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January 23, 2017 / 25 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Holy Land’

Microscope Jews

Friday, October 5th, 2012

Usually, I don’t have time during the week to travel around the net and see what other bloggers are writing. But during Sukkot, I found a few spare moments, and to my great chagrin, I found some essays penned by Diaspora Jews who succumbed to the Sin of the Spies in their negative reports of the Holy Land.

These writers come to Israel with their high-powered microscopes and seek out everything bad they can find – apparently to justify their love affair with the gentile lands they adore, instead of fulfilling the Torah commandment to live in the Land of Israel.

One blogger visited the new neighborhood of Migron and concluded, “Who wants to live in a country that kicks Jews out of their homes?” Another found things in Meah Shearim too fanatic to his liking and asked, “Why would anyone want to live in a country like this?” Another found the government too secular for his tastes and wrote, “This isn’t the Holy Land we dreamed of,” as he headed back to the idyllic Promised Land of Brooklyn.

All in all, by focusing their microscopes on things which need correction, these writers turn people off from the mitzvah of living in Israel. The Spies in the wilderness did exactly the same thing in their negative report of the Land. To these microscopic Jews, the giants were too big, there were funerals wherever they looked, the cities were too mighty – therefore, they concluded, the Jews were better off staying in the wilderness – in clear rebellion against G-d’s commandment to dwell in the Land.

Thank G-d that Avraham wasn’t a microscope Jew. Even though the Land of Israel was rampant with idol worship, he gladly packed up his suitcases to dwell in the Holy Land.

What the lovers of the exile don’t realize is that the Holy land is holy, in and of itself, whether the Jews there are too religious, or not religious enough. If some Ultra Orthodox Jews are crazy, or some seculars Jews are traitors to Jewish tradition and values, is this a reason to reject the Holy Land and discourage Jews from living there?

Today is the yahrtzeit of the Gaon of Vilna. He taught that the Sin of the Spies appears in every generation, and that people don’t realize that they are caught in the kelipah of the very same terrible transgression of speaking evil about the Land (“Kol HaTor,” Ch.6).

The Gaon also taught that there are only two mitzvot that we do with all of our bodies: dwelling in the sukkah, and dwelling in Eretz Yisrael. Just as sukkah must be built, “v’lo min ha’asuee,” meaning it can’t be ready-made, so too must we take an active part in the building and settlement of the Holy Land, and not wait in Brooklyn or Beverly Hills for the Israelis, or Mashiach, to do all the work before we come.

Criticizing things which need correction certainly has a place, but discouraging people from living in the Holy Land because of faults here and there, is certainly the wrong conclusion – no matter how much a Diaspora writer wants to justify his love of gentile lands, and his failure to take an active role in making Israel the place of his dreams.

Hag Samaoch from the wonderful and eternally holy Land of Israel!

Tzvi Fishman

Gentlemen, To the Land of Israel!

Friday, September 28th, 2012

Rabbi Kook emphasizes that the true t’shuva of the Jewish People is in our return to Eretz Yisrael. Again and again, in his letters and speeches as Israel’s first Chief Rabbi, he urged the Jewish People to return home to Zion. One public proclamation, sent out all over the Diaspora, years before the Holocaust, was entitled, “The Great Call.”

To the Land of Israel, gentlemen, to the Land of Israel! Let us utter this appeal in one voice, in a great and never-ending cry. Come to the Land of Israel, dear brothers, come to the Land of Israel. Save your souls, the soul of your generation, the soul of the entire Nation; save her from desolation and destruction, save her from decay and degradation, save her from defilement and all evil — from all of the suffering and oppression that threatens to come upon her in all the lands of the world without exception or distinction….

Escape with your lives and come to Israel. God’s voice beckons us; His hand is outstretched to us; His spirit within our hearts unites us, encourages us, and obliges us all to cry in a great, powerful and awesome voice: Brothers! Children of Israel, beloved and dear brethren, come to the Land of Israel, do not tarry with arrangements and bureaucratic matters; rescue yourselves, gather, come to the Land of Israel…

From the time we were exiled from our Land, the Torah has accompanied Israel into exile, wandering from Babylon to France, Spain,Germany, Eastern and Central Europe, Poland, Russia, and elsewhere. Now, how happy we would be if we were able to say that the Torah has returned to her first place, to the Land of Israel, together with the People of Israel, who continue to multiply in the Holy Land.

