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October 1, 2016 / 28 Elul, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘death’

EU Urges Israel: ‘Advance Peres’ Vision for 2-State Solution’

Wednesday, September 28th, 2016

The European Union issued a clarion call to Israel in response to the death of former President Shimon Peres, urging the Jewish State to redouble its efforts to reach a final status agreement with the Palestinian Authority.

EU High Representative and foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said in a statement issued Wednesday morning that she personally was “heartbroken by the death of President Shimon Peres, a man of peace, and an immense source of inspiration.

“President Shimon Peres has never lost hope in peace, and has never stopped working to turn hope into reality,” she said.

“Even in the darkest moments his wit, his irony, his obstinate pursuit of dialogue have been a source of inspiration for many around the world, including myself.

“President Peres believed that the best way to serve the State of Israel and to deliver security to the Israeli people was through peace with the Palestinians. We can only honor his memory with a daily commitment to reconciliation, preserving and advancing his vision for a two-state solution,” she maintained.

British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, recently re-elected to a second term and known for his anti-Israel positions, reinforced Mogherini’s statement with one of his own.

“Shimon Peres’s role in Israel-Palestine negotiations… should be the spur for a renewed drive for peace and justice,” Corbyn tweeted in a statement on the Twitter social networking site.

Peres was the last living founding father of the State of Israel, the ninth president of the country. He passed away early Wednesday morning two weeks after he was struck down by a massive cerebral hemorrhage. He was hospitalized at Chaim Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer Hospital, where he was sedated and on life support, reportedly passing away without pain, hospital sources said. His casket will lie in state in the Knesset in Jerusalem on Thursday, where dignitaries and citizens will pay their final respects; the funeral is set for Friday.

Hana Levi Julian

Shiloh Musings: Construction Fiascos, The Tipping Point towards Death

Wednesday, September 7th, 2016

Yesterday afternoon, the Israeli television stations stopped regular broadcasting schedule and brought us the awful news of a major fatal construction collapse in Tel Aviv. A four-story parking garage totally collapsed.

Third body found in the Tel Aviv construction site collapse
The search for survivors continued Tuesday morning, with four construction workers still missing at the site of the collapse.Soldiers began a search and rescue operation on Monday afternoon with two victims successfully extracted by Monday evening.
Police received reports of a building collapse on the corner of Habarzel and Hanahoshet Streets at 11:24 a.m, on Monday, and responded within minutes.
Rescue workers continued working into the night in an effort to recover those who remained missing. (Jerusalem Post)

Apparently, the owners had decided to add a “minor” “design element” to the plan without properly checking engineering feasibilities/ramifications.

Building engineering is a very mathematical science. Add a floor to a house, or a garden to a roof, and you can easily have a disaster, like there was yesterday in Tel Aviv.

I kept seeing this deep sand-filled pit on television and wondered how it could have happened.

Where were the support pillars? How could it have happened? Apparently, the owner had decided to add a garden on top and like many of us, figured that “a garden doesn’t weigh much.” As the tractor brought in the soil, the entire structure collapsed like a house of cards. Because the truth is that the tractor and packed soil for a garden are much heavier than cars. And apparently, the garden hadn’t been in the original plans which the engineers had received and planned for.

Who will pay in the end? Construction workers were killed and injured because of this.

Batya Medad

IDF Denies Arab 13-yr-old Killed by IDF

Tuesday, July 19th, 2016

The IDF has denied an Arab report that Israeli military forces killed a 13-year-old teen from the Palestinian Authority during clashes with Arab attackers in the northern Jerusalem suburb of A-Ram on Tuesday.

According to a military source, there were no IDF troops in the area where Palestinian Authority officials claim the teen was killed.

Israel Police denied live fire was used during clashes with rioters. IDF officers said stun and gas grenades were used, Ynet reported.

The Palestinian Authority Ministry of Health reported the death following a claim by Ramallah Hospital director Ahmad Bitawi, who said the teen was killed by a bullet to the chest.

