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April 18, 2015 / 29 Nisan, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Israeli Jews’

Palestinian Sour Grapes at Israeli Re-election of Netanyahu Government

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015

Palestinian Authority leaders bitterly issued a statement that smacked of sour grapes Wednesday, denouncing Israeli voters for choosing to re-elect Likud leader Binyamin Netanyahu as prime minister on Tuesday.

Senior official Yasser Abed Rabbo, speaking for the PA’s parent organization, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), said, “Israel chose the path of racism, occupation and settlement building, and did not choose the path of negotiations and partnership between us.”

Entirely forgotten were the 10 months in which hundreds of thousands of Israelis could not repair even a balcony if they lived in Judea, Samaria or areas of Jerusalem desired by the PA, due to a construction freeze imposed by Netanyahu in deference to a PA precondition for talks.

Nabil Abu Rudeineh, spokesperson for PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, told the Ma’an news agency the PA is not concerned with who forms the new government, but rather with whether that government recognizes the PA’s right to an independent sovereign state – with part of Jerusalem serving as its capital.

Rudeineh said the PA would continue to work with any Israeli government that recognizes “legitimate international resolutions” but said if Israel is not committed to a two-state solution, there would be no chance to resume the peace process.

Former chief PA negotiator Saeb Erekat said in a statement that the Likud victory reflected “the success of a campaign based on settlements, racism, apartheid and the denial of the fundamental rights of the Palestinian people.”

However, a Gulf Arab official who declined to be named told Reuters that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu actually owed his victory at the polls to Israeli concerns over security, particularly with regard to worries about Iran.

“With Iran emerging again, it was highly expected that Netanyahu would win,” the official said. “He’s a man who believes strongly in protecting his people, and this is what Israel wants now.”

Iran, however, believes there is “no difference” between Israel’s political parties. Foreign Ministry spokesperson Marizeh Afkham was quoted by the Mehr news agency Wednesday in Tehran as saying, “For us there is no difference between the Zionist regime’s political parties. They are all aggressors in nature.”

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry declined to comment on the results of the election when asked by reporters during a break in talks with Iran in Lausanne, Switzerland. State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said Tuesday night, however, the U.S. was “looking forward to working with the next Israeli government.”

Late Tuesday night White House press secretary Josh Earnest also said that President Barack Obama was “confident that strong U.S.-Israeli ties will endure far beyond the Israeli elections regardless of the victor.”

With 50% of the Votes Counted, the Likud Pulls Ahead

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015

With 50% of the votes counted, the Likud has jumped ahead of the Zionist Union by a whopping 6 seats to around 29 seats.

This may be a temporary blip, and the difference will probably decrease once the remaining votes are counted.

Eli Yishai’s Yachad party is slowly rising, but it isn’t clear yet if he will reach the minimum threshold.

The ‘Demographic Time Bomb’ Debunked Again

Tuesday, October 15th, 2013

Originally published at The Ettinger Report.

The following are excerpts from an essay by Yakov Faitelson, the lead expert on the Jewish-Arab demographic balance:

“Since 2003, the annual population growth rate [birth, mortality and migration rates] of Israeli Jews has grown steadily from 1.48 percent to 1.81 percent while the aggregated annual increase of the Arab Middle Eastern countries has decreased to 1.45 percent….

“While the natural increase rate [birth and mortality rates] for Israeli Jews rose by 41.6 percent from 1995 to 2012, the Arab natural increase rate declined during the same time by 30.6 percent – due to rapid modernity [e.g. urbanization, family planning, expanded education among women, higher wedding-age] with the rate in 2012 at its lowest level since 1955.

“For example, in 2000, the number of Israeli Arabs born was 39,579 (including 34,667 Muslims). By 2012, the number of Israeli Arab newborns was 40,080 (35,730 Muslim). The number of children born within the Jewish population rose from 90,900 in 2000 to 125,492 in 2012 and in the expanded Jewish population [including Olim from the USSR who are not yet recognized as Jews by the Rabbinate] from 94,327 to 130,460 in 2012. Thus the share of babies born to Jews increased from 67.9 percent in 2000 to 73.6 percent and of expanded Jewish population from 70.4 percent to 76.5 percent in 2012 [The trend persists during 2013]….

“From the beginning of the twenty-first century the TFR [number of births per woman] of Israeli Muslims decreased considerably, from 4.7 in 2000 to 3.5 children per woman in 2011. The TFR of all Arabs decreased still further to 3.3 children per woman, very close to the 3.09 for Jewish women born in Israel….