Who is so blind that he does not see the Lord’s hand guiding us in this, and does not feel obligated to work along with God in this endeavor? A Heavenly Voice in the future will cry aloud on top of the mountains and say, ‘Whoever has wrought with God, let him come and receive his reward’ (Vayikra Rabbah, 27:2). Who can exempt himself from doing his part in bringing additional blessing and swifter salvation; from awakening many hearts to return to the Holy Land, to the Lord’s legacy, that they may become a part of it, to settle it with enterprises and buildings, to purchase property, to plant and sow, to do everything necessary for the foundation of life of a stable and organized settlement.

Another public proclamation was addressed to Orthodox communities to urge their aliyah to Israel. In establishing a movement called “The Banner of Jerusalem,” Rabbi Kook called upon all religious Jews to come to Israel to rebuild the Nation’s spiritual life, just as the secular Zionists were rebuilding the physical:

Jews! We call you to the sacred task of building our Jewish nation in our Holy Land, in Eretz Yisrael. Come to us, rally together under the “Banner of Jerusalem” which we now raise aloft before the whole Jewish religious public.

We all know the banner of Zion which unites a certain portion of our brethren on the basis of our Jewish secular interests in the Land of Israel. But there are many who have not joined the ranks of those who bear the Zionist flag, and a great many who feel it impossible to do so. We simply record the plain fact that this is so, without questioning its veracity.

Yet it cannot be that the largest, most natural, and earnest portion of Jewry, the majority of the Jewish religious public, should remain indifferent to the wonderful events of the present, and not lend a hand in the holy task of building our Nation on our sacred soil because of so-called objections….

Jews, all the loyal believers in the Jewish faith, there can be no doubt that the Divine power is now manifesting itself amongst us in the great world events of our time. We are certainly called to return to our ancient home in the Land of Israel, there to renew our ancient holy life….

We religious Jews must all profoundly know and believe that the Divine hand is now leading us openly to our highest, ideal destiny. We must make known to the whole world, the true meaning of the present wondrous happenings, whose purpose is so clearly the hastening of our Redemption and salvation, from which will also spring forth the Redemption and salvation of all mankind.

With the flaming, illuminating, Divine faith, with all the luster of our holy Torah, with the vitality of all of the most refined and devout Jews, we shall carry our flag, the ‘Banner of Jerusalem’ by which alone the banner of Zion will also be properly hoisted. For the value of Jewish secular power will be revealed to the world only in the light of our holy Jewish spiritual power, emphasized by the uplifted voices of the whole religious Jewish world community, who set out with holy enthusiasm to the task of our national construction, of our return to the Land of Israel, by the grace of the Divine and illuminating light, ‘O House of Jacob, come, and let us walk in the light of the Lord.’

Tzvi Fishman

Holy Land of Opportunity: North American Jews Finding Jobs in Israel

Monday, August 13th, 2012

Jews across America, in the privacy of their own computer screens, are scanning the internet for job opportunities which will enable them to make the leap toward life in Israel.

A recent advertisement for Nefesh b’Nefesh sent to Jewish Press readers garnered a whopping 5 times the average number of clicks in the first hour.  The message was clear: finding employment in Israel is a source of great interest for North American Jews.

Though many are stirred by the passions of either ancient or modern Zionism, often bolstered by deep-seated religious understandings about the centrality of Israel in the practice of a full and lustrous Judaism, the noble quest for a more meaningful life is no longer the only reason to make aliyah.

Tough Times in America, Good Going in Israel

The last few years have been hard for the American working man and woman.  Between 2009 and 2010, the US unemployment rate hovered around 10% of the population.  Appeals to Jewish charities and sympathetic money lending groups increased significantly, with rabbis in major American Jewish communities appealing to members to reduce spending on costs such as mishloach manot on Purim, and on weddings.

In late 2011 and early 2012, the unemployment rate in the US dropped to 8.2%.  Despite the signs of economic recovery, many American Jews could not help but notice that job opportunities in Israel were far greater – fluctuating between 5.8% and 7%, where it stands today, down from 10.4% in 2004.

In 2011, Israel was listed with the 57th lowest unemployment rate by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) World Factbook – the US was at 103.  A 2011 report by the Federation of the Israeli Economic Organizations showed that as the world economy sank along with world trade and global credit, the Israeli economy grew by 0.8% in 2009, and leapt up to 4.5% growth in 2010.

