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May 6, 2016 / 28 Nisan, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Israel’

Why Some Jews Are Afraid of an ‘Inner-Nazi’

Thursday, May 5th, 2016

What is the fundamental lesson of the Holocaust for Israel and the Jewish people? There is a divergence of opinion:

Many Liberal Jews believe the main lesson of the Six Million is that we Jews should never do to others what was done to us.

We know first hand what the horrors of hatred look like, and therefore, we must distance ourselves in every possible way from behaviors which are like those of the Nazis.

This way of thinking posits that every mortal person has the potential to be a Nazi and when given power, every human and even every Jew can become abusive. But after the Holocaust, we Jews were tasked with being more ethical and virtuous than the barbarians. We took it upon ourselves to be the archetype of restraint, lest our very human Inner-Nazi be unleashed and we end up mirroring the tormentors we escaped.

I call the folks in this camp Fear-of-Inner-Nazi Jews.

The other perspective is very different.

It posits that the main lesson of the Holocaust is that Jews, having survived the hell of the Holocaust as a people, should Never Again allow anyone to do that to us again. The Zionist revolution effectuated a return to the land, to agriculture, a revival of Hebrew, and, so meaningfully, a resurrection of Jewish physical courage and military strength. Israel’s ability to put up a fight, and even to be a global leader in defense techniques and technology, is, for subscribers of this outlook, a source of pride.

This group I call the Never-Again Jews.

But not only are these outlooks divergent, they also clash.

For those in the Fear-of-Inner-Nazi faction, the Jewish State, when acting with force, can come dangerously close to being like the dreaded Nazis.

The latest trigger of this phobia took place when a soldier in Hebron shot a downed terrorist. The Inner-Nazi group immediately sensed danger: Israel was slipping morally, carrying out extrajudicial killings, vigilantism, field execution – the Inner Nazi was coming out!

For those of the Never-Again viewpoint, the Hebron terrorist came to kill Jews, like a classic Nazi, and ended up dead. Was it OK to shoot the terrorist when he was down? Maybe yes, maybe no – but that’s not the big issue. The Jewish people are at war with a global Jihad which seeks to destroy Israel and to kill Jews for being Jews. The bottom line is that Israel must, first and foremost, protect Jews, and be the Never Again country which prevents the Nazis of today from harming one hair on one Jewish head.

However, for Never-Againers it’s not only that Jews have the right to kill Nazis or Jihadists because all is fair in war.

For many of us, the very assertion that Jews have an Inner-Nazi and the given the ‘right circumstances’ we will herd people into gas chambers is preposterous! The father of Nazism, Adolf Hitler, hunted Jews precisely because we were the embodiment of morality, the “conscience of the world” which he wanted to wipe out. Anyone who really knows the Jewish and Israeli people knows that we have never been in danger of becoming Nazis. To the contrary (and contrary to global media), we are a source of light, liberty, and progress, regionally and globally.

Yet, the Fear-of-Inner-Nazi Jews are not the only ones who subscribe to the idea that Israel’s actions, unchecked, can easily approach Nazism.

Anti-Israel propaganda harps endlessly upon those Liberal Jewish fears by insinuating a nexus between Israel’s actions and Nazism.

Once the accusation has been lobbied, Fear-of-Inner Nazi Jews face a dilemma: If they believe the propaganda, they become anti-Israel. If they don’t, they bend over backwards to prove that Israel is not like that all, that we are a moral people with a moral army, and we have the Inner-Nazi in check. For Inner-Nazi Jews, the only solution is to throw the soldier who shot the downed terrorist in Hebron into the slammer and throw away the key after making a public example of him! Shackle the Inner-Nazi and hope the world sees the truth of our goodness!

In the meantime, the real Nazis of our time – the Hamas, ISIS, and Hezbollah – arm themselves and prepare for war.