The source of the bullet was not made clear, however. Guns are traditionally fired by Muslims to celebrate weddings and other happy occasions, usually at night.

In addition, blood feuds, dishonor issues and other disputes are usually settled with guns in that culture as well.

Nor is it unusual for Arab officials to try and blame an Arab death on Israeli forces, regardless of location.

Hana Levi Julian

Facebook: ‘Kill Jews’ Not Violation of Community Standards

Wednesday, July 13th, 2016

Facebook has always been the most accessible tool available to the average person for means of freedom of speech. Turns out terror organizations like Hamas are very aware of that, and largely use it to their advantage. Being a huge fan of freedom of speech, Facebook has made its terms of usage very, shall we say, flexible. For that reason, five families, Israeli and American, all of whom lost a family member in the recent murderous wave of terror, are suing Facebook for $1 billion. The lawsuit was brought under the 1992 Anti-Terrorism Act that prohibits American businesses from providing any material support, including services, to designated terrorist groups and their leaders. In this case, that would apply to giving terror a stage on Facebook through memes, groups, pages, and viral hateful posts of incitement (all of which can be found in the hundreds on your favorite social media site).

I decided to test Facebook’s innocence (or lack thereof). I searched the social network for anti-Semitic groups and pages to report. I was disappointed, but not surprised, at how easily I came across “juicy” material. Firstly, I found a user whose profile name was followed by “(Kill Jews).” He actually decided to blatantly state his murderous views on Facebook, and had thus far not been called out for it. I proudly reported the profile to Facebook, assuming they had simply not yet seen this hateful profile name, claiming it to be “sharing inappropriate or offensive posts” (the closest option Facebook has to offer).

Next I found a large photo posted by a news page on Facebook called “Pure Stream.” This page has over 10,000 likes. The picture shows an “innocent” Palestinian child being “viciously attacked by an Israeli monster tank,” with the large bold text “Death to Israel.” This post had close to 200 shares, and close to 400 likes. That means, thanks to Facebook, this post was seen by tens of thousands of people, many of whom had no previous knowledge about Israel. And you know what they say about first impressions.

The most important viewers of this photo are the teenage Palestinians, raised to hate Israel and everything it stands for. When they are exposed to a photo stating “Death to Israel” with hundreds of likes and shares, this only strengthens their views and may very well push them over the edge from sitting in front of their computer to stabbing a mother and child in the streets. Once again, naively assuming Facebook had simply missed this hateful and blood-thirsty post, I reported it, claiming it to be a violent hate speech.

After about half an hour I received messages from Facebook regarding both of my reports. I was astonished, and yet not surprised, at Facebook’s uncaring response:

Facebook response

Thank you for taking the time to report something that you feel may violate our Community Standards. Reports like yours are an important part of making Facebook a safe and welcoming environment. We reviewed the photo you reported for promoting graphic violence and found it doesn’t violate our Community Standards.”

So now you know that “Death to Israel” and “Kill Jews” are both well within proper community standards, and no, the year is not 1942.

Asher Schwartz

Death of Terrorist Mustafa Badreddine May Result In New Hezbollah Attacks On Israel

Tuesday, May 17th, 2016

{Originally posted to the author’s website, The Lid}

Back in January 2015  Former Israeli National Security Adviser, Maj. Gen. (ret.) Yaakov Amidror, outlined the threats to the Jewish State from non-state entities in a report released by the Begin Center for Strategic Studies ​ (BESA). The most serious existential threat to the Jewish State by non-state entities is the terrorist group Hezbollah, with 150,000 missiles, that according to the General is a “rare and substantial firepower apparently even exceeded the firepower possessed by most of the European states combined.” After having been accustomed to a situation in which large regular armies with armor, artillery, hundreds of aircraft and thousands of troops were arrayed on Israel’s borders, there can be no doubt that Israel has moved into a different world.

