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December 22, 2014 / 30 Kislev, 5775
 
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘dispute’

Netanyahu’s Mistake

Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

I know that what I am about to say is unpopular with many readers who generally agree with me. But as a seeker of truth, I am bound to speak the truth as I know it and understand it.

Last week Prime Minister Netanyahu announced the construction of 3000 new housing units in Judea and Samaria. He is doing this in a section called E1. That is the area between Maleh Adumim which basically borders on the so called “Green Line.” These units will connect the two.

First the disclaimer. I truly believe that in the event of any final status agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, Ma’aleh Adumim will be a part of Israel as will any territory between it. I also do not believe that there will be a peace agreement any time soon. The way things are going now, probably never. But in theory at least I don’t think even the Palestinians (Under Abbas – Not Hamas) would disagree with that statement. Why that won’t happen is beyond the scope of this essay.

In a related issue, I also believe that the Palestinians should not have asked to be upgraded at the UN to non-member observer state status, and it should certainly not have been granted. The US and Israel were both right to oppose it.

I understand why the Palestinians did it. They want desperately to have their own state. And they will not get it any time soon through negotiations. So they are doing whatever they can on the international scene to take steps towards making that a reality. And the world says,” Sure.” “Why not?” “Palestinians have a right to a state same as the Jews.”

But as the U.S. pointed out in a very powerful speech by UN Ambassador Susan Rice – this action does not advance the cause of peace and indeed even harms it.

How does this move in any way harm Israel? By upgrading the Palestinians to observer but non member status it can now bring Israel to the International Court of Justice at The Hague and charge it with crimes against humanity in its role as an occupier of the disputed territories. (Editor’s note: An opinion of the International Court of Justice is only binding if the parties to the dispute both accept the jurisdiction of the Court).

This court according to many opinions will be a kangaroo court when it comes to Israel. That shouldn’t be too hard to believe considering how most of international community usually views the Jewish state. Including the left in both in America and Israel. They see Israel as an oppressive occupier akin to the Apartheid State of pre Mandella South Africa.

That said, I don’t think the Palestinians are going to try bringing Israel to that court. That will most certainly end even the remotest chance for a peace deal. It will also probably end American financial aid to them as well.

It is pretty clear to me that the only reason the Prime Minister has authorized new housing in Judea and Samaria is in retaliation for what happened in the UN. They want to re-assert their right to settle anywhere in Jerusalem and its outskirts. The current Israeli position is that Jerusalem is the once and forever capital of Israel and not subject to negotiation.

While this is a view that I favor, I don’t think it was wise for the Prime Minister to announce new housing in Judea and Samaria at this time. Unless there is an urgent need to accommodate natural growth, it should not have been done. Not because they don’t have that right. But because it serves no purpose other than to antagonize the only real friend Israel has in the world, the United States of America.

It is no secret that the US is against any settlement activity. Even for natural growth. If natural growth isn’t even the reason, why spit in the face of the only friend you have by announcing new construction in Judea and Samaria? Especially right after they cheered Israel on during their incursion into Gaza; paying for the Iron Dome Defense System that saved so many lives. They gave Israel 100% support! And Israel did this right after the US made such a strong speech opposing raising Palestinian status in the UN. The US is only major country to do that aside from Canada? 138 nations voted to support the upgrade including the UK!

It’s Stupid Destruction Day!

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

You’re looking at the demolition of five buildings in the Ulpana neighborhood of the Jewish town of Beit-El, north of Jerusalem, November 27, 2012. The High Court has decided that the multi-family dwellings built by Jews were on a privately owned Palestinian land, and so they had to be demolished, in the name of justice, liberty and the pursuit of really crazy and wasteful choices.

In a country of law, if such a dispute erupts more than 10 years after an enclave of residential buildings had been erected and families had set roots there for close half a generation – a dispute between the land’s sellers, a dispute over a stupid missing document, a dispute fueled by “evidence” provided by the Ramallah-based officials of the great democratic state of Palestine – then the two sides would have gone to court and debated their opposing positions; then the court would have decided. And should the court have decided that the half of the Arab family that disagreed with the sale of the land was right, then the same court would have decided on an amount of money that either the other half of the family, or the innocent buyers, were to pay in compensation.