The shape of Israel’s age-pyramid clearly shows that the younger the age, the more the number of Jews increases while the number of Arabs either decreases or remains stable. During the last ten years, the share of Israeli Jews versus Israeli Arabs within the overall young Israeli population has increased, indicating that the Jewish population has started to become younger while the Israeli Arab population is getting older. With existing life expectancies factored in, the natural aging of Israeli Arab ‘baby boomers’ will significantly increase their mortality level over the next two decades, causing an accelerating decline in the overall Arab natural increase rate.

Continuation of current trends will result in a convergence in 2025 of the natural increase rate [which does not include migration!] for Jews and Arabs in Israel. For the first time in the modern history of the Land of Israel, the Arab natural increase rate may not be higher but rather equal to the natural increase rate of the Jews. Given the possibility of continued Jewish immigration, one can expect an intensification of the steadily rising Jewish share of the total population of the Land of Israel.

The decline in the Palestinian natural increase rate in Judea and Samaria [caused by modernity] is accelerating even faster than among Israeli Arabs. Combined with a massive emigration of Arab youth from these territories, especially from Judea and Samaria, the size of the younger age group will be reduced and coincidentally, the elderly age cohort of the population will increase, resulting in an increased mortality rate in the near future. Following these trends, the natural increase rate of Arabs in Judea and Samaria will be decreasing even faster.

“Any proper analysis of demographic developments in the Land of Israel must take into account the critical role of the migration balance. Aliya—Jewish repatriation—has been a significant factor in narrowing the difference between Jewish and Arab natural increase rates. Israel may experience a substantial Aliya wave into the near future, including an influx of skilled professionals, a welcome addition to Israel’s fast developing economy. The recent discoveries of huge gas deposits create an enormous momentum for the Israeli economy that is bound to change the geopolitical situation in the Middle East.

Many Israeli expatriates may also seriously consider returning to the Jewish state. During the years 2000-10, the number of returning Israelis was 21.3 percent higher than the previous decade. These developments would lead to a further increase in the annual growth of the Jewish population.

A Government Update With Jeremy Man Saltan

Friday, May 24th, 2013

(((CLICK BELOW TO HEAR AUDIO)))

Yishai is joined by Jeremy Man Saltan to get an exclusive political analysis in English. They talk about Prime Minister Netanyahu’s budget & spending in Israel, Minister Yair Lapid’s approach to Finance, and finish with Minister Naftali Bennett’s approach to expanding Israel’s already hot Commerce engine.

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher
Yishai on Facebook

Western Wall Rabbi ‘Can Live’ with Non-Orthodox Kotel Site

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013

The rabbi of the Western Wall said he “can live with” a plan presented by Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky for a permanent prayer section at the Western Wall where women can organize minyans, even one for men and women together.

Sharansky briefed Rabbi of the Western Wall and the Holy Sites of Israel Shmuel Rabinowitz on the plan before he left Israel to present the plan to Jewish leaders in New York on Tuesday.

“This re-division of the plaza does not match my worldview, as I believe that there should be one site of prayer according to the place’s customs, but we can live with this solution,” Rabinowitz told the Israeli daily Yediot Acharonot Wednesday.

The proposal, reported here yesterday, would turn an archaeological site adjacent to the main Western Wall plaza into a permanent place of what proponents call “egalitarian” worship.

A women’s minyan now already has been allowed under a Supreme Court ruling that sets certain times, such as Rosh Chodesh, for the women, who can pray on the women’s side of the main section of the Western Wall whenever they want as individuals.

Under the proposal, the plaza would be expanded to encompass the additional prayer space, which is at the southern part of the Western Wall.

New Poll: Israeli Arabs, Jews Pessimistic About Prospects for Peace

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

A majority of Israeli Jews and Arabs are pessimistic about the likelihood of resolving the Israeli-Palestinian in the coming years, according to the results of the Peace Index poll, conducted by the Israel Democracy Institute in conjunction with Tel Aviv University.

The survey, conducted from April 30th – May 2nd polled a representative sample of 599 Israeli Jews and Arabs, on a variety of questions about the peace process, national identity, and government efficacy. Jewish and Arab responses to the question “do you believe or not believe that negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority will lead to peace between Israel and the Palestinians in the coming years” mirrored each other, with two-thirds of both demographics responding in the negative. As to the question of whether they believe “that there is a real chance to resolve the conflict in accordance with the ‘two states for two peoples’ formula in the next ten years,” the attitudes of the two demographics again coalesced, with 58% of Jews and 61% of Arabs expressing at least a moderate level of skepticism.