But American Jews were not the only ones to take notice of the depressed state of US economics and the contrasting growth and progress in Israel.  Immigration statistics published in April by the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS), a branch of the Department of Homeland Security, showed that the number of Israelis seeking to gain permanent residency in the US was at a record low in 2011 – just 3,826, down from nearly 6,000 in 2006, already in decline since the recession set in in 2008.  Moreover, Ella Saban, director of the department for returning Israelis at the Absorption Ministry, told the Jewish Daily Forward that since 2006 the number of expatriate Israelis returning to Israel has doubled and now stands at around 9,000 a year.

Over 100 foreign companies are invested in the little country via research and development facilities, including Google, Microsoft,  Applied Materials, Intel, British Telecom, Philips Medical, Sony, Fuji, Honda,  IBM, Cisco Systems, GE Healthcare, 3Com, Hewlett Packard, Motorola, Nestle, L’Oreal, Unilever, Johnson & Johnson, and Kodak.  Together, as of 2009, they employ an estimated 35,000 Israelis.

With all that success on the part of foreign companies in Israel, Israelis still forge their own path in business.  As of 2011, the less-than 8 million citizens of Israel had 60 companies trading on the NASDAQ, the highest ranking nation on that listing except for China, population 1.3 billion, including Brainstorm Cell Therapeutics, Cimatron Limited, Elbit Medical Imaging, Comverse Technology, NICE Systems, OrganiTECH USA, Retalix, and Silicom (famed Israeli pharmaceutical company, Teva, transferred this year from the NASDAQ to the New York Stock Exchange).

The Three-Step Formula

Yet with such a load of opportunities available, the numbers of olim have not yet skyrocketed.   “People really want to come, but there’s this fear that they want to be certain or reasonably certain that they will be able to put food on the table for themselves and for their families,” Kim Ephrat, Associate Director of Employment at Nefesh B’Nefesh told The Jewish Press. “I think the fact that Israel has weathered the storm really well, and it’s sort of a snowball effect, the more people come, the more people are writing back home how well they’re doing,”

Nefesh B’Nefesh, which has spent the last 10 years helping North American and British olim with the technicalities of making aliyah, has developed what Ephrat calls a “three-step formula” for scoring in the Israeli job market.

First is networking.  “It’s what we all do naturally, it’s what we all do intuitively,” Ephrat said.  Ephrat emphasized the importance of using the internet, and especially recommended networking via LinkedIn (Nefesh B’Nefesh also has a LinkedIn aliyah board where it posts about 200 job listings a day gathered from over 2,000 employers).

Ze’ev Stub, founder of the popular Janglo community website for English-speakers in Israel, agreed that networking is key. His site features a powerful jobs “classifieds” section where employers and interested employees post daily about a wide range of positions across the country.  “The first rule in everything I’ve read or written about job searching is to network. Tell your friends what kind of job you are looking for, and keep your ears open,” Stub told the Jewish Press.

According to Ephrat, the second step is learning Hebrew.  She says, however, that while strong Hebrew skills are important for many jobs, conversational Hebrew is often sufficient.

Much of the work done in science and technology jobs is conducted in English, and “you don’t need especially strong Hebrew skills for it.  You need conversational Hebrew, to get the interview or sit in a staff meeting or converse with colleagues.”

Moreover, jobs in science, medicine, and technology are especially acclaimed in Israel, and expected to continue to increase.   “Israel is known as a high-tech capital of the world, high tech, biotech, clean tech, these are all fields that are cutting-edge in Israel and we are known for many, many cutting edge innovations, and there are many jobs for olim in this field, and it’s practical,” Ephrat said.

Indeed, the percentage of Israelis working in science and technology, and the amount spent on research and development in relation to gross domestic product (GDP), is among the highest in the world, with contributions in the fields of agriculture, genetics, electronics, computer science, optics, solar energy, and engineering.

Science and technology magazine Wired has called Tel Aviv the world’s second largest center for technology start-ups outside Silicon Valley, earning the metropolis the moniker “Silicon Wadi”.

Ephrat also said that the need for doctors and other medical professionals is high, and that anyone interested in converting their degrees for recognition in Israel would likely have an easy time finding a job.

She also noted that low-tech jobs, such as PR and marketing, are also in high demand, and that people who have no interest or skills in the high-tech sector should understand that they have a lot to offer – and gain.

Lastly, says Ephrat, it is important for job seekers to maintain flexibility.  “Flexibility as to realistic expectations what your first job is going to be, flexiblily as to how you’re going to adapt to the market, meaning using your skills in a way which is going to be most suitable to the Israeli market.  And possibility using hobbies and making them into money making ventures.  Using your creativity and using your chutzpah,” she said.

