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December 2, 2016 / 2 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘History’

Why Is The Most Corrupt Candidate In History Winning Big?

Tuesday, August 16th, 2016

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

The most corrupt candidate in the history of the presidency, Hillary Clinton, is cruising toward victory. If the election were held today, she’d win in excess of 360 electoral votes. She’s currently leading in Pennsylvania (+9.2 percent), Michigan (+6.6 percent), Ohio (+2.6 percent), Virginia (+8 percent), New Hampshire (+8.2 percent), Georgia (+0.3 percent), Florida (+3.6 percent), Iowa (+0.4 percent), Wisconsin (+9.4 percent), Colorado (+11 percent), North Carolina (+2 percent), Nevada (+2.3 percent). Trump’s barely ahead in Arizona (+0.3 percent) and Missouri (+5.3 percent).

How in the world is she winning?

In the last three months, the head of the FBI has said she was “extremely careless” with classified material and came whisker-close to indicting her. Every day, new headlines break about the cozy and likely illegal relationship between the Clinton Foundation and the State Department. She’s unlikable, she’s nasty, and she’s boring.

How can she be blowing out anyone, even Donald Trump?

The answer lies in what economist George Gilder might call the “information theory” of politics. Gilder says that the economy runs on new information changing the equilibrium. In essence, there is a steady drone of old information in the economy – and that’s what creates an economic status quo. Both entrepreneurial successes and devastating depressions add new information to the economy, which is why you see movement in the markets.

But old information doesn’t change anything.

This is the problem with Hillary: she doesn’t add any new information to the system. We already knew Hillary was deeply corrupt from her time in the White House. From Whitewater to Chinagate, from Travelgate to leading up the coverup for Bill’s sexual harrassments, Hillary’s corruption has been top of mind for well over two decades.

And her threats to national security have been well known for years, too. In 1996, the Clinton campaign allegedly took Chinese donations in return for declassifying sensitive missile technology, which the Chinese then used for their weaponry. So it’s no surprise to find out that she’d willingly sell access to foreign nations in return for donations to the Clinton Foundation slush fund.

In other words, she’s been so dirty for so long that it’s almost impossible to add new information to the system. All she has to do is continue to be the same old kind of dirty we already knew she was, and she’ll waltz her way to the White House.

Trump promised to expose Hillary to criticism she’d never felt before, but he hasn’t done it. Instead, Trump has provided new information to the system every day. While we’ve known Trump for as long (longer!) than Hillary, we didn’t know him on a political level in any serious way. We knew him as an entertaining business magnate and personal branding specialist. But nobody had any real perspective on his view of disabled reporters and Mexican judges. While Hillary refuses to add any new information to the system, Trump’s adding new information every day. That’s why Hillary’s campaign continues to maintain stability while Trump’s seems to bump up and down, nearly at random.

This means that if Trump wants to win, he’ll have to somehow reverse that polarity. He’ll have to force Hillary off her game – he’ll have to give us new information, a new angle about her. We already knew Hillary was Crooked Hillary; labeling her that doesn’t change the background noise. And we didn’t know that Trump was as volatile as he’s proven to be.

Trump needs to stabilize, of course. And then he needs to punch at Hillary, expose information about her most people don’t know. That’s tougher than it looks. We now live in an era where politicians benefit from surviving years of corruption – it makes them seem stable by comparison with newbies who make lots of mistakes and commit lots of sins. That’s Hillary’s major advantage, even more than the media that licks her boots. And that’s the advantage Trump will have to overcome.

Ben Shapiro

Welcome to Israel with Ezri Tubi

Tuesday, August 9th, 2016

Ezri Tubi give a tour of Israel’s historical roots.

Video of the Day

Israelis and Arabs: “Etzion Bloc Should Be Center of Peace, Not War”

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2016

By Anna Rudnitsky/TPS

Efrat (TPS) – Arabs and Israelis met on Tuesday evening at the library of the Etzion-bloc community of Efrat to learn about the history of Jewish-Arab relations in the region and about the cooperation that has existed between them throughout the past century.