We know they are digging tunnels and we know they are building up their supplies of rockets with the intent of wiping Israel out. But we don’t hit them hard and we don’t strike with fury – we are chained down, stymied by our fear of unleashing the Inner-Nazi or by the fear of being accused of having one. We can only strike when we are under full attack, and then retaliate with only a measured response. A roof-knocking rocket, a kinder-gentler moral army, which makes sure to never fully win, and certainly would never use the word “vanquish” at the end of the war. Don’t crush the enemy, be merciful to the weak, even though moments ago he tried to kill you – Remember the Holocaust!

Some people say that we Jews talk too much about the Holocaust. I don’t think so at all. I think we don’t talk about it enough.

We should take a minute every day to view photographs of dead-Jew-piles being tractored or burned. Then, after watching that, we should make a commitment each day to Never Again and act upon it by striking mercilessly at the Jihad and sending a clear signal – we have zero tolerance for Jewish injury, we have zero tolerance for Neo-Nazism. Now that we have the power to stop them, we should Never Again allow for the 6,000,001 victim. This should our fundamental take-home lesson from the Holocaust.

And let’s take it one step further: instead of fearing the Inner-Nazi who will never appear, imagine if we would embrace our inner Never Again Jewishness so that we would not only protect our own, rather, we would use our newly found strength in a new role. Liberator. Israel – post-Holocaust empowered Jews – would go out and fight today’s Nazism wherever it is, and help the world defeat the very same forces that murdered Six Million when we were weak.

Yishai Fleisher

Milton Friedman, Israel, And The Socialist Jewish Paradox

Thursday, May 5th, 2016

The economic theories of Milton Friedman (1912-2006), “the Father of Economic Freedom,” have had broad national and international impact, including a powerful influence on the economic policies of, among others, Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, and Menachem Begin.

Considered by many to be the most important conservative American economist, Friedman became the leader of the so-called Chicago School of Economics, which emphasized the importance of the quantity of money as an instrument of government policy and as a determinant of business cycles and inflation.

Friedman, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics (1976) and the Presidential Medal of Freedom (1988), rejected the broadly embraced theories of British economist John Maynard Keynes, who maintained that only through heavy government spending could a nation’s economy prosper. Friedman firmly believed the private sector bears the mantle of responsibility for a flourishing economy and, in that regard, he coined the famous phrase “There is no such thing as a free lunch.” Another of his more famous aphorisms is “A society that puts equality before freedom will get neither.”

Friedman’s parents, Sára Ethel (née Landau) and Jenő Saul, were Jewish immigrants from Beregszász in Carpathian Ruthenia, Hungary, who both worked as dry goods merchants. As a child, Milton had very strong ties to Judaism, studying in a Hebrew school and, in his words, “obeying every Orthodox religious requirement.” After a stint of extreme piety during the years before his bar mitzvah, he lost his faith and ceased Jewish practice, but he still strongly identified as a Jew and took great pride in both Jewish tradition and his Jewish heritage. After his father’s death he faithfully recited Kaddish for the full eleven months, even traveling to neighboring communities to find a minyan. And he was a devout Zionist who strongly identified with Israel and expressed pride in its achievements.

Friedman first became interested in Israel when, at the invitation of the Israeli government, he visited the Jewish state for the first of many times (1962). After his visit to Israel in 1977, when he was awarded an honorary degree by the Hebrew University in Jerusalem shortly after the Likud came to power, a bizarre fabrication was broadly disseminated to the effect that he had come to Israel to serve as Begin’s chief economic adviser and that, as such, he was uniquely responsible for Israel’s roaring inflation. During his final trip to Israel (1990), at the beginning of the opening of the Iron Curtain which led to the massive wave of Jewish immigration from the former Soviet Union, he actively participated in a conference on economic policy by the Israel Center for Social and Economic Progress, which focused on developing suitable absorption policies and the provision of employment and housing to the new olim.

Friedman, who had a special interest in the role of Jews in society, was mystified by the magnetic pull that socialism seemed to have for so many Jewish intellectuals, particularly since socialism had historically been antagonistic to Judaism and because it was capitalism that had enabled Jews to survive the Dark Ages and to thrive and prosper during and after the Enlightenment.