She noted with pride that many immigrants who made aliyah through Nefesh B’Nefesh have become entrepreneurs and returned to the organization to fill job openings.

“That’s exciting on so many different levels,” Ephrat said.   “It shows their integration into Israel, it shows their success – they’re looking to hire, and they’re coming back to us with a sense of loyalty with a sense of comradeship that we’re in this together, and they’re doing the sort of pay it forward – they have succeeded, and they want to help others succeed also.”

Successful Entrepreneurial Olim

Meyer Reich, who made aliyah in 2003, is just such a success story.  When he started a business in 2007 based on a platform to help businesses get their content noticed by search engines – RankAbove – he did not know that his aliyah from New York would earn Israel additional recognition in the field in which it is now becoming famous.

Wired magazine’s September issue features a list of 10 European cities that constitute important centers for high-tech activity, with each city on the list featuring 10 “hot” startups.  At the top of Tel Aviv’s list for 2012 – RankAbove.

“With regards to business/work life I was fortunate to come at a time that was not easy economically in Israel and was forced to improvise and make it work,” Reich told The Jewish Press.  “One thing led to another in terms of professional opportunities and I got to where I am today.”

“The advantage for entrepreneurs in Israel is tremendous since it’s a small country with fantastic welcoming people. Local entrepreneurs support each other and my contribution has been mainly through knowledge of the space that RankAbove has in our industry as well as my contacts in the US as an Oleh.”

In the end, the person who will succeed in Israel “is willing to take on challenges and willing to take on change, [a person] that’s driven by something that’s greater than knowing exactly what’s going to happen to them the next day,” Ephrat said.  “Really willing to take a risk to some extent and changing not only their environment but really changing most aspects of their lives.”

Yet, according to Janglo’s Stub, being an Anglo immigrant comes with advantages.  “Anglos come to the table with the attributes that Israelis are thirsty for – a natural sense for customer service, fairness, hard work, and politeness. In general, Israeli society wants itself to embrace those values more and more, even if it doesn’t always know how to,” Stub said.   “Israeli executives are secretly jealous of our politeness and willingness to work for the team, and respect that a lot.”

“The flipside of that is that nice Anglos can come off as vulnerable and naive to aggressive Israeli executives, and signs of weakness can open you up to abuse,” Stub said. “Like everything in life, you need a proper balance to succeed.”

While Stub touted his site as an excellent place to begin looking for the perfect job in Israel, he recommended taking it slow.  “Don’t go too crazy with your job hunt. Spend a few hours working on your job search every day, pray for divine assistance, and then let go,” Stub said.  “Now is your time to enjoy the treasures of Israel, while you aren’t cooped up behind a desk. If you can do that, not only will you enjoy your time more, but you’ll have a more “Israeli” mentality that will help you for the rest of your life in Israel.”

Despite his success, Reich’s praise of Israel extended far beyond his professional accomplishments.  “Truthfully, aliyah is one of the wisest moves my wife and I ever made,” Reich said.  “We feel that our children are being raised with a fantastic education and being given an opportunity for their future.”

Malkah Fleisher

Don’t Confuse Torah with Buddhism, My Friends

Sunday, July 22nd, 2012

This blog should be a permanent post on the homepage of The Jewish Press, and people should read it every day to remind themselves who they really are as Jews and what real Judaism is all about.

Don’t try to brush it off by saying, “What does Fishman know – a former screenwriter from Hollywood?”

Get ready to hear the Torah explained by the greatest Torah teacher of them all – Moshe Rabeinu, as we begin his review of the Torah in the Book of Devarim.

As we approach Tisha B’Av, it is indeed a fitting time to take a new/old look at the Torah and at its eternal truths, which are as true for our time as they were in the times of Moshe Rabeinu. That’s one of the basic principles of the Torah – it doesn’t change.

Sometimes people ask me. “Why do you waste your time trying to teach Diaspora Jews, over and over again, that the Torah is meant to be kept in the Land of Israel, rather than in Brooklyn, Boca, or Beverly Hills?”

The answer is because I love them. When you love somebody, you want the best for them. Even if you saw a total stranger about to fall off a cliff, you’d scream out to warn him – all the more so regarding someone you love.

Now, there are those who say, “What do you mean ‘fall off a cliff?’ Jewish life is great here in Brooklyn and Boca!”