“We thought that it was important to show that Jewish-Arab relations do not have to be hostile and that they actually used to be friendly, at least here in Gush Etzion. We think that there is even hope for this today, despite the difficult and often bloody reality we live in,” Kfar Etzion Field School Director Yaron Rozental, who helped organize the event, told TPS.

Historian Yohanan Ben-Yaakov shared stories about the establishment of Jewish settlements in the region that he said may not be as well known as others. “Israelis are usually familiar with war stories about the Etzion bloc, about brave Jewish fighters and the numerous sacrifices that they made,” he said. “It is always presented as a very simple story—there were good guys and bad guys, and the good guys won. Relations between Jews and Arabs here were not always that black and white.”

Ben-Yaakov spoke about the settlement of Migdal Eder, the inhabitants of which were saved during the pogroms of 1929 by Arabs from the neighboring village of Beit Ummar, and about Kfar Etzion founder Shmuel Holzman’s son, a Jewish doctor who opened an infirmary near the Etzion bloc junction in 1929 with the intention of helping the local Arab population.

“It’s written in the Torah that Esau hates Yaakov, and everybody remembers these words. Few know what is written later, that he kissed him with his whole heart. These two feelings go hand in hand here today as well and it is up to us to choose between love and hatred,” Ben Yaakov concluded.

The event also featured speakers such as Dr. Yitzhak Glick, brother of MK Yehuda Glick, who received the Moskowitz Prize in 2012 for the free medical assistance he has provided to the people of the Etzion bloc, including to Palestinians, who know him as “our doctor.”

“Gush Etzion must be the center of peace not just in Israel, but in the world,” Dr. Glick maintained.

The event was also organized by Roots, a grassroots initiative which regularly facilitates meetings between Israelis and Arabs. The organization helped bring several Arabs from the nearby villages of Beit Ummar and Yatta to the event. Roots co-founder Khaled Abu Awwad said that he believes that such events could be more effective in bringing peace to the Middle East than meetings between Abbas and Netanyahu.

“Peace between our peoples must grow from the bottom up and only we can break the walls of alienation and hatred that have been put up between us,” he said. “We belong to this land, but the land does not belong to anyone so we must learn to live here together in peace.”

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Abbas Sues History. Not a Parody.

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2016

{Originally posted to the Commentary Magazine website}

This week, the leaders of the Palestinian Authority decided to take action. It wasn’t to reform their corrupt government, make progress toward genuine peace, or anything else that might improve the plight of their people. Instead, they’re going to sue Britain over the 1917 Balfour Declaration. It’s no joke. The Palestinians are serious about legal action to undo a historical document. The plan is the brainchild of PA leader Mahmoud Abbas and was announced by Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Malki. They are asking Arab states to support them and plan to launch the suit in an as yet unnamed international court.
Is this a publicity stunt intended to buttress their campaign to get the United Nations to recognize their independence without first making peace with Israel? Maybe. Perhaps they think some court in an increasingly anti-Semitic Europe might actually rule in their favor. But though walking back a century of history is pretty much the definition of futility, this effort not only speaks volumes about the inanity of Palestinian politics, it also demonstrates why peace is not possible for the foreseeable future.

The Balfour Declaration was a brief statement issued in a public letter in which the British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour said the following:

His Majesty’s government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.

The text didn’t commit the British to building a Jewish state and also pointedly including language that protected the rights of Arabs living in an area that today encompasses all of Israel, the West Bank, Gaza, and Jordan. By 1917, Jews had already begun to return to their ancient homeland (from which they had never completely departed) in large numbers, but Balfour’s letter was the first formal recognition by a great power of the justice of the cause for which Zionists had been working the previous 20 years and for which Jews had prayed for 2,000 years.

