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August 27, 2016 / 23 Av, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Israel’

The Devil is in the Details

Thursday, August 25th, 2016

I was shocked to read last week in the Jerusalem Post that Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, the Chief Rabbi of Efrat, is supporting a radical and dangerous leftwing “peace plan,” and worse, this plan is being promoted to the youths of Efrat and other settlements.

“Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, the founder and chief rabbi of Efrat, has expressed support, at the behest of his 18-year-old grandson, Eden, also a resident of Efrat, who has taken a leading role in drumming up support among teenagers and young adults (or, [in the words of the plan’s chief promoter Eliaz] Cohen, “infecting them with the sense of hope that is expressed by this proposal).”

I met and spoke with Rabbi Riskin a few times this week and he wanted to emphasize that he insists he “never accepted the plan.”

Rabbi Riskin said he was approached and was presented with a germ of an idea for a peace initiative, but was not made aware of any clear formulation of the terms of the plan itself.

Rabbi Riskin said he liked the name of the plan, “Two States, One Homeland,” and the concept as it was presented to him: a plan that would allow for peaceful coexistence, and did not require anyone, Jew or Arab, to be expelled from their homes.

Rabbi Riskin is a big believer and proponent of peace and coexistence between Jews and Arabs. He puts his money where his mouth is, and is known to personally get involved in helping Arabs who live in the villages around the town of Efrat. Without a doubt, this Rabbi is one of the reasons there so little friction between Jewish Efrat and its Arab neighbors.

He gave the plan’s advocate some stipulations of what any plan must include if he were to support it:

1) The Israeli-Jewish areas where Jews lived must clearly constitute a strong majority of Jews who would be establishing a Jewish State.

2) Not only would Jews have rights of access – and of course shared ownership – to the Temple Mount,  but would also be permitted to build a synagogue on the Temple Mount.

3) There would be a complete cessation of anti-Jewish and anti-Israel propaganda in Palestinian media and publications.

4) The Arab areas must be demilitarized.

Alas, the good Rabbi was not thinking like a good radical leftist, and didn’t consider the far more dangerous provisos that any typical leftwing “peace plan” might include.

Nothing New at All

The Jerusalem Post article’s author, Andrew Friedman, claims “the plan is a departure from the classic two-states-for-two-peoples formula,” but it’s anything but that.

It instead takes elements from some of the worst proposals, ideas that even Peres, Beilin and Sarid refused to entertain, and makes them the cornerstones of the plan.

But that’s not what makes this plan dangerous. The danger lies in the fact that this peace plan’s proponents are targeting Jewish settlement youths and older settlers who truly believe that coexistence is possible, repackaged to make the plan sound benign.

Unlimited Arab Refugees Allowed to Overrun Israel

The “Two State, One Homeland” website clearly states (emphasis added):

Immigration and naturalization Both states will have the right to define their own laws of immigration and naturalization within its boundaries. The State of Palestine would be at liberty to naturalize Palestinian refugees as it sees fit, and the state of Israel will be at liberty to naturalize the Jews of the diaspora, as it sees fit.

The Open Land vision a. The two states would be committed to a vision of one land, within which the citizens of both states have the right to travel and live in all parts of the land;

If their intentions aren’t clear enough from the text above, let me explain it, a fundamental cornerstone of the plan allows for the new Palestinian State to freely invite in millions of “Palestinian Refugees”.

Two million Jordanian Arabs, half a million Lebanese Arabs, and half a million Syrian Arabs (for starters) will be offered citizenship and entry into the new Palestinian state, where they will then be granted free access to the entire country — including the state of Israel, or what’s left of it.

Rabbi Riskin was surprised to learn this was a cornerstone of the plan, and made it clear that he in no way supports such an idea.

Efrat to Become Part of the Palestinian State

Rabbi Riskin was actually shocked to learn that his own town of Efrat would be transferred over to the Palestinian State, and any of its Jewish residents who choose to remain might be allowed to obtain Palestinian State citizenship, or otherwise will be granted “permanent residency” status.

It’s implied in the plan that the Jewish residents remaining inside the Palestinian State will be disarmed.

While he believes there can be land concessions in exchange for peace, Rabbi Riskin said he could never accept a plan that transfers sovereignty of the settlement blocs, and of Jews, away from the State of Israel.

What Demilitarized State?