It may seem great to them now, but at the end of their wonderful 120 years in Brooklyn and Boca, when they get to the gates of the real Gan Eden, they are going to be surprised to learn that they have to return back to Earth and live life all over again until they finish their tikun. It won’t help them if they’ve learned the whole Talmud ten times over. They’ll have to go back for another reincarnation. Why? Because they, we, the whole Nation of Israel, were thrown into exile because we transgressed the Torah when we lived in the Holy Land long ago. So our rectification, atonement, and tikun is to return to the Land of Israel and keep the Torah, there, in the Land of Israel, the way it was meant to be kept. Souls are reincarnated over and over again until they get things straight. The lucky ones, that is. For those who aren’t giving the chance, when the Resurrection of the Dead comes around, their bodies will have to roll all the painful way through underground tunnels from their Diaspora graveyards to the Holy Land, because, as the Zohar explains, the Resurrection of the Dead only takes place in Israel.

As we mentioned in a previous blog, our Sages inform us that the roots for the Destruction of the Temple and Jerusalem were planted long before the Destruction itself, on the night the Spies in the Wilderness returned from their ill-fated mission and convinced the Jewish People not to journey on to live in the Promised Land. That night was the 9th of Av. Their rejection of the Land of Israel was the rotten foundation which brought about our later National Destruction as an independent Nation in our own Land.

Afterwards, stripped of our own Jewish Land and Israeli Nationhood, we became minorities in foreign lands. Up until the Destruction, the religion of the Jewish People was the Torah, a combination of Divine laws and commandments that covered our individuals lives and the life of the Jewish Nation, laws concerning the king, the Sanhedrin, the army of Israel, the Beit HaMikdash, national sacrifices, and the agricultural laws unique to The Holy Land. But when we were cast out of our Land, the Torah lost its earthy component, and our physical Nationhood ceased. Instead of being the Divine Constitution of our Nation, the Torah was reduced to moral teachings and a handful of individual commandments, like the bones of a large salmon at the end of the Shabbos morning Kiddush. That’s when “Judaism” started. Stripped of our own Land, and Israelite monarchy, our own Jewish Nationhood was lost. Exiled in other peoples’ countries, we were left with the few ritual precepts that we could still perform, like putting on tefillin, keeping kosher, learning Torah, and observing the Sabbath. Instead of being our National Constitution, the Torah was truncated into being just a religion without its many fundamental National, Political, and Geopgraphic obligations and demands.

Tzvi Fishman

Israeli Cherries Show up in Iranian Market

Thursday, June 28th, 2012

The sweetness of Israel has seeped into the lives of unsuspecting Iranians, in the form of cherries grown in the Holy Land, according to a report from Ynet.

Iran’s Mehr News Agency reported that the head of the Iranian produce association admitted the succulent berries featured in the Iranian market place were indeed Israeli.  Sold for $2.42 per kilo, they cost less than half of what they can fetch in Israeli grocery stores.

In May 2011, Deputy Iranian Trade Minister Hamid Safdel denied reports that Israeli apples and oranges were being imported by Tehran, stating “any kind of trade with the Zionists is forbidden… Since the inception of the Islamic Republic in 1979 no Zionist goods have been granted an import permit, even if they arrive through a third party.”

Malkah Fleisher

The Jewish Press to Serialize Tevye in the Promised Land

Friday, June 15th, 2012

In keeping with The Jewish Press’ long tradition of bringing our readers the finest in Torah and Jewish Literature, along with news of the Jewish world, we are happy to announce the upcoming weekly serialization of Tzvi Fishman’s award-winning novel, Tevye in the Promised Land, which will begin this coming Monday.

“The Jews of Anatevka have three days to clear out of the area.”

Thus begins Tevye’s unforgettable journey to the Promised Land. Tzvi Fishman’s stirring family saga of the continuing adventures of Sholom Aleichem’s beloved character, Tevye the Milkman, immortalized in Fiddler in the Roof, takes up where the original stories left off.

At a crossroads at the outskirts of their Anatevka village, Tevye and his daughters meet up with a troupe of Zionists headed for Palestine. Just then, as if the Almighty is pointing the way, the Anatevka mailman comes running with a letter from Tevye’s long-lost daughter, Hodel. Her communist husband, Perchik, has been exiled from Russia, and they are living in the Holy Land on a non-religious kibbutz!

Clinging to the Torah and the tradition he loves, Tevye has to defend his daughters, not only against the modern lifestyle of the Zionist pioneers, but against malaria-infested swamps, deadly plagues, swarms of locusts, Turkish prisons, and Arab marauders. With steadfast determination and faith, Tevye perseveres through non-stop trials and hardships in rebuilding the Jewish Homeland. While trying to do his best as a father in marrying off his daughters to suitable husbands, Tevye himself finds a new bride to take the place of his deeply-missed Golda. Finally, as World War One threatens to destroy the Jewish settlements in Palestine, Tevye joins the first Jewish fighting brigade since the days of Bar Kochba and Rabbi Akiva. In a daring secret mission, he helps the British rout the Turks.