But to demolish the buildings? What insane, sociopathic judge would have decided on demolition as a remedy for injustice?

When the right wins the day – again – in the coming elections, before we do anything else, before we implement the Judge Levi recommendations, before we protest yet another Palestinian move for independence that reneges on all our mutually signed agreements, before we send the first IAF plane to hit back at Gaza for this or that volley of rockets at our civilians, before we do any of that – we must change the way we pick supreme court justices.

In a civilized country, the sovereign, which is the people (you, me, my wife, all of us) choose representatives and they decide who will be our high court judges. Once they decide, those judges are no longer under anybody’s thumb, totally independent. But to get there they must receive our approval.

Not so in Israel, where our elected representatives are a minority in the body that picks high court justices, and the older justices basically nominate their friends, family, the nice girl from Apt. B-2.

This has to stop, now, this is a travesty, this court is not enjoying the support of the people, it is, in fact, an enemy of the people. And the nice thing is, the people have the power to change this. So, let’s.

Are We Better Than The Residents Of Sedom?

Friday, November 2nd, 2012

We learn in this week’s parshah about the wickedness and demise of the residents of Sedom. Further, we learn from medrashim that the residents of Sedom did not show much hospitality. Similarly, the mishnah in Avos 5:10 says that there are four different types of middos that people live by. The first is one who says, “What is mine is mine and what is yours is yours.” The mishnah says that this is an intermediate middah; others say that this is middas Sedom. Rashi, in Kesubos 103a, says that the people in Sedom would not allow anyone to benefit from their possessions even if it would be of no loss to them.

Surely we are all familiar with the wickedness that is associated with the people of Sedom, and none of us would consider ourselves to be among the people of Sedom. However, there are certain interesting scenarios whereby the halacha is influenced by the concept of not being like the people of Sedom. This is known as “kofin al middas Sedom – we force one not to act like the people of Sedom.”

Here is one example: The Gemara in Baba Kama 20a discusses the situation when one lived in another person’s vacant home that would not have been rented. The Gemara discusses whether he is exempt from paying the owner for his stay. The Gemara says that the reason that he would be exempt is because the squatter can say to the owner, “you did not take a loss from the fact that I [the squatter] lived in your house.” This halacha applies even if the squatter would have otherwise rented another place had he not stayed in this house free of charge. This is called “zeh neheneh, v’zeh lo chaser – this one benefited, and this one did not lose.” This is a matter of dispute in the Gemara; the conclusion is that the squatter is exempt.

To make this a bit more applicable, let’s say one broke into and stayed in your summer home in the winter when you were not there. He would be exempt from paying you any rent since you would not have otherwise rented your house and there is no loss to you. Most Rishonim say, however, that one has the right to deny someone else access to his vacant home. The discussion in the Gemara only concerns one who has already lived in the house.

The P’nei Yehoshua learns that the reason for this is because of “kofin al middas Sedom.” Since you did not suffer any loss, even though someone else benefited from your belongings, the beneficiary is exempt from paying you for his gain. But if there is any loss to you, even a minor loss such as the walls having become blackened, the squatter is liable to pay all of the rent.

The Gemara also says that if the squatter would have otherwise rented another apartment and you would have otherwise rented your house, he is liable to pay rent. This is referred to as “zeh neheneh, v’zeh chaser – this one benefited and this one lost.”

The Gemara does not discuss, however, the scenario whereby you would have rented out the house but the squatter would not have rented another house, i.e. he has another place to stay. This circumstance is a dispute among the Rishonim. The Rif says that he is liable; Tosafos says that he is exempt because he did not derive any monetary benefit. The loss that the owner incurred is not a direct damage from the squatter, and he is therefore exempt.

The Acharonim are bothered by the following question: according to Tosafos’s view the squatter is exempt when there is a loss to the owner had he not rented another apartment. Why then should he pay for the rent when he would have rented another apartment? He should not pay for the benefit just as he is exempt when the owner would have not rented it out. Additionally, he should not pay for the owner’s loss of rent because, as Tosafos explained, it is an indirect damage.