He was particularly disturbed by the obstinacy of Israeli Jews and their leaders, who continued to support and promote the very socialist economic policies that were causing them the greatest harm while rejecting the adoption of free-market reforms which, given Jewish creativity and work ethic, would send Israel’s economy booming. In a 1972 address, he famously presented the essential socialist Jewish paradox this way:

Here are two propositions. Each of them are validated by evidence, yet they are both incompatible one with the other. The first proposition is that “there are few peoples if any in the world who owe so great a debt to free enterprise and competitive capitalism as the Jews.” The second proposition is that “there are few peoples or any in the world who have done so much to undermine the intellectual foundation of capitalism as the Jews.” How do we reconcile these two contradictory propositions?

 

Saul Jay Singer

Shin Bet Reveals: Arrested Hamas Member Gave Israel Information on Tunnels

Thursday, May 5th, 2016

By Michael Bachner/TPS

A Hamas terrorist arrested by Israel at the beginning of April has revealed a significant amount of information on the efforts by Hamas to build tunnels into Israel, the Shin Bet released for publication on Thursday. This comes shortly after a second Hamas ‘terror tunnel’ was discovered by the IDF in the last few weeks.

The Hamas military wing member told interrogators many details about the routes of the tunnels in the northern Gaza Strip, about Hamas’s digging techniques, about the use of private and public buildings from which the tunnels originate, and about the technologies and materials used in the process.

Mahmoud Atauna, a 29-year-old resident of Jabaliya in Gaza, has been a member of the Hamas military wing for the last decade. He was arrested about a month ago after he crossed into Israel carrying two knives, the Shin Bet said in a statement. Atauna said under questioning that he had intended to stab and kill Israeli civilians or security force members inside Israel.

Atauna also revealed to his interrogators that he belongs to the Al-Qassam Brigades, part of Hamas’s military wing, and that he was involved in various Hamas operations such as the placing of explosives directed against IDF forces. However, the most valuable information he gave concerned his experience in the terror organization’s tunnel project in recent years.

According to the Shin Bet, Atauna pinpointed many digging focus points, including tunnel shafts meant to be used by Hamas elite units to conduct attacks against Israel. He said that the organization has constructed a branched network of tunnels in the Gaza Strip, which is used to transfer combatants and weapons. The tunnels are equipped with rooms in which the militants can rest, shower, and eat.

Atauna also revealed many names of militants who were in his Hamas unit and provided information on how Hamas uses private homes to store weapons. Many weapons were even kept in Atauna’s own home, including bombs, rifles and suicide belts that he was supposed to hand out in the case of a battle.

According to the Shin Bet, Atauna is just one of many Hamas combatants being interrogated and currently revealing inside information on the organization’s tunnel project. An indictment has been filed against him at the Beer Sheva District Court.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Israel Stops and Remembers

Thursday, May 5th, 2016
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Shiloh Musings: Holocaust Memorial Day, When Even Mourners May Watch TV in Israel

Thursday, May 5th, 2016

One of the big adjustments for me as a mourner of a parent, a status that lasts a Jewish Year, is that I’m not permitted to watch my usual entertainment on the television, or my favorite movies–mostly old musicals– on DVD. I’ve been listening to a lot of shiurim, Torah and Tanach (Bible) classes from the computer, mostly Matan where I study, and I have no problem with newscasts.

In Israel there are two days a year when all the television programs suit the restrictions of mourners. As according to Jewish Tradition, the day begins at night, so last night on the Eve of Holocaust Memorial Day there were all sorts of television shows about the Holocaust, survivors etc. One I found particularly annoying and political; it was on Israel’s Chanel 1. Their news editors do their best to turn even the weather into complaints about the government, and they had an “expose`” of sorts emphasizing the difficulties many elderly “survivors” have financially and how some sort of fall between the bureaucratic cracks, because they don’t fit the clerical and/or legal definition of “survivor.”  They may have been too young or escaped too early or stayed in Europe too long to get German reparations which helped so many people financially. And now they are decades past retirement age, and like many elderly, have serious financial problems which they hope the Israeli Government can solve.  I changed channels.