Hezbollah also has long-range surface-to-sea missiles, anti-aircraft missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles, and modern anti-tank missiles. It is well organized into a military-style hierarchy and appears to possess command and control systems of high quality. It was established by Iranian leaders, but its leadership has always consisted of Lebanese people who were closely linked to Iran’s interests. Hezbollah assisted the Shiites by providing for their needs in the civilian sphere as a base for building its military power.

An event yesterday may have moved Hezbollah closer to using those missiles against Israeli civilians.  In the middle of the night Middle East time – Hezbollah confirmed that their top military commander, Mustafa Badreddine and the man leading their terrorists in Syria, had recently been killed in an explosion. The incident happened sometime in the last few days, though the exact day still isn’t totally clear.

The strike that killed Badreddine is being widely attributed to Israel. But the Jewish State is not the only country who may have wanted this terrorist dead as he murdered people from many different countries.  The Hezbollah commander was prosecuted for the 1983 truck bombings of the U.S. and French embassies in Kuwait City, and involved in the 1983 bombing of the U.S. Marines barracks in Beirut that killed 241 people. He was later tried for the attempted murder of the Emir of Kuwait, escaping to Iraq before he could be executed,  was also accused of being the main organizer of the murder of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri, and of organizing numerous Hezbollah attacks against Israel. Badreddine was designated a “global terrorist” by the U.S. During the Syrian civil war, and he has been leading Hezbollah forces fighting on behalf of Bashar al-Assad in the area of al-Qusair. Badreddine was very unpopular inside Hezbollah. According to  Matt Levitt, Middle East scholar whose book about  Hezbollah: The Global Footprint of Lebanon’s Party of God was published three years ago,  tweeted that Badreddine was “rash, hot tempered, impetuous, even unstable,” and “was very close [to] Nasrallah, but widely disliked within Hezbollah,” and was “a philandering playboy, not particularly religious.” But in the end he was tolerated because he “got the job done.”

The Lebanese media is blaming Israel for killing Mustafa Badreddine as are Hezbollah officials so whether they were responsible or not Hezbollah sees Israel as behind the attack and if they take revenge it will be against Israel (per their standard practice, the Israeli government is not denying or confirming they were behind the attack).  Either way the Iranian-funded terrorist group has been looking for an excuse to attack Israel for a long time.

For the last few years Iran and Hezbollah have been trying to establish a military foothold on the Israeli-Syrian border, the aim being to open a new front against Israel. In January 2015 that effort was set back when Hezbollah and Iranian commanders in charge of those plans rolled up to the border to map out what the Israelis described as “deadly terror attacks,” and their two-car convoy was destroyed by air-to-surface missiles broadly attributed to Israel.

Hezbollah kept running at least two different campaigns in the theater. One campaign – infiltration of Israel – was led by baby-murdering terrorist Samir Kuntar. He was killed in a December 2015 air raid while planning cross-border attacks .  A second campaign – in the same area – put Badreddine physically in near the border. After news came out yesterday that he had had been killed, Tony Badran – a fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, and a top expert on how Lebanon fits into the rest of the region – floated on Twitter that the two campaigns were linked [g][h]:

In Feb 2015, there were claims that Badreddine was leading Hezbollah ops in the triangle of Quneitra/NW Deraa/W Damascus countrysides. Hezb was then leading the push into southern Syria and the Golan. In Jan 2015, the IAF took out senior IRGC-QF and Hezb cadres in Quneitra.

In recent months Hezbollah has been steadily escalating its operations along the border. In December Hezbollah chief Nasrallah threatened to attack Israel and the Israelis responded by telling him to back off at the risk of triggering “hard results.” The same thing happened when he threatened to attack in February. In late April IDF Deputy Chief of Staff Maj. Gen. Yair Golan warned that Hezbollah was risking a “full-scale war” if it didn’t cease its provocations. There is no evidence that Hezbollah pulled back on its campaigns in the intervening three weeks.