It’s true that the British decision to back the Zionists was as much the result of London buying into anti-Semitic myths about Jewish power (that would presumably solidify U.S. support for the war against Germany as well as keeping Russia in the fight) as it was also philo-Semitism and sympathy for Zionism on the part of men like David Lloyd-George and Balfour. The British promise led to the creation of a Mandate for Palestine by the League of Nations after World War I that was tasked with facilitating the creation of a Jewish national home. That’s why Palestinians who rejected any idea of sharing the land a century ago as much as they do today regard the declaration as the start of all their troubles.

The irony is that while the Arabs are seeking legal redress against Britain for setting in motion the process that led to Jewish statehood, the truth is that they soon betrayed their promise to the Zionists. By 1939, Britain had shut the gates to Palestine to Jews fleeing Hitler, a move that might have destroyed the growing Jewish polity and doomed millions to die in the Holocaust.

But even if we ignore that historical fact, the real blame for the plight of the Palestinians (a term that only began to be associated with Arabs rather than Jews after the birth of the State of Israel in 1948) belongs to their own leadership. They rejected every offer of partition from the 1930s to the current day. Instead, they choose war and with each defeat their share of the country decreased. Nevertheless, they were still offered a state in almost all of the West Bank, Gaza, and a share of Jerusalem by Israel and rejected each one. If they are seeking intervention by the UN or international courts, it is only because they refuse to engage in direct negotiations with the Israelis. Doing so would require them to make peace and end the conflict for all time.

But there is more to this than just a diplomatic evasion. By focusing on Balfour and treating it as illegal, what the Palestinians are doing is rejecting the very legitimacy of the Jewish presence anywhere in the country. It is not for nothing that Abbas has often referred to pre-1967 Israel as being occupied territory rather than just the West Bank.

For years, those intent on pressuring Israel into making more territorial concessions to the Palestinians have tried to claim that “moderates” like Abbas truly want peace. But every peace negotiation or Israeli gesture such as Ariel Sharon’s withdrawal of every soldier, settler, and settlement from Gaza in 2005 hasn’t budged the Palestinians from the same intransigent position they’ve held since they rejected Balfour, the Mandate, and the 1947 UN partition plan.

So rather than merely a nonsensical diversion into fantasy, the Palestinian lawsuit illustrates the plain fact that their goal remains reversing the verdict of history altogether; not merely a demand for an Israeli pullout from the West Bank and Jerusalem. This reflects the state of Palestinian public opinion and the fact that their national identity has remained intrinsically tied to the century-old war against Zionism. Not until they give up this futile quest will peace be possible–something that the majority of Israelis already understand but which has eluded the U.S. government and many liberal American Jews.

As the Obama administration and the Europeans plot their next move to pressure Israel into making the same mistake in the West Bank that Sharon made in Gaza, they ought to be paying attention to the signals Abbas is sending to the world. So long as the Palestinians are still trying to erase Balfour, the idea that they are prepared to accept the state of Israel is the real joke.

Jonathan S. Tobin

Mahmoud Abbas Hopes to Sue UK Over 100-yr-old Balfour Declaration

Monday, July 25th, 2016

Barely a year before the 100th anniversary of the issuing of the Balfour Declaration, Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas is hoping to force the United Kingdom to withdraw, renounce or rewrite the document that called for a Jewish homeland in Palestine.

As he watches the rapid, vibrant growth of the Jewish State and the soaring corruption and failures of the PA government – despite billions of dollars pumped in by foreign governments – Abbas has now decided to sue the British government over the Balfour Declaration.

According to Daoud Kuttab, a former Ferris professor at Princeton University, Abbas is “said to have requested in Nawqshod Arab League to help sue britain’s (sic) for Balfour’s declaration.”

Abbas is no novice to rewriting history. He is a longtime Holocaust denier who cleverly acknowledges the “unforgivable crime against the Jewish nation,” as he told Haaretz in 2003,” but whose doctoral dissertation simply blames the Zionist Jews for the demise of their European brethren.