The P’nei Yehoshua explains that the reason why one is exempt from paying the owner when he derives a monetary benefit at no cost to the owner is because we force the owner to not act like the people of Sedom. However, when the owner endures a loss, we cannot apply this concept because he has the right to be compensated for having incurred a loss. Therefore, when a loss is involved, the squatter must compensate the owner if he derived a monetary benefit from the owner’s possessions.

Israeli Foreign Minister Replies to Condemnation of Jewish Growth

Sunday, October 21st, 2012

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman urged the European Union on Saturday to focus on its own problems and stay out of the local dispute between Arabs and Jews over the future of Judea, Samaria, and the rest of Israel.

Vice President of the EU’s European Commission Catherine Ashton said on Friday that she “deeply regrets” Israel’s plans to expand the Jerusalem neighborhood of Gilo.

“Settlements are illegal under international law and threaten to make a two-state solution impossible,” she said.

Lieberman replied on Saturday that her statements “attest to a fundamental lack of ability to understand regional reality” and “merely encourage the Palestinian side … to pursue anti-Israel activity in the international sphere”.

He suggested the EU “focus, for now, on the problems arising among the various peoples and national groups on Europe’s territory, and once there is a successful solution we would be happy to hear recommendations for solving the problems with the Palestinians”.

Several Shot at Empire State Building

Friday, August 24th, 2012

UPDATED

As many as ten people were shot Friday in front of the Empire State Building in New York, a spokesman for the New York Fire Department said.

The shooting occurred at 34th Street and Fifth Avenue.

According to the New York Post, the mayhem arose from a work dispute, when one worker, now identified as Jeffrey Johnson, stalked his colleague down the streets of New York City, shot him dead and then turned his gun on other pedestrians.

Authorities converged on the building around 9 a.m. after reports of gunfire.  A NYC police officer saw the gunman and took him out with one shot.

At least ten people have been injured.

The gunman and at least one civilian are dead.

The Jewish Press staff has signed off for Shabbat.

Which Way for Syria? Listen to the Sermons

Sunday, August 19th, 2012

http://rubinreports.blogspot.co.il/2012/08/which-way-for-syria-listen-to-sermons.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed:+Rubinreports+(RubinReports)

A friend of mine listened to the sermon given at the Ramadan evening prayer in a village near the north Syria town of Idleeb August 7. The closer one gets to ground level in the Middle East the crazier things become. Sure, by the time the Western-educated, suit and tie wearing leader sits down with the Western reporter everything sounds calm and cool. But the earth is boiling. Just as the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood blames Israel for a jihadist attack on an Egyptian military base in Sinai–the Egyptian military, more pragmatically, attacked the jihadist camps–the grassroots leaders and rank and file are easily incited into murderous frenzy.

So here are the main points in the Idleeb sermon:

– The preacher never used the word “Syria” or “as-Suriya” but only as “Bilad ash-Sham.” That’s a jihadist Salafist designation rejecting the existence of nation-states. In other words, “Syria” is merely a province of a future Islamic caliphate. Note: some people dispute this and suggest that Bilad ash-Sham is standard usage nowadays.

–The upheavals in Syria are not to be defined as a just revolution against a local dictatorship but rather as a conspiracy of Iranian Zoroastrians [the pre-Muslim religion of many Iranians], Zionists, France, and America. Here we have hatred not only for Jews and Christians but also Iranians. Yes, a revolutionary Islamist Syria would be anti-Iranian but also anti-everyone else. And by denying that Iranians are even Muslims, the preacher is strongly suggesting that it is right to murder them as apostates. Conspiracy theories lead to further wars. Enemies are not just those with whom you have a territorial or other dispute but are enemies of God who must be wiped out to the last man, woman, and child. Such people are not going to accept U.S. mediation or patronage, and nothing the Obama Administration could do would ever win them over.

–The closest allies are the Zoroastrians and the Zionists. In contrast with our objective view that Iran sees Israel as an enemy and wants to wipe it out, this Sunni Islamist view is that all of God’s enemies–Jews and Shia Muslims–are aligned against the true religion. They both should be hated and wiped out.