If Hezbollah triggers a downward spiral, the consensus is that the next Israeli-Hezbollah will likely be brutal. The Israelis describe Hezbollah’s current force structure as “Hezbollah 3.0”: fighters battle-hardened from Syria, has them operating out of civilian areas transformed into military sites, with an arsenal of advanced weapons provided by Iran.

More specifically:

  • Battle-hardened fighters: a few months ago a Hezbollah source bragged “our fighters are getting training and experience through the work they are doing in Syria, and this is a great concern for the Israelis,” and that the experience would be deployed to seize and hold Israeli territory during the next war. Hezbollah has developed an enormous hardened tunnel infrastructure to store tens of thousands of weapons and to invade through.
  • An Israeli source last year sketched out how the incursions are likely to go – and how they will likely impact Israeli population centers – based on Hezbollah’s Syria experience. Hezbollah’s goal is a ground invasion, which could be made up of a number of elements: Using the underground and aboveground area near the border’s wadis; and an entry of many commando and antitank teams… The fighting teams will use explosive devices and antitank missiles like the Kornet, which reaches an efficient rage of five kilometers during the day and three kilometers at night… they will be able to hit vehicles on the Lower Galilee’s roads from the high mountains… it’s the exact same fighting they are now acquiring huge experience in through their battles in Syria.
  • Weapons embedded in Lebanese civilian areas: The bulk of Hezbollah’s arsenal has been embedded across hundreds of villages and probably thousands of homes. Last May the Israelis showed journalists maps, data, and aerial photography outlining the military infrastructure in Shiite villages. The AP described how roughly 200 villages had been transformed into full-blown “military strongholds.” The NYT noted that, as a result, there will likely be significant casualties among the Lebanese civilians being used as human shields. Effectively, the Israelis are warning that in the event of another conflict with Hezbollah, many Lebanese civilians will probably be killed, and that it should not be considered Israel’s fault. “The civilians are living in a military compound,” a senior Israeli military official said at military headquarters in Tel Aviv… “Historically, armed forces have separated themselves from the population, in uniform… This is not the case here or in Gaza.” He accused Hezbollah of cynically using civilians.
  • Advanced weapons arsenal (including unconventional attack threats): As of March Hezbollah had roughly 150,000 rockets and missiles, allowing the group to saturation bomb Israeli population centers with 1,500 rockets and missiles per day for over three months. The arsenal includes sophisticated Scud-Ds that can strike any part of Israel from any part of Lebanon, which means Hezbollah will make all of Lebanon and Israel a battlefield. It includes – since 2014, according to U.S. intelligence – Yakhonts missiles: supersonic, surface skimming, fire-and-forget missiles that will be launched from Lebanon or Syria, touch down in the Mediterranean, and then target Israeli naval assets, energy infrastructure, and ports. Hezbollah has declared it will use that arsenal to create the equivalent of unconventional attacks against Israel. In February Nasrallah threatened to bomb Israeli chemical plants to create the effect of “exactly… a nuclear bomb,” triggering tens of thousands of casualties . Iranian officials have meanwhile bragged about providing Hezbollah with missiles that can reach Israel’s nuclear facility in Dimona, an attack that the UN’s 2005 International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism would define as black-letter nuclear terrorism . In addition to its projectile arsenal, Hezbollah has also developed an arsenal of drones – including offensive “suicide drones” – that it has bragged about deploying against Israel. The group has signaled that it will also use its suicide drones for functionally unconventional attacks against Israel’s nuclear infrastructure.

Now on top of the above, add the fact that the Obama administration’s capitulation to the Iranians in the P5+1 deal has emboldened Iran and its terrorist allies, Hezbollah is itching for another chance at killing Israelis. Should war break out it will most probably lead to civilian casualties in Israel and Lebanon. If the attack on Badreddine is eventually linked to the Israelis, it might be seen as a “brushback pitch,” to Hezbollah in an attempt avoid those scenarios, but on the other hand it may give the terrorists an excuse to ramp up the violence.