Entitled “The Other Side: The Secret Relationship Between Nazism and Zionism,” Abbas wrote a conspiracy theory about the Holocaust, opining that the Zionists collaborated with the Nazis in order to inspire more immigration to Palestine.

“The Zionist movement led a broad campaign of incitement against the Jews living under Nazi rule in order to around the government’s hatred of them, to fuel vengeance against them, and to expand the mass extermination.” Abbas contends in the book that the Zionists were the Nazis’ “basic partner in crime.”

On November 17, 1917, the British government published a letter written by Foreign Secretary Lord Arthur James Balfour, addressed to Lord Rothschild, endorsing the establishment of a homeland for the Jewish People in Palestine. The text of the letter read as follows:

I have much pleasure in conveying to you. on behalf of His Majesty’s Government, the following declaration of sympathy with Jewish Zionist aspirations which has been submitted to, and approved by, the Cabinet

His Majesty’s Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavors to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.

I should be grateful if you would bring this declaration to the knowledge of the Zionist Federation.

Hana Levi Julian

Through The Eyes Of History

Thursday, July 21st, 2016

“Pinchas, the son of Elazar, the son of Aharon HaKohen, appeased My anger against Bnai Yisrael by taking My revenge amidst them, and so I didn’t have to destroy them with My vengeance.” – Bamidbar 25:11

 

Parshas Balak ends with the daughters of Moab enticing the young Jewish men to sin. This quickly led to idol worship, and many Jewish men served Baal Peor.

At the height of the debacle, Zimri, one of the heads of shevet Shimon, took a Moabite princess and brought her into the encampment of the Jews, making a public spectacle of the act. Because he was a leader of the Jewish people, this was a grave threat to the survival of the nation. A plague broke out, and thousands of Jews died.

Pinchas Runs to Moshe

Pinchas saw what was happening and ran to Moshe for advice. Moshe directed him to take action. At the risk of his life and against all odds, Pinchas walked into the mob and miraculously killed both Zimri and the Moabite woman. No sooner did their dead bodies hit the floor than the plague stopped. It was a clear and obvious sign that Pinchas had acted correctly. By acting with courage and alacrity, he saved the Jews from destruction. Clearly, he was a hero.

Yet the very next parshah, Pinchas, opens with a pasuk repeating his lineage: “Pinchas, the son of Elazar, the son of Aharon.” Rashi explains that the Torah delineates his ancestry because he was the subject of derision. The other shvatim mocked him, “Did you see this son of idol worshipers? His mother’s father fattened calves to serve to idols, and he has the audacity to kill the head of a shevet!” The Torah therefore repeats that he was a direct descendent of Aharon to let us know he was justified in what he did.

This Rashi is difficult to understand as it implies that people looked at what Pinchas did and assumed he was wrong. Yet he had direct orders from Moshe Rabbeinu. Many miracles happened to allow him to succeed, and a plague that killed 24,000 people stopped only when he finally killed Zimri. How is it possible that anyone could see Pinchas as anything other than a hero?

The answer is that there are often two distinct perspectives of an event: the perspective from living in the moment, and the perspective of history. While the episode is playing out, it is often difficult to identify real issues and motives; changes are happening too quickly, things are moving at too feverish a pace, and clarity is elusive. After the fact, when the dust settles and some time has passed, what transpired is often viewed from a different focus, and what was then obscure is now obvious.

Understanding the Criticism of Pinchas

To the people living in the time of Pinchas, there was justification for what Zimri did. The rationale might well have been that by bringing the Moabite woman into the Jewish camp, she wouldn’t pull the Jewish men away to serve idols. But whatever the logic, there were arguments for and against. The point was that a great man – the head of a shevet – did this act, and it wasn’t at all clear he was wrong. It is only after the fact, when we have the perspective of history, that we can see the test and the temptation with absolute clarity.