–The Ottoman Empire was a glorious place that protected Muslims and brought them to the doors of Vienna. The Jews, and French, and others try to fool us into thinking of them as oppressors but these are lies. This is an anti-Arab nationalist view–and even the Brotherhood has never been pro-Ottoman in political terms. Is there some Turkish subsidy involved here or hope that Turkey will be the protector of a Syrian Islamist state? Or perhaps this is just a reflection of the good old days of the caliphate?

– The Alawites are a completely heretic sect that should be fought. So this group also, which furnishes most of Syria’s rulers, can also be wiped out.

This one preacher doesn’t represent the whole Syrian opposition, of course, as there are also Sunni liberals, Kurdish nationalists and technocratic deserted army officers. Yet the maelstrom of hatred and the madness of religious fanaticism is also everywhere, ready to set off the most brutal massacres. To watch Western naives fool around with this in trying to socially engineer a new Syria is like watching chidren playing around with high explosives.

Harmony And Unity

Friday, August 10th, 2012

The Gaon, Rav Yisrael Hopstein, known as the Maggid of Koznice, was the prototype of Aharon HaKohen. He loved peace. When the dispute arose between the Chassidim and the Misnagdim he refused to participate in it. When asked to help the cause of the Chassidim, he replied: “Not through quarrels or excommunications can Chassidim hope to win, but only through showing their strength in the study of Torah, prayers, observing mitzvos and doing the work of Hashem.”

He would also say, “It is better to have an insincere peace than a sincere quarrel.” “If all Israel made peace with each other,” he said, “and if they gave a hand to each other and helped each other in true, sincere love, their strength would be so powerful that it would reach to the very throne of Hashem.”

No Separate Minyan

In one of the congregations near Koznice, a dispute arose between the Chassidim and the other members of the shul. Out of anger, the Chassidim, who were in the minority, decided to resign from the congregation and establish their own shul. When Rav Yisrael heard of this he became very aggravated and he summoned them to his home. He urged them to reconsider and return to their former congregation.

“There are terrible sins which the Torah warns against, such as idolatry, murder, and adultery,” said Rav Yisrael. “The Torah itemizes the various punishments that will accrue to one who commits these sins. But nowhere does the Torah specifically state that we should separate ourselves from these sins. Except in one place where it describes the dispute of Korach who quarreled with Moshe. There the Torah says (Devarim 16:21): ‘Separate yourselves from among this congregation that I may consume them…’ Thus we learn that quarreling is more dangerous than any other sin and we should avoid any person who quarrels.”

Thus did the Gaon try with all his power to keep the peace in his community.

The Forgotten People

Once a poor woman came to Rav Yisrael and cried, “Holy rav, please help me. My husband hates me and he doesn’t want to live with me anymore. He thinks I am ugly and a boor and now in my old age where can I go? Who will support me?”

“When he married me many years ago, he raved about my beauty and he whispered beautiful things in my ear. All through the years I worked very hard for him, I cooked, washed his clothes and raised his children and now as my reward he want to divorce me because he thinks I am old and ugly.”

Rav Yisrael summoned the husband to his study and asked him, “Is it true what your wife tells me?”

“It is true,” he answered, “what can I do if she disgusts me?”

Rav Yisrael said, “The din is with your wife. You cannot divorce her and you are required to support her all of her days.

Then turning to the heavens he cried out, “Lord of the Universe! Our lot is similar to this woman. We also come before You with an argument, for a din Torah.

“When You took us out of Mitzrayim and we stood at Har Sinai, we became Your chosen people. When You wed us at Har Sinai and we became Your beloved, You promised us everything – this world and the next world. We followed You for over two thousand years in fire and water. We gave up our lives for Your Holy Name – al Kiddush Hashem. The names of our ancestors are inscribed in blood in every generation.

“And now that we have grown old as a nation and as a people, You have forgotten us and want to throw us out. You turn us over to a terrible people to kill and murder us. You have no pity on us. Is that right?

“Therefore, O G-d, Lord of the Universe, just as I have awarded this case to this woman, please award us with Your kindness and return us again to Your good grace and show us Your loving kindness as or yore.”

The husband was so overawed with these powerful words uttered by the Rav Yisrael that he turned to his wife and embraced her and asked for her forgiveness.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/kidz/tales-of-the-gaonim/harmony-and-unity/2012/08/10/

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