Israeli Jews and Arabs differ sharply on their views of government priorities, for while “reaching a peace agreement with the Palestinians” registered as the most important priority for 34% of Arab respondents, the same priority was ranked third among Jewish respondents (15%), behind “reducing socioeconomic gaps” (41%) and “creating affordable housing” (16%). “Reducing the socioeconomic gap”, a longstanding issue in the Arab sector, registered as the most important priority for 28% of Arabs polled.

The greatest contrast between the two sectors was reflected in their answers to the question of whether ‘Hatikvah’ is suitable “to serve as the national anthem of the State of Israel, in which approximately one-fifth of citizens are Arabs”: 80% of Jews said that it was moderately or very suitable, while 90% of Arab respondents said that it was moderately or completely unsuitable.

In terms of evaluating the state of Israel’s success in a variety of fields, 85% of Israeli Jews said that Israel was moderately or very successful in ensuring the state’s existence militarily, versus 75% of Israeli Arabs; and 63% of Israeli Jews said that Israel was moderately or very successful in maintaining the democratic regime, versus 42% of Israeli Arabs. Interestingly, whereas only 18% of Israeli jews said that Israel was moderately or very successful in promoting peace with the Arab world, 45% of Israeli Arabs felt the same way.

Here’s My Problem with the Dalai Lama

Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

That’s right.  I’m calling out the Dalai Lama.

I have worked with the Tibetan diaspora, met privately with the Dalai Lama (see the picture, above), he grasped my hands and sent energy racing up my arms (no lie), and His Holiness even put a Tibetan prayer scarf (Kata) around my neck, which I still have to this day.  I get it.  He’s the Dalai Freaking Lama.  And everyone loves Mr. Lama.

But here’s my problem with His Holiness in particular, with Buddhists in general – and it also happens to be one of the first things that drew me to Judaism:

Jews understand evil.  Buddhists do not.

As Sara Yoheved Rigler wrote, “Judaism does not just resign itself to a world of darkness.  Judaism advocates jumping into the fray, facing evil head-on.”

“Facing evil head-on” is the defining characteristic of my life.

Wherever and whenever I see evil, my first reaction is to run at it and punch it in the face.  I do this for a living: on behalf of Tibetans, Falun Gong, Israeli Jews, and against anyone who threatens America.

What did the Dalai Lama do when Tibet was threatened by the evil of Communist China?  He retreated into exile.  Since then, Tibet has been virtually destroyed and consumed by its invaders.  That does not mean there were no courageous monks.  A number of them fought valiantly against the Chinese.  But the Dalai Lama was not among them.  He followed the example of Buddha and retreated.  As Maurice Lamm wrote, “buddha, upon seeing death, sickness and poverty, retreated from the world into a life of contemplation.”  In that way, Buddhism is more attuned to peaceful retreat than to facing evil head-on.

When Israel was threatened by its neighbors with destruction, Israel did not retreat.  It faced evil head-on.

That is not to say that all Jews, or even all Israelis, are 100% badasses who fully understand how to deal with evil.  Many Jews today still believe that they can get along peacefully with those whose only aim is to wipe all Jews from the map.

But Judaism, as I have come to understand it, is profoundly “of this world.”  It demands that we take action in this world.  And sometimes that means facing evil head-on.

By contrast, Buddhists believe that “enlightenment” means elevating one’s self out of this world.  Buddhist monks retreat from the world into monasteries, and this particular monk – the Dalai Lama – retreated from his country in 1959 and has lived in exile ever since.  Perhaps the Buddhist lack of understanding of evil is what led the Dalai Lama in May 2010 to declare “I’m a Marxist,” or to say in January 2012 that he was still seeking a “middle-way” policy with the Chinese communist thugs who took over his homeland and butchered his brothers.

That’s my problem with the Dalai Lama.  When evil crawls up your leg with a knife in its teeth you don’t retreat, you don’t meditate on it, and you don’t try to find a “middle-way.”  You kill it.

Jews love life.  But the world’s most evil people (who just happen to be the world’s biggest Jew-haters) proudly declare “we love death more than you love life.”

How do you deal with bad people who love death?

You give them what they love.

http://notajew-jew.com/?p=92

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/not-a-jew-jew/my-problem-with-the-dalai-lama/2012/05/01/

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