While the plan calls for some “demilitarized zones” and decommissioning “armed militias and unauthorized organizations,” the Palestinian State will be anything but demilitarized.

In the Q&A section, the authors make it clear that the State of Palestine will be a completely independent sovereign entity with its own independent security force – but not to worry, the plan’s Arab co-authors say “they have no interest in tanks and planes.”

With a plan like this, they won’t need them.

By the way, all the plan’s Arab co-authors “are senior Fatah officials, all of whom served long stints in Israeli jails for murder,” according to the Jerusalem Post article.

Don’t you feel safer now about their intentions?

Conclusions

I could go on, but I think I’ve made my point.

This plan is nothing more than a regurgitation of the worst of the radical left’s most dangerous ideas.

But the authors are actually playing a different game.

They are trying to get it support from the settlers and the settlement youth, apparently through obfuscation of the dangerous ideas in the plan and playing off the naiveté and idealism of those they approach.

One peace-loving settler, who asked not to be named, told me he was approached by this group to attend one of their parlor meetings. He quickly caught on to their con.

But what about all the idealistic youths who are being targeted and don’t yet have the sophistication to ask the right questions or realize they are being hoodwinked?

One can only hope that Friedman is correct when he writes, “Predictably, the proposal has yet to make headway in the settlement community where distrust of the Palestinians is trumped only by a religious commitment to the Whole Land of Israel.”

It’s also trumped by sheer common sense, shared by about 70% of Israel’s voters who have been leaning decisively to the right over the past ten years. It’s highly doubtful they would buy this plan either – once they know what it actually says.

Stephen Leavitt

Haifa University Predicts Arrival of Jellyfish in Israel Using Sea Temperature and Lunar Cycle

Thursday, August 25th, 2016

Large swarms of jellyfish reach Israel’s coast when the sea temperature ranges between 28.2 and 30 degrees Celsius and during the full moon, according to a new study from the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Management at Haifa University.

Jellyfish interfere with public systems and can injure and even kill swimmers. Jellyfish destroy fishing nets, poison or crush captured fish, and consume fish eggs and young fish. Jellyfish can clog cooling equipment, thus disabling power plants. Jellyfish caused a cascading blackout in the Philippines in 1999, and damaged the Diablo Canyon Power Plant in California in 2008. Clogging can also stop desalination plants and ship engines.

The Haifa University study reveals, for the first time, a link between sea temperature and the lunar cycle, and the arrival of swarms of Jellyfish along the coast of Israel. “It is possible that individual Jellyfish will also reach the coast under different conditions, but we discovered that the most significant swarms arrive under the above conditions, the proof being that in such periods the number of blockages of the Israel Electric Company’s cooling facilities with dead Jellyfish have been incomparably greater than during other periods of the year,” said Avi Algazi, an IEC system management unit employee who conducted the research.

A container full of Jellyfish / Photo Credit: Avi Algazi

A container full of Jellyfish / Photo Credit: Avi Algazi

The five IEC power stations located along Israel’s Mediterranean coast use seawater to cool the steam condensers which turn gaseous steam back to liquid water for reuse in the production of electricity. The stations use three levels of filtration to prevent the penetration of foreign bodies into the stations’ condensers, and there is where Jellyfish usually get caught.

Although Jellyfish have become frequent guests along the shores of Israel, and despite their obvious and immediate impact on humans, until now researchers were not certain as to the factors causing the massive arrival of swarms of Jellyfish one summer, while another summer sees fewer of these electric invaders.

Algazi conducted his study under the guidance of Prof. Abraham Haim, acting head of the Leon H. Charney School of Marine Sciences and professor emeritus at the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Management; Dr. Keren Or-Chen of the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Management; and Dr. Anat Geffen Glazer from the IEC. For his study, Algazi sought to examine a link between the arrival of Jellyfish swarms, as determined by operational events that have occurred at the Eshkol Power Station in Ashdod, and environmental factors such as wind direction and speed and seawater temperature.

The results showed that while the wind was not related to the appearance of giant swarms, 94% of Jellyfish swarms arrivals occurred after the middle of the year (approximately 176 days from the beginning of the year), during the second and third weeks of the Hebrew month, when the moon ranges between almost full to full, and when sea water temperature ranges between 28.2 to 30.0 degrees Celsius.

According to Algazi, Jellyfish also appeared when the moon was in other stages, or when the sea temperature was different from the range cited above. But such occurrences were infrequent, and were usually characterized by a small number of Jellyfish.