I caught another program with interviews and films of survivors returning to their “former homes/countries” where they had suffered. There was also a Holocaust movie with Daniel Craig that I watched a bit until they had a crazy scene that meshed together Jewish wedding music and a battle.

Everyday fewer and fewer survivors, witnesses to the atrocities of the Nazis and too many others remain alive and/or capable of telling their tales. Yad Vashem and the Steven Spielberg Film and Video Archive are rushing to film and tape everyone who can possibly tell a first person tale of the Holocaust and survival. A friend of mine and her siblings recently accompanied their father back to Europe on a trip filmed by one of these groups.

The Holocaust was a very black and evil time in World History, and we shouldn’t forget that it happened in advanced and cultured Europe. That’s a message we must take to heart, and that is why I consider the terrible anti-Israel/antisemitic rhetoric coming out of even the most respected, academic and “open/Liberal” universities all over the world so troubling. The distortions in their thinking, teaching and ideologies are even more dangerous than  Hitler’s rantings and Mein Kampf.

I see myself as a realist, a pragmatist. Do you agree?

Batya Medad

A Message from a Soldier in Israel

Thursday, May 5th, 2016

My son Naff, a combat engineer in the ‪‎IDF‬, just wrote this and sent it to me, on the occasion of ‪‎Yom HaShoah‬ – Holocaust Remembrance Day:

Today is a day where we remember. A day where we look back on one of the darkest periods of our history. A day that, as I get older and understand more and more, is not just about mourning what we lost, for me today is about looking back on the horrors of the past to remember where we were and at the same time look at how far we’ve come.

We have risen from the ashes of a broken world and we didn’t fix it. Fixing it wasn’t good enough – we created a new one, a better one, one where I can serve, for the first time in two thousand years, in a Jewish army, and commit myself to the sentence that everyone uses today “never again”.

If I could go back in time and visit my great-great-grandfather in the camps and tell him “Sabba, I’m your great-great-grandson and I live in the land of Israel, but not only do I live in the land but I also voted last year for a Jewish government and on top of that I serve in the first Jewish army in two thousand years.” What would he say? Would he believe me? Probably not, that’s why I see today as a day to measure how far we’ve come as a nation to show the world you can kick me down but I will get up over and over again.

Have a meaningful day, people, and I want to thank all the people who don’t just use the words “never again” one day a year to post to Facebook because it’s what’s done. I want to thank the people who stand behind those words every day even when it gets hard. It’s because of people like that that we’ve gotten this far.

 עם ישראל חי

{Written by Naff’s mother, HaDassah Sabo Milner, shared by blog site, A Soldier’s Mother}

Guest Author

Yet Another Hamas Terror Tunnel Opening in Israel Discovered

Thursday, May 5th, 2016

IDF operations in recent days along and inside the southern Gaza Strip have revealed yet another tunnel, quite spacious, that had been dug by Hamas and leads into Israel, the IDF Spokesperson’s office said in a statement Thursday.

According to the statement, the discovery of the tunnel was the result of extensive, high quality prevention and protection efforts of many different forces led by the IDF Southern Command and the Gaza Division since the end of the 2014 Israel–Gaza war, also known as Operation Protective Edge. The efforts are undertaken on a daily basis to guarantee the peace and safety of Israeli civilians in border communities.

According to the IDF, the tunnel was dug by Hamas in order to carry out terror attacks inside Israel, against Israeli civilians and soldiers.

The process of locating the tunnel was interrupted for two consecutive days by Hamas gunmen who shot at IDF forces in attempt to slow down and frustrate the search effort. The Israeli Air Force last night responded by attacking several Hamas terror targets.

The IDF views the Hamas terror activities as an affront to Israeli sovereignty and a threat against Israeli citizens, and assigns complete responsibility for these violations to Hamas. The IDF plans to proceed with its program of discovering and destroying Hamas tunnels.

David Israel

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/yet-another-hamas-terror-tunnel-opening-in-israel-discovered/2016/05/05/

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