Each generation has it tests, and one of the most difficult tasks for a later generation is to look back and understand the test of an earlier era. Often when we look back, we can’t understand how the people living then could have done what they did. We flippantly assume, “We would never have acted that way! Had we been living in Spain in the mid-1500s, we would have fled the country or given up our lives – no question about it. Had we come over to these shores in the 1920s, of course, we would have kept Shabbos and kashrus.”

The reason we can’t even see the temptation is that we are judging the generation according to our social climate. But the social environment was vastly different. The norms of society – what was expected and accepted, what was valued and revered – were quite different. And as such, the social pressure was very different than it is now.

This concept has great relevance to us. We face nisayonos today that previous generations would laugh at. Most of us live in two-income households, are working long, hard hours, and are still barely able to make ends meet. If our great-grandparents were to look down at our generation, they would be flabbergasted. “What in the world did you need such a fancy house for? A separate bedroom for each child? Each child gets a new outfit? Different types of shoes for weekdays and for Shabbos?”

Our great-grandmothers would ask us, “What in the world do you need this lavish wedding for?” And we would sheepishly answer, “Alta Bubbie, this is only the vort!” The reality is that we live a lifestyle that previous generations couldn’t envision or imagine.

But it comes at a cost. The greatest cost is time. Time to learn. Time to daven. Time to be good parents. Time to be a supportive spouse. And more than anything, time to think about what we are on this planet to accomplish.

While we live in the wealthiest of times, in many ways we are the poorest of the poor. By refocusing on our priorities and understanding the pull of our times, we can recognize the tests of our generation and fortify ourselves to overcome them.

 

To view Rabbi Shafier’s parsha video, click here.

Jewish Press Staff

UNESCO has a Curious Definition of “History”

Tuesday, July 12th, 2016

{Originally posted to the author’s blog, Elder of Ziyon}

Times of Israel reports:

The UN cultural body’s World Heritage Committee is set to vote on a controversial draft resolution challenging Jewish historical ties to the Old City of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount and calling of a return to the “historic status quo” on the holy site. A similar resolution was adopted by the organization’s executive board in April, a move that infuriated Israel.

A revised joint Palestinian-Jordanian draft resolution on “the Old City of Jerusalem and its walls” was submitted to the 21-member committee which is convening for its annual meeting in Istanbul, Turkey. The text calls for a return of the Temple Mount and the al-Aqsa Mosque to “the historic status quo,” a status that existed before the 1967 war.

The language of “historic status quo” is new and wasn’t in the April resolution.

The wording implies that the anomalous situation in Jerusalem during the 19 years between 1948 and 1967 was not anomalous at all, but was a “historic status quo.”

While this absurd draft resolution denies any Jewish connection to Judaism’s holiest site on the Temple Mount and the Western Wall, the use of the word “historic” to refer to before 1967 could easily be used to claim that any Jewish presence in the Old City is a violation of the 1948-1967 situation when Jordan ensured that the Old City was Jew-free.

The PLO and Jordan have an interestingly skewed definition of “historic.” After all, neither Jordan nor the Palestinian Arab people existed a hundred years ago, if you try to look for them in any contemporaneous newspaper articles or books.

The Palestinians use the word “Historic Palestine” to refer to the borders of British Mandate Palestine, an entity that existed for less than three decades. There are no maps of “historic Palestine” that include those borders prior to 1920.

By emphasizing the word “historic’ to refer to events that are a blink in the eye of history, the Palestinians and Jordanians are attempting to remove any Jewish connection to the only historic Jewish land.

After all, if events that happened in the 20th century are “historic,” then anything before than is prehistoric and irrelevant.

The intentional misuse of the word “historic” is an attempt to ethnically cleansethe Jewish people from history – and to inflate the value of the recently invented Jordanian and Palestinian Arab people.

Perhaps Israel should submit a new resolution to return Jerusalem to the historic status quo of how it was under King Solomon. At the very least it could expose how the Arabs are trying to hijack the very word.

Elder of Ziyon

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/elder-of-ziyon/unesco-has-a-curious-definition-of-history/2016/07/12/

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