The research also revealed that although the blockage of the cooling system filters led to only a small decline in the production of electricity, they did add significantly to the cooling system’s operational costs. “The Jellyfish swarms arrive in June and July, when demand for electricity is high. Throughout those months, due to the high temperature of the sea, both available pumps are operated in order to achieve maximum utilization of the production unit. In addition, Jellyfish, unlike other large objects that get sucked into the cooling system, are not controllable; thus some block the moving filter after penetrating it, and prevent seawater from being pumped in. This causes the cooling pump to stop immediately,” Algazi explained.

JNi.Media

Are Jews who Refuse to Renounce Israel Being Excluded from “Progressive” Groups?

Thursday, August 25th, 2016

{Originally posted to the Gatestone Institute website}

Hard left activists are trying to exclude Jews who do not renounce Israel from “progressive” organizations.

Last year, Rabbi Susan Talve, a longtime activist on race issues in the St. Louis area was told that her advocacy for Israel was incompatible with the objectives of Black Lives Matter: “Solidarity from Ferguson to Palestine has become a central tenet of the movement” she was informed, because “Israeli and U.S. state oppression are deeply interconnected.” Similarly, a student who attended a Black Lives Matter rally at Northwestern University last year was told “you support Israel, so you cannot also support us.”

Recently, that seems to be the response of many of the hard left activists who dominate so-called “progressive” social justice movements.

Over the past several years, progressive Jews, and progressive supporters of Israel have had to come to terms with the reality that those who do not reject Israel and accept Boycott Divestment Sanctions (“BDS”) and its unique brand of bigotry are no longer welcome in some progressive circles. And while both Democratic and Republican parties have embraced the importance of the U.S. alliance with Israel, that dynamic is under threat more so than at any point in my lifetime.

The self-described “progressive wing” of the Democratic Party—represented by radical and often repressive organizations such as MoveOn, CodePink, Occupy Wall Street, and Black Lives Matter—has become openly opposed to the nation state of the Jewish people. Increasingly, these organizations demand that their members and “allies” renounce support for Israel and for Zionism in order to belong. Using the pretext of intersectionality—a pseudo-academic theory which insists that all social justice movements, except those supportive of Jews or Israel, are inexorably linked—anti-Israel activists have successfully made opposition to Israel and support for BDS a litmus test, especially for Jews, to belong to “progressive” movements focused on a wide range of issues.

Earlier this year, supporters of the LGBTQ community in Israel learned this lesson the hard way, when BDS activists together with a local Black Lives Matter chapter broke up a gay pride event, because it featured a presentation by an Israeli group. The protestors claimed that the event organizers had engaged in “pinkwashing” the Israeli occupation by showing solidarity with the Israeli LGBTQ community.

Members of the National Women’s Studies Association (“NWSA”) who also support Israel have been similarly excluded. Last year, that organization voted to endorse BDS, and as one pro-BDS activist explained: “What is significant about this particular resolution is the rationale; the fact that the resolution makes it explicit that BDS is a feminist issues… that one cannot call themselves a feminist… without taking a stand on what is happening in Palestine.” (Apparently, one can call oneself a feminist without taking a stand on Syria, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and other nations that grossly violate human rights).

This type of repressive ideological packaging has left progressive Jews, and liberal supporters of Israel in an increasingly uncomfortable position. On the one hand, they care deeply about causes such as women’s rights, criminal justice reform, income inequality, environmental protection and LGBT rights. On the other, they find themselves excluded from the groups that advance those very causes, because—while they are often critical of specific Israeli policies regarding settlements and the occupation—they refuse to renounce Israel as a national liberation movement of the Jewish People.

For hard left activists, this sort of nuanced position is impossible to accept. Their hostility towards Israel does not stem from any particular Israeli actions or policies. Even if Israel were to withdraw from the West Bank, destroy the security barrier, and recognize Hamas as a legitimate political organization, it would still not be enough. For these radicals, it is not what Israel does; it is about what Israel is: the nation state of the Jewish people—or to use hard-left terminology: an imperialistic, apartheid and genocidal, colonialist enterprise. The recently released Black Lives Matter policy platform offers a perfect example of such extreme rhetoric: it states that U.S. military and economic support for Israel makes American citizens complicit in “the genocide taking place against the Palestinian people.”