Jeff Dunetz

‘Miriam’s Song’ Speaks to the Soul of the Nation of Israel About Loss

Tuesday, May 10th, 2016

The reviewer’s copy of Miriam’s Song has been floating around the house for days. It was passed from hand to hand during the holidays and scanned by family members over the Sabbath. Photos of national icon and author Miriam Peretz are scattered throughout the book: Miriam with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, with President Reuven Rivlin … even in a hug with U.S. President Barack Obama.

Each time the promise was made to pass it on ‘when the review is finished.’ The list of readers demanding that book is as long as the entire apartment.

And yet.

It was ready for review a while ago. But how does one describe the world of a whisper, a prayer, a cry filled with grief, a confident embrace of support for countless others and yet a scream of defiance too?

Miriam's Song, the best-selling account of a mother of two sons who lost their lives in combat, translated now from Hebrew into English.

Miriam’s Song, the best-selling account of a mother of two sons who lost their lives in combat, translated now from Hebrew into English.

Miriam Peretz does all that and more in her account of how she managed to survive the loss of her two sons in combat — one after the other, both serving in the Golani Brigade — and her husband whose heart she said “could simply stand no more” and yet motivate herself to move on and lead others.

The mother of six speaks of her children, all of whom served and serve in the Israel Defense Forces, most as members of the elite Golanis.

Sons Avichai and Eliyasaf, Miriam and Eliraz, z'l.

Sons Avichai and Eliyasaf, Miriam and Eliraz, z’l.

She speaks of her childhood, how she immigrated to Israel with her parents as a child from Morocco, her years growing up in the south and her struggle to learn how to become an educator. Her courtship and marriage to her wonderfully patient, wise husband.

That first moment of pride seeing her oldest son in uniform, watching him grow to become an IDF officer. The first life-crushing experience when an IDF delegation came to say he’d never come home again, alive.

The battle faced by her life partner with a life-threatening illness that drained his vitality but not his determination – until the last moment when he too could fight no more.

The day she learned her second son was determined to follow his older brother’s footsteps: could she deny him his dream? And yet, the price she paid for her willingness to allow him that chance, the day she stood at the cemetery facing his newly-dug grave alone, without the support of her husband beside her.

The dilemma of no longer knowing which grave to visit “first” on Memorial Day: the guilt she felt that day. It is this last that perhaps is the most heartbreaking of all: for in this, Miriam is but one of thousands. How many wives and mothers and daughters join her in this horrific nightmare – whose grave to visit “first” this year at Mount Herzl’s military cemetery on Israel’s Memorial Day?

Father? Husband? Brother? Son? Daughter? Sister, Wife? Mother?

There they lie, our courageous, fearless veterans of every defensive war our battered but unbowed nation has ever fought. Without any hesitation they don their uniforms, shoulder their weapons and set off to their units with a chuckle and a grin, maybe a hug for the little ones, a whispered reassurance for an older child or a mother or a wife. None of them ever know when or if they will return. That is written Upstairs in the Big Book.

Hana Levi Julian

Modern Liberalism and the Death of Civilization

Wednesday, April 27th, 2016

The Nihilism (involving moral relativism) that contaminated higher education in America begins with the early 20th century flood of European philosophy in American academia. Most influential was Germany’s (or Hegel’s) historical relativism, which contradicts the biblical narrative, as did England’s (or Hume’s) atheistic empiricism. Both dominate higher education to this day, even in the “Jewish” state of Israel.

As Leo Strauss has shown, the father of modern liberalism is none other than Spinoza. Spinoza is also the father of biblical criticism. This made Spinoza the darling of Germany, of the nineteenth-century German school of Bible Critics.

