North American Zionists, many of whom are Jews and many of whom are not, on the back burner. This, I believe, is of a greater existential threat than a nuclear-ambitions Iran.

I was not born in Israel. I was not born in an Israeli home in American. I am a Jewish American. But before I am anything, at the most fundamental level of my existence; like Foreign Minister Liberman, like Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, like every soldier my age in the IDF, I am a Zionist. And you, Mr. Foreign Minister, overlooked the fact that, unlike Israelis, I and the thousands of students made the active decision to fight for Israel, a country which has redefined and challenged our perception of what “home” really means.

Though five thousand miles away from Israel, we awake to Israel each morning as we flinch our eyes to see the Israeli flag hanging in its infinite blue beauty above our beds. We do so with pride. Israel is with us as we wake to see the news from the past day in Israel as we slumbered in our secure beds in upstate New York. Though not wearing a Magen David every day, we carry our Zionism on our backs each day, and people try to slander us for it as if “Zionism” is a dirty word.

We are the lost unit of the IDF Spokesman’s Office, we are the story of SUNY (State University of New York) students who stayed up until 5 a.m. to watch the victorious fight against BDS resolutions at UC Berkeley, we are the students who laughed off the libelous labels of being called “imperial genocidal maniacs” by a paid employee of our university. And we carry out these increasingly routine acts of educated-backed passion, not because we are in contract with Israel to do so or because we want accolades; we do it because we are Zionists. Contrary to those closed-minded individuals who say Zionists must live in Israel, the movement of young college students in the States fighting for Israel represents the very core of Zionism. That is, young people doing incredible things for the State of Israel.

You have given us MASA, you have contributed to the founding of Birthright-Taglit and this was your gift to us. We, now, have a gift for you, Mr. Foreign Minister and Mr. Prime Minister. Its called hasbara (public diplomacy). It’s free, it’s our duty, it’s our calling, it’s our obligation and it’s our gift to you and the Jewish state and the flag we awake to every morning. What do you think?

Lieberman: Israel Won’t Agree to ‘Further Conditions’ for Talks

Thursday, March 6th, 2014

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman blamed the Palestinians for lack of progress in peace negotiations, and said Israel would not agree to additional conditions for the continuation of the talks.

“The Palestinians are the ones torpedoing the talks by setting conditions,” Lieberman told Israel Radio Thursday, according to the Times of Israel. “Israel would not agree to any further conditions for the continuation of talks.”

The statement comes in response to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ call for Israel to freeze West Bank settlement expansion in order for talks to continue.

The negotiations, which began last July, are nearing the nine-month deadline that Secretary of State John Kerry set at their start. Kerry hopes to persuade both sides to agree to a framework for ongoing negotiations that would extend beyond the original deadline. Recent reports indicate that significant gaps remain between the Israelis and Palestinians.

Lieberman is set to meet Kerry in Rome later in the day Thursday.

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.”

Geneva Ceremony Welcomes Israel as Member of Nuclear Research Group

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

Israel was officially admitted as full member of CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, in a ceremony in Geneva Wednesday. Israel is the 21st member state of CERN and the only country outside Europe to have achieved full membership.

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman represented Israel at the ceremony held at the CERN Globe of Science and Innovation, at the end of which the Israeli flag was added to the line of flags representing the member states of the organization.

Lieberman said that the admission of Israel as a full member of the organization is a recognition of the high level and quality of scientific research in Israel and its contribution to the world.

Chalk up another failure for the BDSers.

Can You Yell ‘God’ in a Crowded Cemetery?

Monday, January 13th, 2014

Yitzhak Aharonovich, of Avigdor Lieberman’s Israel Beiteinu party, is Israel’s Minister of Internal Security. His first government role was as Minister of Tourism, which probably qualified him for his latest career move.

I don’t like the fact that Israel has a ministry devoted to internal security. The name brings to mind not images of little children playing care free in the park as it does images of long, gray corridors and interrogation rooms. Until 1995, the office was named Ministry of the Police, which brought to mind traffic tickets and cops fighting over their pensions. I liked it better that way.

Israel already has a Ministry of the Interior, which, by rights, should be taking care of Internal security—it’s in the name, even. Who needs, on top of a ministry taking care of the interior, another ministry taking care of the security of the interior?

Here’s what Minister of Internal Security Aharonovich was busy with this week:

As you may have noticed wherever you looked or listened in Israel these past three days, former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon died on Saturday, after a long sleep. No one took the news lightly. The man had admirers, but, boy, did he have enemies. One of his loudest enemies inside Israel were the students of yeshiva Torat Hachayim, who were among the thousands of Jews Sharon had forcibly deported from Gush Katif in the Gaza Strip.

Some of those students reacted with exuberant glee to the news of Sharon’s passing, and even hung up leaflets literally congratulating him on his demise, complete with a citation from the Shulchan Aruch regarding the proper mourning ceremony for Jewish traitors (the terms mumarim and mosrim are subtler, but in this context, they mean traitors).

Our gemora teaches (Bav BB 16b) that a man is not judged for things he said or did in his time of stress. This is not a criminal rule, but a social one, and it also hints at the way Heaven evaluates our speech and actions at such times.

In my opinion, these yeshiva guys were entitled to their expression of satisfaction at the death of the man who ruined their lives. I wish everyone in Israel shared their freedom of spirit. What’s more normal and mentally healthy than to rejoice at the passing of the wicked man who sent brutal cops to drag you and your parents and your children onto the waiting buses, and abandoned your property so your enemies could come and burn it down.

Secular Israelis have a habit of citing bits of verses which turn out to mean entirely different things than the full verse does. Most memorable is the clipped cite “he who steals from a thief is absolved,” which basically means that if I ran off with your car after it had been stolen by someone else, I get to keep it. That’s a distortion of the actual mishna (Bav BK 62b) which says that while a thief must pay back double what he stole, the one who steals from a thief is absolved from paying double and must only return the stolen item to its owner.

A similarly convenient cite is from Proverbs 24:17: “Do not gloat when your enemy falls; when he stumbles, do not let your heart rejoice.”

That sounds like a firm warning by Scriptures that when you see your enemy getting what he deserves, you shouldn’t be happy. The only thing missing here is context, which is provided by the next verse, 24:18: “Lest God will see and disapprove of you and turn His wrath away from him (your enemy).”

In other words, this is good advise to anyone taking their relationship with God seriously: God is watching all of us, and if you make a lot of noise, you’re practically begging Him to judge you on your gloating.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/can-you-yell-god-in-a-crowded-cemetery/2014/01/13/

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