The fact that the BLM platform reads like it was lifted from a BDS screed is hardly coincidence: the two groups enjoy a longstanding relationship, and a prominent BDS activist apparently helped draft elements of the BLM declaration. But BLM is far from the only hard left organization that has been infected by BDS vitriol. In fact, BDS has pressured a wide range of progressive organizations into assuming an anti-Israel posture. The American Green Party, for example—which has become a haven for disaffected progressive activists this election cycle—recently came out in support of BDS and called for the US to end its support for “the Israeli apartheid regime”.

This trend has been particularly pronounced on college campuses, where a host of academic groups—most absurdly the Native American Scholars Association and the Americans Studies Association—have passed resolutions in favor of BDS. Many of these organizations have also endorsed the Palestinian Academic and Cultural Boycott (“PACBI”), which encourages participants to engage in McCarthyite blacklisting of Israeli academic institutions, as well as groups and individuals who promote “Brand Israel.” This category apparently includes artists like Matisyahu, and academics like me, as I found out last year when a prominent BDS advocate refused to debate me at the Oxford Student Union.

The PACBI also explicitly denounces “normalization projects“—programs or events aimed at Israeli-Palestinian reconciliation that do not sufficiently emphasize the colonialist nature of the state of Israel. These are exactly the types of initiatives widely supported and promoted by progressives who are critical of settlements, but remain supportive of Israel and of a two state solution. It is no coincidence that BDS has singled them out for special treatment. BDS campaigners want to force any supporters of Israel—no matter their stances on other political issues—outside of the progressive tent.

This effort has proved alarmingly successful thus far, but despite the pressure from the hard left, liberals and progressives who support Israel must continue to carve out a political space for themselves. In doing so, they can follow the example of the Jewish Community Relations Council, which dissociated itself “from the Black Lives Matter platform and those BLM organizations that embrace[d] it” but committed itself “unequivocally to the pursuit of justice for all Americans, and to working together with our friends and neighbors in the African-American community, whose experience of the criminal justice system is, far too often, determined by race.” Such efforts are critical to ensure that it is not supporters of Israel but rather those repressive bigots who falsely claim the mantle of progressivism and who subscribe to the identity politics practiced by BDS that are delegitimated by mainstream progressives and liberals.

Alan M. Dershowitz

10 PA Police Vehicles Storm into Eastern Jerusalem in Pursuit of Suspects

Wednesday, August 24th, 2016

Early on Monday morning this week, a convoy of eight PA military vehicles and two vehicles with Israeli plates traveled into eastern Jerusalem, which is under Israeli sovereignty, Israel’s Channel 2 News reported Tuesday night. The convoy included about 50 uniformed PA security personnel, members of Unit 101–the shock troop founded by the late Chairman Yasser Arafat, and the PA Preventive Security.

The convoy’s mission was to detain four PA Arabs suspected of murdering two PA policemen a week ago in the Shechem area. The four suspects were able to evade the local security forces and find shelter in heavily Arab eastern Jerusalem. The PA security force pursued them, weapons drawn, inside Israeli territory.

PA forces entered the Jerusalem municipality’s Arab neighborhoods of Ras Shehadeh, Ras Hamis, and the Shuafat refugee camp. The forces received no approval for their actions, nor did they alert Israeli authorities, or attempt to coordinate the chase.

This highly irregular even took place against the background of the sizzling violence in the PA city of Shechem, where confrontations between an estimated 100 gang members and police have resulted in two policemen shot dead, two wanted men beaten to death by police, and a senior militia leader gone rogue being lynched by police in his jail cell.

According to Arab media reports, many of the militias that sprang into existence during the 2000 second Intifada have become criminal gangs and have been fighting PA police over turf in several cities.

JNi.Media

Almost Back to School

Wednesday, August 24th, 2016

Israeli children start to stock up on school supplies ahead of the beginning of the school year in September.

School supplies

Photo of the Day

Outreach Pioneer And Longtime Jewish Press Columnist Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis Passes Away

Wednesday, August 24th, 2016

For the statement by the Rebbetzin’s family, please click here.

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis, pioneer in Jewish outreach, founder of the international Hineni organization, and Jewish Press columnist for more than fifty years, passed away Tuesday at the age of 80.

Rebbetzin Jungreis was born in Szeged, Hungary, in 1936, where her father, HaRav Avraham HaLevi Jungreis, was chief rabbi.