Spinoza must therefore have encouraged the European-educated John Stuart Mill, whose mid-nineteenth essay On Liberty made him the world’s leading exponent of unfettered freedom of speech, hence of the free speech Liberalism that continues to predominate the mentality of American law schools and judicial institutions.

Paradoxically, however, free speech Liberalism is now eviscerating academic freedom in the United States. American colleges and universities have succumbed to the virtual totalitarianism underlying the prohibition of what is called “hate speech,” speech that offends the sentiments, above all the religious beliefs of Muslims, The ban on “hate speech” means the end of the liberal dogma of unfettered freedom of speech. The ban on “hate speech” may readily be construed as indistinguishable from speech involving, however remotely the character of other human beings.

What irony! The unrestrained permissiveness of Liberalism regarded obscenity as a protected form of speech by the American Supreme Court. This ruling at least denied the existence of truth and of evil, hence of that which denies the existence of a rational God, as well as the distinction between the human and the subhuman.

That denial can readily undermine the distinction between the polite speech appropriate in the company of woman and the obscene speech typical among vile men. This involves a degradation of language. The foulness of language violates the language of Holy Writ, which utterly avoids obscenity and employs only euphemisms to avoid any degradation of the human body, the creation of God.

This lofty attitude toward speech or language was overruled by Israel’s ultra-Liberal Supreme Court president, Judge Aharon Barak, who nullified a law permitting the Film Censorship Board to ban pornographic movies by ruling that nothing can actually be declared pornography, “as one man’s pornography is another man’s art” (Station Film Company v. Film Censorship Board, 1997).

As a free speech Liberal, Barak seems to have been very much influenced by the academic doctrine of moral-cum-cultural relativism. Moral-cum-cultural relativism was, and effectively still is, the ruling dogma of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

The most famous and influential intellectual founder of this university was the German-educated Martin Buber. Buber, who renounced Judaism to the extent of marrying a Gentile, propagated the anti-Jewish Hegelian doctrine of Historical Relativism (or moral pluralism). Buber’s book, Two Kinds of Faith, happens to provide a philosophical basis of the “two-state solution” to the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

Buber wrote Two Kinds of Faith to justify by his marriage to a Gentile, a convenient academic justification for a Jew-turned cultural relativist!

Epilogue

The free speech Liberalism underlying American as well as Israeli law has sanctified public obscenity and even pornography, which are rooted in atheism.

The denial of God, evident in contemporary Liberal education, engenders the denial of all moral distinctions.

An important set of moral distinctions is related to men and women. The ascendency of free speech Liberalism, of unfettered freedom of speech, diminishes the differences in the language used in speaking to and about men and women.

This unrestrained Liberalism encourages not only homosexuality and the legalization of same-sex marriage. By its denial of truth it generates nihilism which in turn undermines any normative understanding of Islamic terrorism, as is evident in President Barack Obama’s attitude toward that savagery.

Same sex marriage, like Islamic terrorism, is a rejection of Western Civilization. Women (hence children) will be the first victims of this Liberalism, beginning, as mentioned, with our attitude toward Language. Since language distinguishes the human from the subhuman, its degradation in obscenity cannot but degrade human life. This is also the consequence of Islamic terrorism which, consistent with Islamic theology, substitutes the primacy of force over the primacy of reason.

Summing up: Free speech Liberalism – with its denial of truth – is actually a negation of rational speech, hence of God’s gift to man. Unfettered freedom of speech, the tendency of modern Liberalism, and implicit in the above-mentioned decision of Judge Aharon Barak, signals the death of rational speech, hence of civilization.

With Barak-type Liberals laying down the law concerning what was traditionally known as distinctively human, and therefore hence of what is decent and indecent, the word “terrorism” will become as meaningless as the term “marriage.”

Small wonder that neither Israelis nor Americans know where they are going, although there are signs that their ultimate destination is the grave.

Paul Eidelberg

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/modern-liberalism-and-the-death-of-civilization/2016/04/27/

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