Now in this sweeping, literary adventure, Sholom Aleichem’s beloved milkman, Tevya from Anatevka, is back as he journeys with his daughters to the Holy Land to become a pioneer settler in the Land of Israel. With Golda, Tzeitl, Hodel, Hava, Ruchel, Bat Sheva, Perchik, and Hevedke Galagan at his side, and characters like Rabbi Kook, the Baron Rothchilds, and Zeev Jabotinsky appearing along the way, Tevye’s trials of faith continues in this dramatic and deeply inspiring saga – a novel your whole family will never forget.

“I thought I knew everything there was to know about Tevye, but reading Tevye in the Promised Land, I kept turning page after page after page….” Haim Topel, star of the movie, “Fiddler on the Roof”

Filled with laughter, heartbreak, and joy, Tevye in the Promised Land is the compelling story of a people’s rebirth, and a triumph of Jewish Faith.

Winner of the Israel Ministry of Education Award for Creativity and Jewish Culture.

Jewish Press News Briefs

What CBS Does Not Want to Hear

Monday, May 28th, 2012

A few weeks ago, veteran CBS News correspondent Bob Simon reported on the plight of Christians of the Holy Land who have been leaving the region for many years. In large part, Simon blamed the Christian exodus on Israel. But had Simon visited the Christian village of Taybeh in the West Bank, he would have heard “the other side to the story.”

This is a village whose population is 100% Christian. It is surrounded by a number of Muslim villages, some of which are extremely hostile.

The number of Christians living in Taybeh is estimated at less than 2,000. Residents say that another 15,000 Taybeh villagers live in the US, Canada and Europe, as well as South America. This is a village whose population is 100% Christian. It is surrounded by a number of Muslim villages, some of which are extremely hostile.

Over the past few years, the Christian residents of Taybeh have been living in constant fear of being attacked by their Muslim neighbors.

Such attacks, residents say, are not uncommon. They are more worried about intimidation and violence by Muslims than by Israel’s security barrier or a checkpoint. And the reason why many of them are leaving is because they no longer feel safe in a village that is surrounded by thousands of hostile Muslims who relate to Christians as infidels and traitors.

Just last week, scores of Muslim men from surrounding villages, some of the men armed with pistols and clubs, attacked Taybeh.

Fortunately, no one was harmed and no damage was caused to property.

Palestinian Authority policemen who rushed to the village had to shoot into the air to drive back the Muslim attackers and prevent a slaughter.

The attack, residents said, came after a Muslim man tried to force his way into a graduation ceremony at a girls’ school in Taybeh.

The man, who had not been invited to the ceremony, complained that Christians had assaulted him. Later that day, he and dozens of other Muslims stormed the village with the purpose of seeking revenge for the “humiliation.”

Were it not for the quick intervention of the Palestinian security forces, the attackers would have set fire to a number of houses and vehicles and probably killed or wounded some Christians.

Palestinian government and police officials later demanded that the Christians dispatch a delegation to the nearby Muslim villages to apologize for “insulting” the Muslim man. To avoid further escalation, the heads of Taybeh complied.

Also at the request of the Palestinian government, residents of the village were requested not to talk to the media about the incident.

Even some of the leaders of the Christian community in the West Bank urged the Taybeh residents not to make a big fuss about the incident.

This was not the first time that Taybeh had come under attack. In September 2005, hundreds of Muslim men went on rampage in the village, torching homes and cars, and destroying a statue of the Virgin Mary, after learning that a Muslim woman had been romantically involved with a Christian businessman from the village.

The 30-year-old woman had been killed by her family.

Western journalists based in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv have refused to report about the most recent attack on Taybeh, most probably because the story does not have an “anti-Israel angle.”

Like Bob Simon, most Western journalists prefer to see only one side of the story. All they want is to find stories that shed a negative light on Israel.

Simon, by the way, has probably never heard of Taybeh.

The next time anyone wants to learn about the true problems facing the Christians of the Holy Land, he or she should head to Taybeh and conduct off the record and private interviews with the villagers.

Originally published by Gatestone Institute http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/

Hisham Jarallah

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/what-cbs-does-not-want-to-hear/2012/05/28/

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