In 1947, after going through the horrors of the concentration camps and the Holocaust, the Jungreis family arrived in Brooklyn, where the Rebbetzin married a distant cousin, HaRav Meshulem HaLevi Jungreis. The couple settled in North Woodmere, New York, where Rabbi Jungreis was the spiritual leader of Ohr HaTorah.

The Rebbetzin and her husband embarked on a lifelong mission devoted to combating the ravages of secularization and assimilation in the United States.

It was in the early 1960s that Jewish Press publisher Rabbi Sholom Klass and his wife, Irene, met the Jungreises at the old Pioneer Country Club in upstate New York. Impressed by the Rebbetzin’s dynamic style and passion for helping others, the Klasses suggested she write a weekly column for the paper.

The column, Rebbetzin’s Viewpoint, soon debuted and became the longest running column in the history of The Jewish Press. Letters come to the Rebbetzin from readers all over the world who hoped to see their questions answered in the paper.

“I wanted the word ‘rebbetzin’ to be part of the column’s title,” Rebbetzin Jungreis said, “because I wanted young women to realize what a noble position it is to be a rabbi’s wife.”

In an interview last year with Naomi Klass Mauer, Rabbi Klass’s daughter and the current publisher of The Jewish Press, the Rebbetzin described her connection to the paper as a deeply personal one:

“Despite many offers from other periodicals,” she said, ‘I have only to picture your holy father and your very special mother, whom I loved, to know why I continue to write for The Jewish Press.”

Rebbetzin Jungreis’s interest in outreach – kiruv – went back to her girlhood years.

“The idea of bringing people back to Yiddishkeit was inside me from my childhood,” she told Mrs. Mauer. “It really started back when my father would encourage me to bring in the neighborhood children. But the older I got the more I realized how great the mission really was. I was asked to speak at a Young Israel collegiate convention. I looked out at the audience and told myself, ‘If I were to have an organization, I would speak to reach people, to wake people up. I would even speak in Madison Square Garden to students and young people. I would call it Rock and Soul, to wake up their souls.’

“From there the idea grew. My father was always encouraging me to reach out and before I officially started Hineni I asked him to take me to all the rabbanim for a berachah. He took me to chassidic rebbes and yeshivish rabbis, to Rav Moshe Feinstein and Rav Yosef Soloveitchik, among others, and all gave me their blessings.”

Shortly after Hineni was launched in 1973, the Rebbetzin’s vision of speaking at Madison Square Garden became a reality, and Hineni became a worldwide movement, leading an uncountable number of Jews to Jewish observance.

Traveling the world to spread the message of Torah, the Rebbetzin somehow found the time to author several best-selling books including The Jewish Soul on Fire, The Committed Life, The Committed Marriage and Life Is a Test.

She was recognized by numerous world leaders for her work. She shared a mutual admiration with President George W. Bush – not only was she asked to deliver a benediction at the 2004 Republican National convention, President Bush also appointed her to serve on the honorary delegation that accompanied him to Jerusalem for the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the state of Israel in May 2008.

The Rebbetzin was not one to let advancing age prevent her from pursuing her outreach work, even a broken hip and a torn meniscus. Through her later years she lived life at a pace that would have exhausted someone half her age.

Asked about her vitality, she credited – what else? – Jewish Scripture.

“I take my inspiration from Tehillim,” she told Naomi Klass Mauer. “The psalm for the Sabbath day – Psalm 92, verses15-16: ‘They are vibrant and fresh even in ripe old age and proclaim how our Lord is right, His word inerrant.’ ”

 

Rebbetzin Jungreis is survived by her children Chaya Sora Gertzulin, Rabbi Yisroel Jungreis, Slovi Wolff, and Rabbi Osher Jungreis, and by many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. (The Rebbetzin’s husband passed away in 1996.)

The levayah took place Wednesday morning at the Agudath Israel of Long Island in Far Rockaway.

Jason Maoz

Another Cool Israeli Life Saving Medical Invention

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2016

A high-tech team in Israel says it’s developed a new type of gauze that can stop bleeding in minutes. Researchers say when the gauze touches blood, it changes its molecular structure into a gel which adheres to and puts pressure on the wound. They say the gauze can absorb 25 times its own weight.

Video of the Day

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/multimedia/video-picks/another-cool-israeli-life-saving-medical-invention/2016/08/23/

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